After a long period of time you sometimes get to see things that you thought you already understood quite well – and perhaps did in part – but now you see much more clearly. I’ve always known how important it was to my baby – Joanne – that she be authentic in her expression of babyness. My head saw the logic in dressing up as a baby and playing with baby toys when she felt like a baby inside. That made sense to me. But I see now how it is much more than just that. It is not just important for the baby to be authentic, but for others to see them as authentic infants. And what do I mean by this term ‘authentic’?
My baby is always a baby. She is never not a baby. For a lot of the time her adultness covers up that babyness – at least to most people – but I still see that baby there almost all the time. Sometimes in words or actions or other times in the nuances of body language that gives away the truth that underneath the adult exterior beats the heart of a 3 year old baby girl. So what is authenticity to mean if the only time Joanne is a baby is in those moments when work, family and general life permits it? If she is always a baby then she should be authentically so as well – all the time. Problem… simply not practical in the openly baby sense.
Joanne has transitioned to cloth nappies now and disposables are just for emergencies and for travelling. It was when we did this that I started to see her real need for 24/7 authentic infancy in a world that doesn’t really permit it. We bought Dependeco velcro fitted nappies from ebay (which are awesome by the way) and they are all covered in various infant, girly patterns. She looks great in them but more importantly feels great in them. Even under day clothes out in public she is wearing a nappy. Not just any old nappy such as an adult disposable but an infant’s nappy. It is styled and operates just like an infant’s nappy and other then the size they are just that. She certainly seems very happy in them. We are a fan of the http://www.baby-pants.com website because of a lot of things, but one in particular is the attitude to authenticity that they exude. They have no pretence whatsoever that they sell adult incontinence wear. As the site name implies they sell baby wear but in adult size. I am particularly impressed with their Baby Pants Label on their products and the rationale behind it . To quote them: “The Baby Pants label should face out in the back to prevent irritating tender skin. The label is your assurance that your baby is wearing genuine Baby Pants diapers and not an adult product. These diapers are exactly the same product we sell parents of small babies but sized for your big baby. You can be proud that your baby wears genuine Baby Pants diapers.”
My girl also has their nappies and plastic pants and when hanging on the clothes-line are clearly baby nappies. She has some frilly plastic pants and would love to wear frillies all the time (not going to happen!!). Because she can wear these under day clothes she can still be an authentic baby girl even when in adult mode in public. She wears onesies all the time, but now they are baby ones with a baby label even if only she and I know the difference.
I’ve watched her at home when she is fully dressed as a baby girl and seen the transformation that takes place. She is at her happiest and most secure and stress free when dressed as an infant girl from head to toe. But thanks to a better understanding of her need to be a baby all the time, products like the above mentioned ones help her identify with her inner self all the time instead of those times when she can be all baby. In essence, it is less about what these products are, but rather what they openly proclaim to be – baby wear. And in a more general sense, the key to our parent/child relationship is that I understand and accept that she is a baby girl – all the time.
She is an authentic three year old baby girl.