Babies and road trips

I am going on a road trip this weekend with some friends. I am taking my baby. My husband is staying behind to enjoy a blissful, work-filled weekend with few responsibilities. ;)

Sadly, this road trip is already stressful, and it hasn’t even begun yet. My baby is part of the cause of this stress. We are taking two vehicles on this road trip instead of one, in part because one of the road trip participants does not want to spend the 3 to 4 hour trip with a baby. Baby has a history of doing very well on car rides, by the way – she sleeps or is happy.

This situation led me to think about the general attitudes of our culture towards babies and children. Why is the mere presence of a baby in a car so odious? For that matter, why is the presence of a baby in a restaurant or other public place so odious? And why do people get so worked up about women breastfeeding in public? That last one really bugs me. Babies, when not fed, scream. Babies cannot turn off their hunger. Children and adults, when confronted with a sight which is not completely to their taste, may turn their heads away and stop looking.

Babies are babies. Rarely are they so completely annoying that their presence is truly odious. Mostly, I think it’s just that our culture is intolerant of children. I don’t understand why that is. Then again, the American culture seems to only truly value the young (teens and up) and beautiful. Everyone else is thrown by the wayside.

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