Hey there baby,
How’s it going? Blink once for good, twice for bad and three times for I don’t know what the hell you are saying.
It’s okay if you are feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment, it’s a tough old world. Not that you will have seen much beyond your parents arms and the little prison they call your crib, but I appreciate you haven’t had the easiest start and are probably still catching your breath. Let me reassure you before we go any further, what happened on day one is NOT typical – I promise! Well, at least in my vast 15 months experience there has been nothing of the sort since, so I’m fairly confident that it was a one off initiation torture type thing, you know, like in gangs – or frat houses.
So hopefully that has given you some reassurance and you can relax and settle in a bit more. I know things are different ‘on the outside’ and I know it’s a lot to get used to – the noise and the smells for a start. Never mind that they are mostly from you, it’s still a fair whack to get your tiny little head around. I’ve been there and honestly, it gets easier.
I just wish I had known then what I know now and even more than that, wish my parents hadn’t been so clueless. Okay, so I often had no idea what I wanted or needed, but a bit of initiative on their part wouldn’t have gone amiss; maybe through a spot of mind reading or a word from the street on what was what. By street I mean other babies, who I appreciate are rarely found roaming actual streets but it’s an expression, go with it. So anyway, I’ve decided to put together a nifty little guide to give your parents some hints and pointers. They can then stop faffing about with the stupid books and start doing what you want, I mean need… obviously – stupid laptop!
For Heaven’s sake – just feed us. However much we want, whenever we want it. We’re not interested in what some stuffy Nanny thinks about regulating our feeding clocks, or what the back of a powder tub recommends. Do you always eat and drink the same amount, at the same time every day? Hey? I bet you don’t (particularly when we don’t give you chance to eat at all). So give a guy or gal a break and don’t be shy with the creamy goodness, you know it makes sense.
As parents, it’s really up to you if you want to bestow us with such a gift, as we don’t have much disposable cash to nip out and buy our own. If you do, we of course may or may not decide to accept it, we’re not stupid and soon work out that no milk bursts forth from its teat. However, it may provide some comfort. After a few months of dummy rejection, I began to enjoy having a chomp as I fell asleep and also liked throwing it at my Mummy and Daddy, awarding myself extra points if I hit them in the eye. N.B If your baby does use a dummy, they will need you to retrieve and replace it up to 28 times a night which will cause sleep problems, but then if you don’t use a dummy, we might not settle, which will cause sleep problems. It’s one fun gamble after another for you guys isn’t it? Lastly, with dummy use, there will also be some other grown-ups that will frown at your choice to use one and secretly or openly judge you. These people are called idiots.
So, the general feedback I receive from other bambinos on this is, why? Why would someone who loves you dunk you in a bucket of water and rub stuff on you while ignoring your SOS screams and then take PHOTOS?! You Mummy and Daddy types need to realise – and sharpish that, firstly, the water is way too cool – you won’t burn us by adding a bit of warmth you know. Secondly, we don’t actually like being all stripped off and exposed, particularly when not cuddled close in your arms. Thirdly, we really don’t give a hoot about being all fresh, clean and stinking of Johnsons – we just want to drink milk and chill out! Oh, and a hooded towel does not compensate for the ordeal we have just endured, even if there is a duck on it. We don’t even know what a duck is! As newborns, we’re really not that dirty you know – save your water until we’re rolling around in puddles and rubbing slug juice all over ourselves. And if you must wash us, don’t be all showbiz and David Bailey about it, just get it done!
I’ll agree with you on this, sleep is a complex old business for us babies. You see, we get tired a lot – there is so much going on, plus crying and drinking is pretty exhausting when we’re doing it for most of the day and night. But the thing is – and I can say this now with hindsight; that much like you, we don’t always know what we’re doing either. I just didn’t understand how it all worked and the longer I stayed awake and more tired I became, the harder it was to switch my little head into relaxing mode and drift off. I really had no choice but to adopt the sleep is for losers philosophy as I of course couldn’t admit to my Mummy that staying awake for eight hours straight might not have been my finest idea. So by all means, try your routines, try your witchcraft but mostly, try to understand it from our perspective – which is that we are more important than you and think you should just suck it up. Oh, and while we’re talking demands,don’t be afraid to give in on the whole sleeping snuggled next to us thing, we don’t bite… yet. Don’t worry about making rods, crux’s and other words I don’t understand, it’s not as if we’ll still be sneaking into your bed at 17. At least, that’s what my Mummy and Daddy think, cough cough.
Pees and Poos
There’s not a lot to say about this other than, sometimes nappies don’t work. Oh, and sometimes nature calls in between nappies. It’s the gentle breeze, it’s freedom, it’s the devil in us – look, I don’t really understand the science but we can’t help it so you’re just going to have to roll up your sleeves and grit your teeth here. There will be occasional poo massacres at the supermarket when you haven’t brought any spare clothes (tut tut), there will be wee splattered walls at home and there will more than likely be disgust and despair on your faces; but during those times you just need to remember that you brought this all on yourselves by having a baby, so basically need to stop whining. Hopefully that will help a little.
Play and singing
This is a nice simple one: We’d like you to just do this all day please. We find it much preferable to watching you eat lunch, trying to get stuff done or attempting to make an important telephone call, which you may already know by the helpful feedback screams we do any time your attention is diverted from us. You all have very nice voices and we believe you most intelligent for knowing so many clever lyrics to catchy songs – you have clearly done your homework. We also believe you are the funniest person ever each time you play peekaboo and jump up from behind the sofa. I’m sure doing that over and over for hours on end isn’t exhausting at all on two hours sleep, so keep up the good work!
Happy Ever After
Regardless of the above, please be assured that you quite literally mean the world to your tiny little newborn, and actually can’t do a whole lot wrong (other than the above of course.) Keep those cuddles coming, keep plodding on, and before you know it life will be fractionally easier in a few months. Apart from some days… some days will be even harder… and some days no coffee will be strong enough… and some days you will cry… a lot. But mostly, your life will be pretty amazing, and you’ll have us to thank – a new toy ought to do it.
So babies, until the next time, maybe when we both have a little more to say / babble to each other, I hope this helps and yields some results. If it doesn’t, you know who to blame (clue: not me.) I wish you lots of smiles, sleep and snuggles, and I’ll start working on the ‘Toddlers Guide to Parent Terrorising,’ ready to hand out this time next year; it’s not one to be missed! In a while, crocodiles.
Love, Your Friendly Neighbourhood Babaman xxx