⚡ October 24, 2017
The Great Lies of Our Youth 🐣
There are many bits of misinformation that speckle the memory, but some stand out more than others. Many of the most pernicious lies for my generation of baby boomer moms came from the Dr. Spock bible on child-raising, Baby and Child Care. At that time, Dr. Spock was more important culturally than Mr. Spock, who had not yet been invented.
I remember being in total despair as I read the bible, and to this day I’ve not lost that sinking feeling. There was no way to measure up to the sort of military precision he expected you to demonstrate. Here are two big lies that he preached:
You must get the baby out in the weather, no matter the weather. Each day. Every day.
The baby in question had just been born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where the weather is so weird on a daily basis that they made up UFOs and animal mutilation stories just to cover it up. A typical day would start with sun-bathing in your yard in the morning and end in a snowfall in the late afternoon. A mom and her two kids died of exposure in their car on a day trip into the mountains. She must have dressed for the morning, but lingered too long.
So, taking the child outside required a baby carriage of some sort, and in that era they were all expensive royal-blue contraptions that cared for neither mother nor baby. Hard to clean, scissoring your fingers at every juncture … easily rusting on the back porch … they were no fun to own and operate. Nonetheless, you were supposed to place happy baby into the carriage and take a walk somewhere. I can’t remember, and neither can my baby – who just turned 50 this year – just how many walks we ever completed.
What I do remember most vividly from that era on the sidewalks of Colorado Springs, wandering amidst grand yellow Victorian houses and brown leaves crunching under the carriage wheels, was the idea that when you were a nursing mother you should drink a really potent malt liquor every single day to boost up your motherly milk. I don’t know if I’d heard this from one of the mothers at the base officer’s club, but that was likely. All our husbands were due to be shipped off from Ft. Carson to the ravaging war within months and liquor was very high on our list of things to talk about.
Consistency. It's the most important thing.
The second edict from Dr. Spock that is still pretty operational. Even as we speak, I am trying to be consistent with this blog, with the sewing project, with going outside to get some sun, with doing some planks to save my very soul. 🐔