Monday, August 30, 2010

I am a pansy ass southern mama.

I watched the movie Babies the other morning. I figured that there was no way that my husband would watch it with me. So I put it on in the background while I took turns folding laundry and chasing Koen around the room as he ran off with clothes that I had just folded. A trail of wrinkled dresses and jeans led me in circles and I was so happy to have a baby to chase after while I watched a movie titled Babies because if I didn't have a crazy baby driving me bonkers, I totally would have wanted one after watching this film.

As I watched scene after scene of four babies from all around the world explore their part of the world, I caught myself feeling very western minded. Like when the mom from Nambia wiped her baby's naked butt onto her knee and then rubbed his poop into her knee with a corn husk, I suddenly felt like a pansy for gagging when I changed some of Koen's nastier diapers.

When the child from Mongolia ran around naked on his parents' farm and scampered through cow crap, I cringed a bit. I also felt a bit concerned when the child explored a rusty barrel that must have once been a watering hole for the cows. He climbed on top of it proudly and he must have almost scraped his naked little pee pee on that rust covered nightmare a hundred times in the process. It was a tetanus shot waiting to happen. Then, all these little calves surrounded him and I worried that they were going to knock him off and trample him. I am so not a farm mama, nope, not at all.

Oh, or how about when the baby from Nambia was laying face first in the dirt and sucked on tiny rocks? I bet a you twenty bucks that I don't have that his mom did not have her Infant CPR certificate folded up in her wallet. She just casually sat by the stream as he sucked on rock after rock. I would not survive in that tribe. No, I would be running around pulling rocks out of baby's mouths and scolding them to no end. All the other moms would hate me and talk bad about me in their huts.

At one point in the film, the same woman was nursing two babies, had a baby on her back, and another one playing with her feet. I'm not even sure how many of those children were hers. It was beautiful and I suddenly wished that I could be in her tribe. My heart filled with admiration and respect for these women who raise their children in such primitive ways. I wished to be one of those moms that just could just sit back and let her child explore unabashedly. I mean, I'm all about letting the kids get messy but I would never feel comfortable with a bovine smelling my baby's naked butt or letting him play with a plastic bucket that I had just gutted a calf into. I mean, I would at least rinse the bucket and scrub it a bit before handing it over.

I was pulled out of my reverie by Koen who charged toward me half naked (taking off his diaper is a new found skill) with an unfolded shirt that he had fished out of the laundry basket draped over his head. He haphazardly slammed past me and tripped over a toy truck. He got up, dusted himself off, and starting spinning in circles. I suddenly felt very connected to all mothers everywhere and felt kindred to all those mamas half way around the world who watch their babies do beautifully insane and unsafe things. Even though I am a pansy ass southern mama who worries too much about things like tetanus and cranky cows that trample children, I am a mama just like them, with a brave baby who has no fear and to whom the whole world looks like an adventure.

It's a lovely world out there for all the wild naked babies.

15 comments:

Vashti said...

yesterday both boys were hanging out of the frangipani tree wearing nothing but a Spiderman mask each! A few weeks ago Jesse came running to me with a snake in his hand, thankfully it wasnt a deadly one! I am learning to embrace their boyness and their africanness and chilling out with my parenting, it's not easy though!

singedwingangel said...

OH I am with you I would have been having heart failure. Yet just like here we do the things to protect them, in their cultures that choice is just as natural.

The Crazy Baby Mama said...

oh, leigh, THIS POST IS WONDERFUL.

but i'm with you - i'd be fishing the rocks out of babies mouths as well. after first sanitizing my hands. with purel. not cow piss.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

LOL...

Secret Mom Thoughts said...

I need to see this movie. Hope my uterus can take it.

FrouFrouBritches said...

Love this post! I'm with ya honey! I would've FREAKED if my kids got anywhere near manure or rusty anything. I'm not a neat freak by any stretch of the imagination, but that is all cause for alarm, especially little naked pee pee's!

Sue said...

Great post. I completely relate.

=)

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

ann claire ALSO just learned to take off her diaper, so. yeah. it sucks.

she also eats inordinate amounts of SAND. and CRAYONS. and i am ok with it.

bc i am an OLD LAZY MIDWESTERN MAMA :)

Wym said...

I feel very lazy as I let my children have dirty faces and run naked around the house. We have a 60 second rule in the house too.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

Loved this post, Leigh. I've yet to see this movie but it sounds good!

lifewithsweetpeaches.com said...

OH, I love this post. I haven't seen the movie yet although I'm dying to (and yes, I will definitely want another one after watching it) and I agree that I would cringe at some of those parts. But then your last paragraph about how babies do unsafe things every where, even right under our noses? How true that is! I watched my 12 month old climb four steps today and then I watched her fall down those same four steps. I resisted the urge to leap across the zillions of toys between us to comfort her. And I'm glad I saved my energy, because she looked up at me and laughed out loud.

Erin said...

I have wanted to see that movie but will have to rent it on a night when hubs isn't at home...I'm probably all the more curious hearing your description of it here, LOL!

Erin said...

You should check out http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/ when you get at chance. It's been challenging my thinking along these lines. My ovaries aren't ready to watch this movie yet.

vanilla said...

No mama who shows this kind of love for her offspring is a candya$$. Beautiful post, Leigh.

Lisa said...

Wow - I need to check out that movie. Perhaps remove a bit of the parental guilt? Lovely post!!