Dear Political Baby,
I’m kind of feeling a bit odd about taking you on a pro-choice demo on saturday and I think I need to ponder why.
I guess I did it because I knew the anti-choice lot would mostly likely be using children to make their point (and of course they were- no babies but about 4 or 5 clueless indoctrinated kids holding signs), and so I kind of thought well why not have a baby along to make my point, that my babies were my choice, but that I 100% respected and supported other women’s right to choose, no judgement.
As the anti-choice lot seem to be under the misguided apprehension that pro-choicers are all “heartless baby murderers”- UM we aren’t!, it kind of felt good to unsettle them somewhat with an actual baby on our side of the demo. I felt I needed to make the point that mother’s can be pro-choice too (read Dear Pro Choice Mummy for more info). As although other demonstrators may have been mothers (I know a few were) it was not immediately obvious, but me I had the perfect accessory- you!
It was interesting having you along with me- I may have been being paranoid but as the only pro-choicer there with a baby (the only child on our side of the demo), the anti-choice lot were subjecting me to some pretty long cold evil looks.
I think with hindsight while I am happy to wear a “Mama for choice” placard- putting the “Baby for choice” placard on you wasn’t really fair. After all I don’t know that you will grow up to respect women’s rights (but I bloody hope you do!), and I do feel strongly that I bring you up to make your own choices about your beliefs and not force my own beliefs down your throat. I think next time I might give leave off the placard on you. I think as you and your sister grow up and if I take you on more activist stuff I think I will only let you hold banners/placards if I really genuinely feel you have sufficient understanding of what and why you are holding it, otherwise it feels a bit uncomfortable to me. But I do think bringing you with me on activism stuff is a fantastic learning experience for you as it was for me when I went on the Miner’s strikes etc.
However to be fair, there were other reasons I had to have you with me that day, firstly it wasn’t really fair to leave your daddy looking after both you and your sister, when he does that so often already so I can get some sleep, it was his weekend too and he needed a bit of a rest. Also as I am breastfeeding you and you are currently bottle refusing again, so I really need to keep you close to me and if you weren’t with me then I couldn’t have gone to the demo at all. Plus the added HUGE bonus of having you with me in a sling was that while everyone else was shivering away standing in the cold for two hours, I had my own personal hot water bottle. You and I were toasty warm for the whole demo! Yay!
Anyhow my dear political baby. I hope you enjoyed your very first demo when you are only 15 weeks old, and I hope you will come on more of them with me (although it’s a shame that we are going to need to go on more. )
I do sort of feel a bit bad about using you to make a political point but I reckon your presence had genuinely significant impact, so I don’t feel too guilty and hope you won’t mind when I tell you about this when you are older.
Lot’s of Love
P.S Your big sister and daddy made excellent refreshment providers, bringing us biscuits and drinks towards the end of the demo. Yum.