So my run of posting a photo of Arianwen every week didn’t last very long did it? I started to have doubts, both about the general safety aspects of posting so many photos of her online (how will I persuade her to be ‘Share Aware’ in the future if I’ve not 100% thought through the implications of sharing photos myself). But it also started to feel uncomfortable as it felt like it implied that she was some sort of project to me, rather than the actual photos being the project, if that makes any sense at all.
I’ve been having vague thoughts about how we treat children and view childhood as a society. I wish I was articulate enough to, you know, articulate them. It boils down to a balance being wrong somewhere. By seeing children as ‘other’, and making such a big deal of childhood, does this make it harder for us to ensure that children have the rights they’re entitled to as human beings? Which is not to say that children should be treated as mini adults, as of course they do have different physiological and developmental needs.
So much energy seems to be spent on making childhood ‘magical’. I admit I’ve been drawn in by the shiny ideas on Pinterest and made rainbow spaghetti (which Arianwen ate rather than played with, then the cat ate it and got sick, and then the patio was covered in tiny spaghetti worms for weeks). But does all this emphasis on ‘sensory play’ make it so that normal life isn’t seen as enough? I actually saw a mum say on a Facebook group that her baby ‘hadn’t done anything sensory yet’, as if because she hadn’t spent time making cloud dough that her baby wouldn’t have experienced anything yet. It just seems another way of cutting off a child’s world from adult society. It doesn’t feel quite right to me how children are banded together in groups of the same age for so much of the time, rather than having the chance to interact and learn from older and younger people.
Oops, this hasn’t really gone anywhere. My thoughts aren’t really defined enough to go anywhere yet. I have no idea if this makes any sense. If anyone can articulate it for me that would be great! Or if anyone’s read anything that could shed some light on my thoughts? I guess it’s about how it makes sense that as a society we push children towards independence (wow, she sleeps all night in her own cot, what a good baby!) while also surrounding them in this big fluffy cloud of magical childhood rather than just, well, letting them get on with it with a bot of guidance. (By writing this I am no way saying I have any sort of balance right, in case you’re wondering).
This vague rant was brought to you by too much coffee, and a rare hour on my own.