Mama loves scary movies but baby Iris does not. We found this out when Poppy was nice enough to take us to see Zombieland. Iris made me sick with quivering and punches the whole time.
And then we watched the old movie, The Outsiders and I thought there would be no gunshots or dying but there was and Iris didn’t like the gunshots or the sadness. So Poppy is going by herself today to see the Vampire movie and that is why I get to write here!
And so starts the my task of trying to protect my daughter (first time I’ve said that !) from certain things. I always felt like “Violence exists, disease and suffering are natural, death is normal.” My years 16-22 were spent as a caregiver for the morbidly ill. I like blood and guts, I love the life and death of ER. I believe in ghosts and aliens those stories make me shiver with curiosity. My favorite movies as a child were Beetleguise and Death Becomes Her. My first poem was about a dead ladybug. I never turned into a Goth, but it occurs to me that I may wind up with a child who is less curious and more frightened. (Though my mother reminds me I was afraid of the dark and the boogeyman when very small).
My intellectual self says I shouldn’t shelter Iris from the world. My personal parenting philosophy is to be as open and honest and nonsecretive as possible. Still I know that once the baby arrives there is a lioness protecting that happens and I may be already beginning to feel it. I want her to hear only soft pretty music. I was shocked at how offended I felt when K leaned in and when she couldn’t think of any lullabyes to sing to the baby, sang Madonna’s “Papa Don’t Preach” instead. I’ve become more allergic than usual to fighting or yelling. The thought of having any kind of birth in a hospital where they would shine bright lights in my baby’s eyes, rub her too vigorously to clean her, stick tubes down her nose for suction is absolutely terrifying- I feel like a terrified baby when I watch those images in videos and giving birth at home feels like a crusade against child abuse.
So, go watch your Vampire movie, Poppy. I’m so grateful I married a woman who knows how to go to the movies alone. The baby and I are happy staying home making christmas ornaments and listening to Dar Williams.