Monday, September 18, 2006

Babies have no shame

I have noticed since Liam was born that babies have no shame. This is a good thing I guess, but who teaches children shame? Their parents, right? That is kind of sad to me, but when I think any deeper about it, I realize shame is necessary for our children to learn what is good and bad. I mean, Adam and Eve were ashamed when they were found naked after partaking of the fruit. This is a good lesson. They were suddenly aware of their nudity when they partook of the fruit from the tree of knowledge. They suddenly had that awareness because of partaking. It was that simple and necessary for them to learn.

Babies barf, poop, pee, sneeze, cough, toot, spit and smack. Because they are so small and new, it's okay that they do these things. (It's even cute sometimes... and even funny to we more immature parents.) We moms even lower the standards of our conversation subject matter to the bodily fuctions of our children. It's a time of "no shame" for the baby and the parents. We know what's going on and how weird it is that we are used to these daily clean ups. The babies, though, haven't yet learned how ill-mannered these things are (to most folks). So in the meantime, we just deal with it and worry if our baby is constipated or gassy (sometimes privately, sometimes publicly). What an odd step back we adults take when we bring new poopers into the world.

Another thought on shame: If I don't know what someone says, whether they mumbled or spoke in broken English to me... I DO NOT assume I know exactly what they said. Babies, on the other hand, can either understand us completely or take a wild and confident guess with no shame. I talk to Liam all the time. I ask him things, tell him things and tease him. Ian teaches Liam things too. Does he understand us? I tend to think he does when he's doing exactly what I ask or immediately does something we taught him. Or is he just guessing?

I have no idea how smart my own kid is, do I?

8 comments:

Tori :) said...

3 year olds have no shame either. I have to make Taj put on clothes at least 3 times a day. He runs around shakin his booty saying "I'm naked!! I'm naked!!"

Kim's Life said...

Most Children have no shame. Thats what makes them beautiful. Great to express yourself and not feel bad about it. LOL

Robin said...

I think we could all live with a little less shame. Why do I feel so ashamed all the time when the house isn't clean or I haven't gotten dressed and it's 1pm or my kid is saying weird stuff that he learned from me. On the other hand, if I had no shame, well you can only imagine.

Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

It's awesome that little children have no shame, isn't it? It's funny to imagine Adam and Eve naked without shame. And weird.

I think they can totally understand us a lot sooner than we think. One day Liam will surprise you with a whole vocabulary of words you didn't know he knew. For now he's learning.

utmommy said...

When does shame kick in?

Gabs said...

My five year old doesn't have a lot of shame in the "tooting" or belching department. I wish he had just a tad more!

Dame Eyola said...

EXCELLENT post, Runt! I'm pretty sure Liam is smart as his Mom, yo. Which, lucky kid, makes him smarter than the average shameless genius.
How deep you are!

Brony said...

I'm always amazed at how much babies understand.

I wonder when shame becomes a reality.