Sunday, 29 November 2015

It's a hard life...

I find it all too easy to feel a pang of jealousy towards my daughter in my weaker moments.  One of these days, I'd like to be wheeled around at a leisurely pace on my back rather than having to trudge through town, fed and cuddled on demand and, perhaps most pointedly, indulge in several daytime naps and an unbroken twelve hours' shuteye overnight (it's great that she's now sleeping through, but I doubt very much she's waking up in an 'are-they-breathing?' panic at multiple intervals in the same way that her parents are).

This envy usually evaporates though, when I consider the fact that being a baby isn't so easy after all.  From the moment that you're either squeezed out of a tiny orifice or wrenched into the open at birth, every day brings a learning curve and the necessity of adjusting to new sensations, surroundings and experiences.  The fact that little miss has just started teething makes me think about the on and off agony my wisdom teeth caused in my teens, and how the pain would have been all the more excruciating if it was completely new to me and not something I could relieve myself ('spread Calgel on my gums' is not the easiest request to decipher from a four-month-old).  There are plenty of other moments my daughter goes through which make me realise that actually it's a pretty hard life, being a baby:

  • The fact that, no less than eight times over a (thankfully now over) eight-week phase, her tiny legs were jabbed with vaccines which made her sleepy, weepy and irritable.  However crucial they are, it's hard to explain that to a small baby's red, crumpled face after they'd previously been all smiles each time in the surgery waiting room.
  • Although she's made it pretty clear from week one that she hates it with a passion, her mummy still plonks her on her tummy at multiple intervals during the day and waves toys above her head while she inevitably faceplants, drools and squawks.
  • Every Monday, she's taken to a baby music class where she's wrestled into various positions regardless of how full her tummy or heavy her eyelids, forced to put up with a full hour of mummy's caterwauling and the even louder singing of the less self-conscious mums around her, and usually placed next to an over-zealous baby boy twice her weight who cuffs her round the face during an excited rendition of 'round and round the garden, like a teddy-bear'.
  • Every month, she's taken to a cold, clinical space where she's stripped naked without warning, flung onto a pair of scales then has to undergo the humiliation of her mummy discussing her latest bowel movement in graphic detail with a health visitor.
  • And finally, the fact that her mummy is already plotting various ridiculous outfits to dress her in over Christmas which will serve as blackmail fodder and boyfriend deterrent for many years to come.
So, next time you find yourself looking at your sweetly slumbering baby and get a case of the green -eyed monster, look at it this way: they need that sleep to grow and develop, but also to recover from all the crap you put them through!

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