Welcome to Chaya’s blog. I figure now is as good a time as any to start writing about my reflections and experiences of pregnancy. I have been wanting to start a blog for a long time!
I just read a book called Continuum Concept by Jean Liedloff. It knocked my socks off. I had the blessing of reading it on the beach in the Everglades while I was frequented by dolphins in real time and in dream time, communicating, playfully, lovingly. This trip was a time for my partner and I to have some time together away from the world, and vision how we want to parent.
The premise of Continuum Concept is that babies are meant to be “in-arms” after birth. They become an extension of all that we do. And they have the freedom to learn and grow. When they begin to crawl, they do not go in playpens. This is like a baby jail. Just when they learn to crawl, they are restrained.
The author wrote the book from an anthropological standpoint. She spent significant time in Venezuela with the Yequana tribe. They are primal, living with the land, living with their children. They leave knives and machetes within their babies reach and they do not put them in playpens. Compared to “civilized” cultures they have much fewer accidents. And the Yequana children are helping to cook and change infant diapers by the age of 3.
Liedloff noted that babies and children will fulfill our expectations. So if we say enough times, “Do not climb on that chair to wash the dishes, you will fall off and hurt yourself,” eventually this is exactly what will happen, because it is expected. In the culture as it stands now, perhaps we do not want to leave sharp knives accessible, but maybe we teach our children how to use them at a young age. And perhaps we begin to trust in the self-protection mechanisms contained within them. We have a woodstove in our home, which is our main source of heat in the winter. I wish to find a way to feel safe letting my baby crawl unrestrained in the winter in our home, and find a way to communicate with my child how HOT fire is without setting the expectation that she/he might get burned.
The author makes profound connections regarding how it affects us as adults to have missed out on having that concentrated in-arms time. Many will say the child will end up spoiled if you hold them all the time, and they need to “cry it out” sometimes. To me, that sounds like a terrible hell realm. We begin contained in the womb, with all of that closeness and connection, and all of our needs are entirely accounted for in the womb. It just does not make sense to be left to cry until your throat hurts so much or you are too exhausted to cry any longer, without having the comfort of connection. I see how that relates to many adults around me, including myself. Let’s start doing it differently. Let give our children all of the love they need, so they can be the love and the light in this world.