JUST like the Little Mister, I haven’t stopped learning for the last eight months. While he has learnt everything he knows, I’ve learnt more than any books, lecturers or study sessions could have taught me. And I’ve learnt it all from him.
I’ve learnt that for my Little Mister, there’s a certain cry which means hungry, a certain look which means tired and a certain grizzle which means bored. There is a certain jerky movement for wind and a jut of the chin to one side which means sleep is around the corner. When he was littler, Tony and I learnt (slowly) that swaddling, shushing, singing and rocking all worked when it came to settling our baby. We learnt he like to be winded on my shoulder. We learnt that tuning the radio off station and setting it at a certain volume helped him sleep.
I learnt everything about him. But I also learnt a whole heap of stuff that I wish I had known nine months ago.
I learnt that everyone will have an opinion on how best to settle/feed/clothe/bathe/generally care for your baby. I learnt that they might not always be right and to stop taking their advice so seriously/as a criticism/ to heart.
I learnt that baby books don’t have to be finished. Take what you want from them, then put them back on the shelf – forever. Then, use the spare time to sleep.
I learnt there’s no point filling the freezer with pots of home made baby mush. If the boy wants to eat food out of a squeezy pouch bought from the supermarket, it’s quicker, easier, and fine by me. Pick your battles – and this one isn’t worth fighting – if you win, it means more work for you.
I learnt that the human body can survive on very little sleep. Very little indeed.
I learnt that getting up at night, repeatedly, is only hard at the getting out of bed stage. After that, you get extra special cuddles with the little person who loves you unconditionally. And you get them while they are at their sleepiest – which is also when they are cutest.
I learnt that the world won’t end if the house doesn’t get cleaned twice a week.
I don’t like clutter. But I’ve learnt that sometimes you’ve just got to let go and put up with it. Because if the clutter involves an excersaucer in the lounge, it’s clutter which keeps the Little Mister entertained EVERY TIME he gets bored.
I learnt to always carry wipes, especially when you don’t think you’ll need them. The little person will be sick on your clothes if you don’t. Similarly, it’s not worth saving your best clothes for a special occasion. They’ll get pooed on. The same goes for baby clothes. Dress your little one up in their Sunday best as often as you can. Soon the outfit will be irreparably stained, and within two weeks it won’t fit anyway. On a similar note, only feed a baby banana while they’re in their yukkiest never to be seen in public pyjamas.
I learnt why take away outlets exist. I learnt that it doesn’t matter what toys I want Milin to like. If it’s not made in China out of cheap garishly coloured plastic with flashing lights and annoying music, he won’t love it. Similarly, it doesn’t matter how cute the outfit is, if it’s going to be difficult to take on and off – don’t buy it.
It goes on. There is so much more. He might be small, but he’s the best teacher I’ve ever had.