Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"Secret Lives Of Women"

My roommate and I are both pretty obsessed with the WE tv show "Secret Lives Of Women". The title is pretty self-explanatory; each episode has a different theme, usually of a socially deviant nature; during the episode we meet some women who identify with its theme, and we get some insight into what their lives are like. Past episodes have included cutters/self-mutilators, women with obsessive-compulsive disorder, polygamists, sex workers, and lipstick lesbians. This weekend we watched a new episode with Sean called "Fetishes And Fantasies". One of the women featured on the show is Kailey, a woman who lives her private life as a two-year-old adult baby named Baby Ella.

As with most "Secret Lives Of Women" episodes, Kailey gives a spiel at the beginning about how she's normal by day, but lives her "secret life" by night. When Kailey is Baby Ella she wears footie pajamas, sucks on a pacifier, plays with her dollies, and has a daddy who feeds her peanut butter ice cream when she's good, but spanks her when she colors on the walls.

I'm very open-minded about fetishes that don't hurt people, no matter how out there they may be. I say, more power to those wacky adult babies. I wouldn't wanna sit around all day in a dirty diaper with a pacifier in my mouth, but if somebody else does- dude, totally go for it. That is not my problem with Kailey. What I find disturbing is that during the day, Kailey works at a day care center.

It's not that I think she's a pedophile; I highly doubt it in fact, because she's wrapped up in the mentality of BEING a baby, not sexually objectifying them. But if someone identifies with babies, are they the best people to care for them? She seems to have a pretty warped idea of what babies are like. Two-year-olds aren't even babies, really- they are toddlers, and they are some of the most complicated, stressed-out human beings in the world. They don't just get to lay around in their cribs all day drinking out of bottles, receiving nonstop positive attention and playing fun games. They are constantly struggling to verbalize their feelings and be understood by adults. They tire and become frustrated very, very easily. Toddlers are delicate, complex little humans.

I spend four to five days a week working with toddlers, and it's the most physically and mentally challenging job I've ever had. Even though I get to do fun things like have dance parties with the kiddos, take them to the zoo, and color pictures all day long, it's not a cakewalk by any means. Every toddler has a different vocabulary, and every toddler becomes frustrated by different things. Every toddler has a different standard of cleanliness, which means that I have to remember that while one child will happily bury her hands in a bowl of potato soup, another may have a freak out if his face gets dirty. Some toddlers are terrified of strangers. Some are afraid of climbing too high on the jungle gym at the playground, or of climbing the stairs without feeling my hand firmly clasping theirs. And while I'm focusing on all of this, never turning my back for a second, trying to teach them about the world, indulging each kid in their favorite song, favorite animal, favorite crayon color, etc- I'm also making sure they don't come near the stove when it's hot, changing diapers all day long, and spending ten minutes putting on coats, hats, and mittens. I'm comforting them when they break down in tears because Mommy left, because they tripped over the toe of their shoe, or simply because they didn't have a long enough nap.

I started doing this job because I love kids and was specifically interested in toddlers. Now I do it because I fiercely love each of the kids I nanny for each week, and would do pretty much anything in the world for them. I don't do it because I want to live vicariously through toddlers. I'm not sure I can say the same for Baby Ella. In fact, I'm very curious to know if she still has her job after the airing of this episode.

See more of Kailey/Baby Ella here-


Anonymous said...

Hello. I'm Kailey from the Secret Lives of Women. I was poking around the internet looking for what people had to say about the show and I happened across your blog. I find it to be rather interesting.

I'm VERY happy to hear that you are accepting of this odd habit of mine and also that you don't think it has to do with actual children. This is, as you can imagine, the hardest thing to get people to understand. I am, however, disappointed that you don't think I'm capable of taking care of children simply because I act like one.

I'd like to point out that what you saw on TV was only a small part of what I do in my secret life. I didn't go into the psychological or emotional apects of what I do. I know how complex and unique each two year old is. I also know what goes into caring for them. I absolutely loved being a part of those two year olds lives. It brought such joy to me when I got to see them learning something new.

I'd also like to comment on the fact that "adult baby" is somewhat of an umbrella term. An adult might like to act like a child ranging anywhere from 0 months to 8years old and they would still be called an adult baby. It's not like our community is very large. It makes it easier for us to find things that are related to this "fetish" as the show called it.

Anyway, I just wanted to add my two cents. I hope I've helped clear a few things up.

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About Me

Jamaica Plain, MA, United States