Baby Z is so popular. Every time we go somewhere, she makes friends: random strangers that just have to come check out the baby with the awesome cheeks. Among other things, I always hear "She's such a good baby!", to which I often reply "Yes, she's a really calm baby." Though she has her moments, for the most part, she has her own little zen to her. If you don't bother her, she definitely won't bother you.
But then I started thinking. What if she wasn't like that? What if her natural disposition was feistier, more aggressive, easily excitable? What then? Would she no long be a "good baby"? Would she be a "bad baby"? We're all born with different dispositions, and though some may be easier to deal with than others,there is no hierarchy. Well, there shouldn't be.
When I see babies that seem to cry a lot (or are at least crying a lot in that moment) I can't help but to think if people are judging that baby by the same criteria they use with baby Z:
Quiet baby = good baby.
Crying baby = bad baby.
More importantly, I wonder what the parent is thinking. Is (s)he thinking the child is bad? That question seems like its answer would be obvious, but I've written before about the crazy things I've seen from parents. Just as my daughter is able to absorb the happy, peaceful energy of those that think she is so "good," other babies absorb the anxious, angry energy of those that think they are "bad."
I believe in the value of a baby's cry, so I'd never just write one off as being a "whiny baby," but I know everyone doesn't think that way. I've heard people say things like "He just likes to cry," and "Ignore her. She cries all the time." If only these parents were aware that their dismissive reactions only promote more of the same behavior. (To clarify, I'm talking about actual babies, not 4-year-olds that are crying because they want another Ring Pop. That's a whole other topic... DING *light bulb goes off in head* Think I just thought of another blog topic!)
I hate to see children that actually believe they're bad. It's sad to see corruption at such a young age, but it happens, more often than I'd like to think about. I've heard young boys declare "I'm IS bad!", as if the opposite could in no way be true. What can you expect for a child who, at 4 years of age, has already been convince, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that his very core and nature are bad, not good? How do you expect him to treat others? Himself? What type of life do you foresee him having? It doesn't look good.
On baby Z's behalf, I thank the strangers for their kind words, but I hope they have that same kind approach with other babies, too.