This rant was prompted by a question in Quora: Should grandparents feel obligated to interact with their grandchildren? I blew my stack when I read this. Our society is so broken that we don’t even remember a time when families and neighbors pulled life’s load together in solidarity and joy. I cannot believe how we see this selfish existence as normal.
And why on earth do we insist that a solitary couple, living in a solitary home make a child together and then farm it out to underpaid, underskilled, under loving, over stressed, inappropriate “care givers” who must be watched on hidden cameras? In the past, the family was there helping the young parents at every turn. Now the young moms want to be the sole providers of ethics and training – “That’s my baby! I own this baby! She must believe what I believe. She must be Catholic; Jewish; What I say…”
We are so disassociated with loving touch that it is now illegal for children to be touched at all. Babies live in plastic containers called “baby carriers, car seats, jumpy gyms, and playpens.” That is such a lonely thing to do to a new human still living in eternity, unless of course, that new human is being trained to be a rugged individual – A future “Spartan of Wall Street.” A real Bottom-Liner. Did you know that babies are the epitome of enlightenment? I believe so.
In Bali a child is held up and away from the floor by all of her human relatives and neighbors for a full three to six months. They have their reasons and customs, but the upshot is coming into life surrounded with loving care, fully attended by the community. That is the way to grow a loving, gentle human; the gentle murmur, a sweet tune in her ear, this tender moment is denied the Modernian warriors of the world.
In Modernia, we grow isolated humans, fearful of reality, separated from the tender touch. A plastic nipple and powdered milk from a cow, beaten with and iron bar by an angry man whose life is an impossible hell. Soon after, her calf will be dragged away by one foot crying for her as they shove him into a small box in a field of boxes, alone and starved.
Then we have the plastic baby – a breast pump, sucking milk from its frazzled mother, is a great sitcom opportunity in a culture that never shows a real woman nursing her child and enjoying it. But nowadays we can watch men and women, on television every evening, on any average television station, showing almost explicit pictures of humans sucking each others’ genitals, happily licking and sucking, under covers and between bare legs. These are often sexy yet tender scenes. They show loving sexuality in action. This is a good step forward, say I! Nothing wrong with that. But God forbid we should watch a baby suck a flesh and milk-filled breast attached to a real woman, who wants to be there and not running a corporation.
Modernian babies are born and immediately cut away from their mothers, swept into “plate warmers” by “professionals” who poke and prod them and then swaddle them, put hats on them and deliver them back to mothers, flannel blanket to polyester sheet touching, but no human flesh touching. That would be weird. I hope the new practice of the “newborn crawl” takes off. It could save the world if we simply placed the child on its mother’s tummy and watch it crawl to the breast. Skin to skin the entire time. How many of us knew humans could do that? Like kittens and puppies we are programmed to live, no interference necessary.
Toddler nursing from smiling mother
Oops, I forgot the topic. Oh, right! Selfish Modernian Grandparents. It is not enough for one lone woman to transmit all of culture to a child. No we insist that inexperienced new mothers push their own mothers away to prove their worth as individual Spartans.
Children don’t belong to us, they come through us. We invoke them. We owe them everything. If you want vacations and parties and fancy trips, then don’t invite babies into your lives. They truly did not ask to be born. Get your tubes tied. Eight billion people are enough. Enough already! Be kind – don’t make children who will make more children. If you don’t like grandparenthood, don’t be a parent. Go be with your neighbor’s children. Open your home to them, now and then. Literally, share your lives.
Yes, I sound rather bossy now, but this broken culture stuff really pisses me off!