Friday, February 17, 2012

Different in Mexico

Lots of people ask me about our life in Mexico. To be honest, there are many things that are similar to the US about our daily life, especially when we, and many people in the middle and upper classes, frequently travel to the States and bring back baby products from there. I might have mentioned at some point, that Mexicans are allowed to bring in 300 dollars worth of goods. Seeing as baby products are ridiculously expensive here, particularly those made in China, in a lot of ways, externally at least, we could be living in Anytown, USA. However, when you live here, some aspects of raising a baby are just different.

1) Water- When Baby Boy hears the sound of water, he instantly looks at our jug (garrafon) of drinking water. It is to the point where he is confused when the water sound is not coming from there.
an old picture, but you can see it on the right

2) Walks- I go on daily walks with Baby Boy, but on those walks I also frequently encounter street children. They come in from the villages outside the city, and I can't help but feel a pang of sadness every time I walk by with my nice stroller, and a mother is trying to carry multiple children in wraps while walking up to cars to sell candy or ask for food. Additionally, many of our neighbors will not walk except inside our gated community for reasons of "security". I am most definitely an anomaly.

3) Bath- Back to the water issue, it is very very hard to prevent Baby Boy from putting wet toys in his mouth, and actually at this point we don't worry about it too much, but when he was younger we had to be quite vigilant as our tap water is far from clean.

trying to avoid this ^

4) Strangers- As I've mentioned in previous posts, babies are loved by strangers and I get comments every single time I go out, without fail. There is none of that mind-your-won-business mentality around here.

5) Superstitions- Local superstitions mean that Baby Boy is frequently touched by strangers on the hands, feet, cheeks and so on. This is to prevent bad juju from complementing him. Needless to say, it took a while for me to get used to this and I still semi-cringe inside when I see a stranger leaning in for the touch.

6) Nannies- The nannies everywhere! As a matter of fact, I have not even met most of the mothers on my street. Though I recognize the kids and their nannies, I only see mothers in the evening, if at all. And to clarify, the majority of these mothers do not work, there is just a nanny culture here.

7) Food and Formula- The green, organic, local, back to nature movements have not shown up here yet. So for those that can afford it- formula is the way to go, and my choices for store-bought baby food are very limited, as in Gerber or Gerber.

I think those are the big ones. I'll write more if I think of them, but I think this does show some of the big day to day differences in raising a baby here.

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