Trigger Warning: the following post contains descriptions of cannibalism.
All you stay-at-home parents out there will understand it when I say: Some days you eat the baby and other days, well, the baby eats you.
This last week has been a “the baby eats me” sort of week. Grandma (my mom) came into town and spent the weekend with us. There was a lot of family time and the kickoff for the NFL season and we even went to Giverny to visit Monet’s gardens. After Grandma left, Zef came down with a pretty vicious cold which means that he’s been uncomfortable, uncooperative and pretty much every other “un” word you can think of.
Again, some days you eat the baby and, well, then there are those other days…
In the midst of this Cold War which has settled down upon our house, I was thinking of eating babies. Not in the literal sense. Nothing like that.
I should be very clear here: Our household, no matter how dire the situation becomes, will not succumb to cannibalizing our youngest and smallest member. Now our cat, well, that’s a different story… but that’s also getting way off topic.
I was thinking in the slightly more metaphoric way of how we, as parents, play with our children and how often times this means pretending to eat our child, to gnaw on her chubby thigh or tickle our teeth on his sensitive ribcage and then laugh along as the baby squeals with joy.
And for those of you thinking that this is maybe culturally specific, think again.
I’ve watched American, Spanish, Portuguese, Moroccan and Cambodian adults all pretend to eat their babies (and mine!)
What the hell is wrong with us? When did a unifying, cross-cultural, cross-border, generally-accepted parenting principle become: “pretend to eat your young?” And why the hell is this so funny?
If your are reading this and thinking that “oh, this isn’t very funny at all!” then I would recommend finding the nearest 7 month-old, sticking his bony little foot in your mouth, and then pretend to feast. You see, it is funny! And not just for you, for the little one as well!
Anyway, if you were wondering if the French palate, for all of its sensitivity and propensity to indulge in haut cuisine, can stand the taste of human baby flesh: the answer is a resounding yes. As far as I can tell, they enjoy it just about as much as anyone else.
So, when I say that this last week has been a “the baby eats me” sort of week, I mean that very metaphorically (that is, he has been f——g exhausting). Though we pretend and play “eat the baby” with our little loved one, when they turn and “eat” us, sometimes it’s metaphoric and other times it’s for real (see: Teething Babies and Daddy Thumbs), it is almost never for pretend. I’m also sure this is a worldwide truth.
Sometimes, you eat the baby and other times, well, the baby eats you.
All of this is to say that I still have to write about NFL Kickoff Weekend in Paris and Going to Giverny to explore Monet’s Gardens with Zef and his grandma! Stay tuned.