I fly a lot, and the other day I was flying back to Sydney from Perth, and I sat next to a woman with a 4 month old baby girl. The baby was lively and interested in everything around her. She kept trying to touch my arm, and her mother kept stopping her. I said it was OK, but the mother still made sure she couldn’t touch me. So the baby kept looking at me, and the mother tried to distract her with toys, and video. It didn’t work, because a human face is more interesting to a baby. Eventually I said to the mother, “Isn’t she allowed to touch other people?”. The mother replied , “Yes, but I am trying to teach her social boundaries”.
I thought that was sad. This young mother put an enormous amount of energy into trying to block her baby from doing what comes naturally, exploring the social world. Of course she has to protect her baby from danger, but there was no danger. I presume she reasoned that all strangers are potentially dangerous, so she will discourage contact with all strangers. Especially men.
I am inclined to think that this baby would grow up better able to follow her natural social instincts, and better able to hear her own natural impulses, if her mother relaxed a little and gave her a bit of slack.
Throughout the flight the mother worked hard at getting the baby to focus on the activities she was supposed to be focusing on, be it a toy, or a book, or a video. The book was a book of pictures and words, and Mum was being very thorough in pointing to a picture, and saying the word next to it. Whenever the baby looked away, she was almost forcibly brought back to the book. I suspected the Mum was trying to give her baby an academic head start. It gave me a headache watching this little scenario. Please mothers and fathers, let your children follow their inclinations. Don’t enforce your inclinations on them. So many people grow up not knowing what they want, and not enjoying what they do, because they were forced into straight jackets as children.
The homeopathic part is to wonder which constitutional remedy might suit this mother, and help her to relax a little. Clearly she is someone who needs to be in control, which could include Natrums, Ferrums, Arsenicum, Nux, Ignatia, Lacs, Cuprums, and the Kalis. She is also someone who appears to be performance orientated. This would fit all of the above too, but especially Ferrums, Arsenicum, Nux, Ignatia and Cuprums. The amount of attention she paid to her baby suggests she is very highly invested in this little girl. She is not some executive mother who would rather leave the parenting to a nanny. This does not rule out any of the above remedies, but it is suggestive especially of the Natrums, Ignatia and the Lac remedies. This is because these types form particularly strong bonds with their children, and their lives often revolve around being mothers.
The almost desperate quality to the mother’s attempts to keep the baby focused on safe and approved activities made me think of the Lac remedies. These remedies suit mothers whose whole existence revolves around their child. They use the child as their main form of intimacy, often to the exclusion of their partner. If this mother was always this focused on her child, then a Lac constitution is likely. Lac mothers worry too much that something could happen to their children, who are their only source of safe love.
If she was a Lac constitutionally, which one? Well, there was a rather tough side to her and the way she enforced boundaries, so I would exclude the softer, more feminine Lacs like Lac bovus (cows milk), Lac delphinum and Lac humanum. Furthermore, she was slim and bony, which emphasised her toughness, and doesn’t fit with the softer Lacs. Neither does it fit with Lac leo. But it does fit the appearance of Lac felinum and Lac equis, two potentially tough Lacs who are usually slim. Lac felinum tends to have a fear and distrust of men, so that could account for her attempts to keep her baby away from me. In support of this remedy, her nose sloped upwards at the base, like Samantha in ‘Bewitched’. This is a typical Lac felinum nose, (unless you are Scandinavian, where all the women tend to have noses like this). Furthermore, when I commented that the baby was a little young to be taught such lessons in social boundaries, the mother said ‘yes’ without any noticeable animus. I am sure that if she had been Lac equis there would have been a fiery response to my interference. So I had the impression that this dedicated and controlling mother would probably relax a little if she had some potentised cat’s milk.