Once upon a time, a policeman rang up our house (on the phone) and demanded to know what we were doing to our son. He was not very clear in the questioning at first, and I was both puzzled and suspicious of whether he was actually a policeman or an impostor who has too much time on his hands and doing prank calls for fun.
Come to find out, someone had called the cops on us. For possible child abuse. Yeap.
I had taken some digital pictures of our baby son’s (naked) back/buttock and decided I wanted hard copies. So I took them to a Member Discount Club to develop. Are they suppose to be looking at people’s pictures at those photo places? Anyhow, they did. And called the cops. It’s not the nudity that set them off, no sireeeee. It’s the Mongolian Spots.
You say, “Mongo . . . what???”
Mongolian Spots. Our son has them. Lots and lots and lots of them (although not as bad and not as dark as some of the photos in a link below). So much so that my own mother said she’s never seen it so widespread on anyone, and my friend jokingly commented that I didn’t need to mark my baby’s (territory) to that extent. Mongolian spots is a skin pigmentation that is very common in Asian, Hispanic, and Black babies (not as visible/noticeable on Black babies). Although it is much more rare, it can also happen to Caucasian babies as well. For most children with Mongolian spots, it’s usually on the lower back/buttock area and is usually a small spot or two only. And the pigmentation will fade away completely as the children grow older. However, our son’s is so widespread that I doubt it will ever go away completely. Some of the spots may fade, such as the ones on his wrists and ankles have already started to become less noticeable. For the most part though, I think it will be part of his beautiful body for the rest of his life. But just in case they will vanish with time/age, I wanted a photo of it for keepsake.
As you can see from some sample pictures on the internet, they do resemble very very much like abusive bruises inflicted upon the child. We live in the midwest where it’s starting to be more ethnically diverse, but it’s still not to the point of where everyone know about these strange ‘birthmarks’. For those of you adopting Asian or Hispanic babies, this may or may not be a shock at first for you if your daughter/son have these spots, but certainly it will be an issue you have to deal with when other (uninformed) people are involved.
Anyway, so when I finally figured out it was the pictures I took that prompted the police call, I informed the kind sergeant that those “bruises” are in fact our son’s Mongolian Spots, not bruises. For verification, he needed to speak to our pediatrician. He told me in his 15 years of service, there was only one other case of Mongolian Spots (that was mistaken for child abuse) reported in the city that we live in. Well, at least he’s heard of it before. Anyway, it got resolved. And I did not go to jail, but we became known as “blue butt” at the pediatrician’s office.
From that point on, I realized not a whole lot of people are aware of this physical phenomenon. If I think someone might remotely have the opportunity to see our son’s naked back/buttock for whatever reason, I tell them beforehand in case they secretly think I’m a child abuser and report me. I foresee myself doing many many more explaining / educating sessions as he grows older, to his preschool teachers, babysitters, his friend’s parents, etc. etc. etc. Let’s hope the Baby Girl doesn’t have as much as he does, if any at all, otherwise it could be rather traumatic for a girl. Although, it could be a very good incentive for her to never ever wear a bikini (good only from the perspective of us, the parents of course).