What The Babies Are Saying

I’ve been active on social media for the past decade or so, with the past 5 years being mainly focused on Instagram, or what I call “a hub of photographic inspiration.” And as time goes by, I’ve found a world of photography from mothers who are also creatives (i.e. illustrators, graphic designers, etc), or bloggers who just became mothers, or photographers who are also mothers – any combination of those three interests me. I don’t necessarily fit into any of those above-mentioned categories, but nonetheless I am a mother, and since becoming a mother, I found myself being drawn to those who show their lives through Instagram, with beautiful images laid out in such a way that if you view it in their profile, as a series of square formats, you can see that not only does it serve a purpose aesthetically but also personally.

Now, as my oohs-and-ahhs have subsided over the years, I’ve realized that Instagram is just like a Facebook for photography. As I’ve gotten sick of FB and quit checking it altogether, I am slowly checking Instagram a little bit less as well. Don’t get me wrong – there are still people who I follow on Instagram who are not mothers, but rather photographers, who provides me with inspiration – beautiful images to look at and dream about. But as I’ve looked at a lot of baby & family photos, I tried to step into the shoes of these babies and children who are being photographed and shared constantly on social media. I wondered – if I was that baby, what would I think? How would I feel about my parents blasting images of me all the time, doing different things, putting on god-knows-what awful accouterments on my body that I would not particularly choose for myself, such as these booties?*

If babies could talk, this is what they’d say about us moms & dads (mainly moms) who are living a life through social media.

The baby who hates being photographed:
Moommm get that thing out of my face! I’m currently being busy being a baby…can I just crawl once without you putting a camera in my face? Oh, by the way, I also just pooped. It’s kinda big. Sorry. Can you put that camera down and change me please?

The baby who loves being photographed:
Mom, I know you love these stupid bonnets, and I love getting my picture taken, but seriously!?!  I can’t believe you spent like almost $40 for a stupid freakin’ bonnet that I’m only use (let you put it on me) once…okay, maybe twice in church so I can show people that we live as peasants or Amish folks. This is not the 19th century, for goodness sakes! Buy me a REAL hat. Like a sun hat or something.

The baby who doesn’t care (but is also bothered by something):
Okay, so I have to sleep in a crib. Big deal. I don’t see the point since I can’t walk anyway. But do you really have to take a picture of me laying there wrapped up in a Muslin blanket like a prisoner looking through the slats of the crib like I’m some sort of jailed individual? Come on! I was like, whatever to the baby wrap, but hey – you’re kind of stepping into strange territory here by taking a picture of me that looks like I’m bounded in prison.

The needy baby:
Hey, I don’t appreciate you showing off your boob on social media as I’m busy sucking away here. Isn’t this our private time together?? So what, you’re only showing like half of your face, and I know that showing breastfeeding pictures online is like a total trend right now, but for real – I need my milk. I’m hungry! So drop that phone down and FEED ME.

If you were a baby active on social media, what would you say?

*By the way, $40-60 on baby moccasins is ridiculous. You’re better off just spending that on baby formula…or heaven forbid, diapers!!

When Your Toddler Knows A Little Too Much (and other news)

Hi guys,

Welcome to a new edition of “Kids Say the Darnest Things” where I co-host with “TMI (Too Much Information)” and this time, I’ll share with you things I’ve recently discovered that my daughter knows, also known as “Things a toddler should not know YET (until he/she reaches high school).” Now, I consider Lily to be a very normal, average kid. She weighs about 33-34 lbs (the exact number I’ve forgotten), and is about 39″ tall, with brown hair and brown eyes. She’s this adorable little chub chub.

However, what is abnormal about her is her proclivity towards learning of adult things. When I say “adult things” I don’t mean adult entertainment, porn movies, or sexual positions. I mean, things that adults typically talk about, but not children. For example, childbirth. My daughter is obsessed with childbirth, so much that she’ll take some of her toy pieces and “pretend” to give birth to it by putting it down her shirt, then letting it drop out of her shirt, all the while proclaiming that she’s pooping out babies.

Yep, that’s right. Pooping out babies. All because she witnessed her mom giving birth to her little brother. Mind you, this was not planned at all. Home births are not my thing. I prefer to be in a hospital, with a staff that is trained on childbirth and is there to assist me in all aspects in case something goes wrong. However, my little boy decided he could not wait even 30 minutes, and popped out before we even made it to the car. Before her dad got home and delivered him, Lily saw me on my (almost) knees, leaning over the railing of the staircase and screaming at the top of my lungs. Then she saw what happened afterwards…which was her brother coming out of a spot that is usually reserved for closed door activities.

(And while we’re on the subject of babies, one time she declared that she was going to live to a hundred and have babies when she’s 25… which technically isn’t a bad age to have children, and the babies will come out of her just as easily as toy pieces. I resisted the urge to say to her, “Oh honey when it’s your turn you’ll be screaming a hell of a lot before the baby actually comes out. But I spared her the drama).

This is a story that is made for history books… the history of our family, that is.

Do I want my daughter to know about body parts and how they work at such a young age? Not exactly. I was planning on telling her about childbirth when she gets older, or whenever she asked me about it and is old enough to understand. As with many typical parents would prefer to shield their child’s eyes and minds, I thought that wouldn’t happen for at least another 5 years.

I gotta admit – I don’t feel ashamed about her knowing the female reproductive parts. I don’t want to be one of those parents who shun their child away from talking about what our bodies can do. I want her to feel comfortable talking about it, and learning about it…just not so young. Regardless, she does know now, and that is that. I don’t claim to show her my parts all the time, but I do take her into public restrooms with me whenever I have to go, so before this “incident” ever happened, she had already seen me (partially) naked. She is no stranger to body parts.

Speaking of body parts and what it does, not only does this girl know that boys and girls have different parts, but she also knows that it makes them do the same things differently. For example, the other day, she stood up on her bed, put her hands to her privates, held it there, and said, “This is how Daddy goes peepee.” Then she sat down and said, “This is how Daddy goes poopoo.” I was like HUH?!?! how the heck does she know that??? I grilled her further, asking her how does she know how daddy goes potty and she let on that she had peeked in before. Say waahhhhhtttt!!!!

a real conversation between her dad and I

We are not purposely telling her any of these things, I SWEAR.

In other news, this morning she said, “Mom, will you marry me?” I don’t know if I should be flattered or weirded out by this. After all, is it the fact that women can get married to women or the fact that she wants to “marry” me because she loves me? Either way, I’m a little baffled.

It’s a good thing she doesn’t know how babies are made…yet.