Since embarking upon the journey of motherhood, Isabel Roloff has focused upon being a good parent.
She and Jacob welcomed their son in December of 2021. They are clearly making sure that they do not repeat Jacob’s parents’ mistakes.
Part of that has meant keeping Mateo out of the public eye. This very basic appreciation of their son’s human rights has proven controversial among some Little People, Big World fans.
It has also meant that photos of the toddler are very rare. Which makes this pic extra special:
Just a few days ago, Isabel Roloff took to her Instagram Stories.
There, she posted a photo of Jacob Roloff, her caption making it clear that it was a “zoo day.”
Little Mateo, who will be 15 months old later this week, is perched on Jacob’s shoulders.
Zoo trips are clearly a family favorite — for the trips themselves, and for these rare photos.
Mateo’s face is not any more visible now than it was for any of the previous pics. And that’s just the way that Jacob and Izzy want it.
He’s a toddler. His focus isn’t on achieving Instagram fame, and he has no grasp of what that could mean. Instead, the wee one was probably just really excited to view the animal exhibits.
Isabel doesn’t always have to go so far as to include a screenshot of how far she has walked that day to redact pics of Mateo.
Clearly, this time, a little too much of him was showing for comfort.
Their respect for his personhood is commendable. If Jacob’s parents had felt the same way during his childhood, things could have been much better for him on several levels.
Remember, Isabel and Jacob aren’t just guessing about what life might be like for their son if they plaster his face all over the internet.
That ship sailed for Jackson, Mateo’s eldest cousin, the moment that he entered the world. Zach and Tori were (and are) Little People, Big World stars.
Jacob quit reality TV the moment that it became an option for him — that is to say, the moment that he became 18. (Which is a great reminder that our country needs federal regulations to protect minors from reality TV exploitation)
That meant that he and Isabel, though public figures themselves by virtue of Jacob’s childhood and family ties, could give Mateo a clean slate.
It’s about more than just not filming him for TLC or letting producers follow his young life.
Even Instagram pics could become a target for harassment, cruel comments, and more. Not to mention that they would also be an indelible record of his life that Mateo might grow up to resent.