Having a baby has really exposed me to the most primal understanding of being human. From the birth, to the breastfeeding, to the baby bodily fluids that coat your skin (and you of course ignore, or rub in like its moisturizer)… this whole experience has opened my eyes to see how I am actually a part of the animal kingdom, and not just a distant observer from the Discovery Channel.
Yes, there are many attributes that distinguish us from other mammals, those are obvious…. But being around this baby is making me realize the subtleties of our similarities.
Think about how a baby thinks. She doesn’t have any language, or true comprehension of time. She doesn’t have any shame, or awareness of social convention. She is an observer. Of course, she has emotions, and can react to her surroundings, but so do animals. Is it possible that the nature of thought for our cats and dogs, is much like the nature of how our babies think? In pictures? With the whispering of memories coming in and out of our consciousness, but mostly just watching what is going on?
Or their relationship to their bodies. Have you ever been to the circus, or a zoo, or a farm, and just watched the animals inadvertently shit. Not a care in the world. Not concerned about where it happened. Not running to a secluded spot. Just plop plop plop. Babies are the same way. Not just with their poo, but their pee, their vomit, anything. They just let it all out when the sensation arises. It is like they are totally one with their bodies because there is no suppression. A baby is not going to hold in their fart to spare themselves the embarrassment. They just let it rip! Isn’t there such freedom in that? Not that I am suggesting that adult humans should just crap where ever they please, but there is something to be said for having a bodily need, and just satisfying it without thought.
I guess the reality of dealing with someone else’s bodily functions and secretions all day will make you ponder such things as the body, how it works, and how everything that is alive has the same processes to deal with. How we are all one, and that as parents, we can connect to our understanding of animals as we try our best to intuit the needs of our babies. Neither species can talk, and both will pee in your face if you’re close enough. So why not honor animals like we do our mini humans? Maybe it is my responsibility to become an animal rights activist. Maybe it is yours too! Maybe I should go back to being a vegan because what is the difference between eating a cow taking a bite out of my baby’s thigh?
Of course, I am writing this with barf that smells like breast-milk coating my sweatshirt sleeve, and pee stained jeans from when it took me to long to replace a diaper… so you can only take me so seriously anyway.