Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
Well, for French babies, anyway. Apparently their mamans insist that they wash their hands and keep their fingers out of their noses and go to bed when told. Such injustices have compelled some French babies to protest publicly. One baby was so outraged that he put his words of protest to music, and now his Battle Hymn for the Babies – or, Dur, dur être bébé (It’s Tough to be a Baby) – has become a rallying cry for babies everywhere. (1)
The French, of course, have a long history of protest. One might go so far as to say that they invented the modern protest movement. That little demonstration way back in the late 18th Century, the French Revolution, really set the standard. Now, when the French get upset about something, they don’t talk about it: they march, sing or throw things at each other. (To the best of my knowledge, the guillotine is no longer being used.)
So it really shouldn’t be any surprise that French babies, getting all up about something, would start releasing records. It’s not as though they can march, after all. Their little arms couldn’t hold up the signs. And tossing pureed sweet potato or bottles of breastmilk at riot police doesn’t have quite the same effect as, oh, say, stones and fire bombs.
I’ve been very careful to conceal the Babies of the World Unite movement from WonderBaby, because there’s no question that she has grounds for protest. Although she enjoys numerous freedoms, some forcible confinement has been necessary for the peace and security of the household. WonderBaby has been routinely subjected to the constraint of the swaddle and the confinement of the baby jail, and while to date protest has been limited (2), we are anticipating outright rejection of these measures in the near future. Postponing this rejection, and moderating this rejection when it inevitably occurs, will be critical to the continued sanity and well-being of all members of the household.
That said, I don’t know that WonderBaby, given her Nietzschean inclinations (3), would actually align herself with a protest movement. Her plans for world domination do not, so far as I understand them, involve reliance upon an underclass. She seems, rather, intent upon relying on her own arms. (4)
And when she has full and unfettered use of those arms? Watch out.
1) I must confess that this is old news. Jordy made his protests back in the early nineties, when it was still legal in France to put babies to work. He’s now a pimply teenager, and is seeking to re-establish himself as a public figure. Expect “Dur, dur être adolescent boutonneux” to be released any time now.
2) You thought maybe that we had bested the swaddle gods? Ha. Ha. Ha. That battle has been temporarily abandoned. There have been some experiments in swaddle-free sleeping, some of which were successful for very brief periods of time (45 minutes! Woo hoo!), but it has become clear that WonderBaby is still not prepared to rock it freestyle, at least not full-time.
3) She is aiming for control of the Known and Unknown Universe, after all.
4) See Machiavelli, The Prince, Chapter VI
Originally posted at Her Bad Mother.