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Unbelievable - Elizabeth Unexplained
Lots of data but no answers
One of the things I read on multiple blogs before I had Margaret was that once you had a kid you tended to react to the news differently. People reported that bad news stories seemed much worse, as if they had happened to their own children. I didn't think such a thing would happen to me, I'm not the sort of person who gets worked up about the everyday tragedies that are a large part of the news media. It seemed rather unbelievable that I would react like that

Yeah, about that.

I can still read about the war, fires, floods and the like, no problem. It's just that lately there seem to have been a rash of stories of child abuse, and that has really been bugging me a lot more than such stories used to. Two of the stories involved the abuse and terrible deaths of babies that were a year and a half old, with accompanying photos of the kids when they were younger... like close to Margaret's age. Before I would have thought these stories were tragic, with a side of 'it is so unfair that people like this can have kids when other, more responsible people can't'. Now these stories feel like a direct threat to my baby, and I have this urge to travel thousands of miles and apply a sledgehammer where it will do the most good. (Important safety tip: don't threaten my baby.)

I just can't understand how anyone could abuse their own child or stand by while someone else was abusing their baby. I truly do not get it, at least emotionally. Maybe it's hard for me to imagine because I had such great parents. Even so, babies are cute because we are genetically programmed to find them cute and feel this urge to protect them. I find it hard to wrap my head around the concept of people so broken that they would willfully harm a baby, but clearly such people exist. They'd just better not exist anywhere near me if they know what's good for them.

Warren has said in the past that in a way he thinks it would be a good thing if everyone had to do IVF to get pregnant. I feel the same way, especially after reading these news stories. Every child should be wanted. If it were harder for most people to have babies the types of people who abuse children probably wouldn't have them in the first place and fewer terrible things would happen.

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psychohist From: psychohist Date: November 18th, 2008 06:16 am (UTC) (Link)
Even so, babies are cute because we are genetically programmed to find them cute and feel this urge to protect them.

Well, we're programmed to find our own babies cute. I remember not finding other peoples' babies very cute before I had one of my own. Contrariwise, I'm realistic enough to realize that there may be people who don't find my baby cute, especially when she has a complainy expression about being sent to bed after staying up way too late playing D&D. ("How come dad gets to keep playing???")

I would note that a lot of those abuse stories involve the mother of the child and a boyfriend who may not be the father. In this case, his programming may be more similar to that of lions who kill the cubs then they join a new pride.

All the more reason to prefer that babies have a stable family waiting for and wanting them when they get born, I guess.
gryphon2k From: gryphon2k Date: November 18th, 2008 02:07 pm (UTC) (Link)
The response does dampen back down a bit once all the raging postpartum/breastfeeding hormones go away. But, oh, is it still there! When B was under a year old, the Susan Smith story hit the news, and it devastated me. I literally had nightmares for weeks that I accidentally did something to harm B.

But as you said, maybe having gone through what we did to have B gave me a greater appreciation for him. I know after losing the twins, I felt an incredibly anger for my cousin, who having gotten pregnant at 16, continued to smoke (while nursing!) around her baby, who (surprise, surprise) now has life-threatening asthma.

So yeah, the urge to maim people is still there. Gods help anyone who threatens my children.
chenoameg From: chenoameg Date: November 19th, 2008 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Yay baby picture!
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