Friday, August 29, 2014

Baby Charlotte and Baby Zoe

I just finished watching another episode of McLeod's Daughters. Claire has just had her baby, and she declares that nothing is going to change. Yes, she's going to go to town to get supplies. Yes, she's going to help with some road thingie project. No, she's not going to sleep when the baby is sleeping. Her attitude is like the John Lennon song. Nothing's going to change my world.

By the end of the episode, Claire changes her song. This comes about after she realizes she can't do what she wants to when she wants to do it. Why? The baby might be hungry and that means Claire has to stop what she's doing, sit down, and feed her.

And she's exhausted because the baby wakes up multiple times at night. There's a lot of crying.

Claire learns it's really not easy having a new baby. It does change your life. It's not like getting a pet hamster or a kitten.

I liked that McLeod's Daughters gave a realistic portrayal of parenting an infant, or at least something that was moderately close to what I experienced.

I couldn't relate to Nina Proudman's mothering experience on Offspring. It was so just easy. Baby Zoe is passed around Nina's family and friends like Flat Stanley.  It seems there was always someone willing and eager to take care of Zoe. And why not?  It seemed for the most part, Zoe cooed happily in the background.

I'm probably exaggerating. It's likely there were moments where Zoe cried or exerted her presence in other ways. I'm guessing I just forgot them. I think, though, for the most part, the show gives an unrealistic view of parenting young children.

One argument in defense of Zoe's easiness is Offspring skipped ahead to when she was six months old. I think for a lot of parents, things do get somewhat easier at this stage.  It's still very exhausting, but maybe less exhausting than the early few weeks.

I like that McLeod's Daughters didn't skip the infancy stage, but I can understand why Offspring made the choice. Offspring is supposed to be at least part comedy, and I think it might have been really hard to find humor with a new mother struggling with both an infant and the very recent tragic loss of her partner.


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