Having recently emerged from an existential crisis, I can tell you that life if full of mysteries. Reflecting on my first child’s arrival, I am now sure that babies come with their own little mysteries intact.
Spending nine months on the earth prior to their arrival gives them ample time to plan, plot and devise their own ideas. Given the effort they have put in, it is no surprise that when their ideas come into conflict with your own, that they are unwilling to step away from them.
Before walking, talking and other life skills, comes learning to fit sleeping eating and playing into 24 hours, in a way that fits with the rest of humanity. The extent of my son’s reluctance to conform at this young age I was unprepared for. Perhaps a sign of future mental strength useful for over throwing military dictators or president of the world or whatever, but it certainly made for an interesting start for proceedings.
The mystery of the stealth pee
Babies love going to the bathroom without their nappy on. So much so, that they will wait until you have taken their nappy off to go to the bathroom. And what an aim they have. Curtains, walls, radiators, bed, clean clothes, parent. You name it, they can reach it. And, they’ll even do it with a smile on their face.
The mystery of the random sleeping patterns
The theory goes, that because the womb is so noisy, that newborn babies prefer to sleep with a low to medium level of noise. They find that the perfect surroundings you have created to lull your baby off to sleep a distraction. However, a baby that sleeps perfectly all day through the daily noise of visitors, phonecalls and hovering and will then stay awake all night presents a challenge. We tried white noise on the second child, and I am not sure if they in fact fell asleep, but it worked a treat for my husband and I.
The mystery of the waking baby
The baby is asleep. The house is tidy. The first born is quietly colouring. The sun is shining and the birds are tweeting. What could make this picture of domesticity complete? A cup of tea. On with the kettle. And I am not sure what it is about the pitch of the boiling point of water, but every single time I boil my kettle when the baby is asleep, it will wake the baby up. Every time. If I could remember this fact every time, I may in fact get to put both feet up at the same time one of these days.
The mystery of the early start weekends
On a great day, my son will sleep from seven to seven and my daughter will sleep the same. During the week they could sleep until eight. This is brilliant I hear you say. And I agree. It is great. In fact it’s been life altering. And it would be the icing on the cake if it happened at the weekend. Ever. Its generally six, but some mornings it can be half five. This generally coincides with a few glasses of wine the night before. This has led me to believe, on a number of occasions, that they know more than they let on.
The mystery of the magnetic baby
My daughter is so good at finding the smallest and most dangerous things to eat in the house, that I am thinking of hiring her out to a baby proofing company to test their products. Loose screws? Stanley blade fallen between floor boards? Mouldy floor cloth? Literally like a magnet. The time and effort taken to acquire these things must be applauded, but it hasn’t done much for my nerves.
The mysteries of the baby are many, and I stand in admiration over the determination of my own children as they have begun their own journey in life. And there is no sign of any existential crisis – they know exactly where they are going and what they are doing when they get there. I now take my inspiration from them