Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's tough being a baby...

It really is, if you think about it. I mean, there are perks: you never have to dress yourself; someone cooks for you AND feeds you; all the boobie you want (okay, that's the male piggie view, but does that ever change?); people dress you in cute clothes; you never have to take a bathroom break; and, everybody in the world wants to play with you and to see you smile and laugh. Those are good perks. In those ways, it's great being a baby. I know, as a father, that it's awesome to walk around town with the baby. People stop and wait for you to cross the street without honking or naughty words, everyone smiles as you stroll past, and people in stores give the baby little presents. (We got a little football from the PNC Bank lady on Friday, which was cool.)

But, it is difficult to be a baby. You can't move around by yourself too well, and when you finally arrive at something COOL to play with, the Big People (*) take it away from you. There are plenty of rooms in the house that you're not allowed to go inside. Gates are put up all over the place to prevent you from going places. You're strapped into a car, facing the back seat, with no control over where you're going or what you'll do when you arrive. You sleep in a little prison, where you're stuck until you grow enough to be able to climb out of the darned thing. (Not so for my little man, who's co-sleeping; but he's stuck between two big people.) You don't have much of a choice about what you eat, although you are encouraged to make a mess with it. When you go to the bathroom, you're stuck sitting in a dirty diaper until someone gets around to changing you; and, there's always the ever-present danger of Diaper Rash.

Worst part, though, is the growing. I mean, the end result is cool - The Boy is figuring out, as he gets older, that he can do more things. The growing process, itself, is pretty painful. His body is sore and achy, and he doesn't understand why - studies have shown that pain is MUCH worse when we don't understand why it's occurring. The strain of hours of crawling per day is also making him sore - more pain he doesn't understand. (As a weight lifter, I could tell him all about Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness - the soreness that happens after too much exercise. But, he doesn't get it yet.) And, that whole teething thing is ridiculously painful for him.

Nothing we can do about the growing / teething pains, really. There is always the cold teething rings, the frozen rags, the occasional shots of Children's Tylenol (something I hate because of the amount of medication my asthma has given me) and similar remedies; but, these never really do the trick. Snuggles, hugs and walks help just as much as the other stuff.

I kind of understand why toddlers go a little nuts when they develop enough abilities for a modicum of independence; wouldn't you go a little nuts? How many of us, when we went to college, went crazy for a while? Same thing, really. Once you can communicate effectively and have the physical ability to move, then it's no wonder that you want to exercise that.

The Love and Logic people do a great job of outlining techniques for dealing with kids. I've read their childhood book (well, most of it) and have used their teaching book as a bible. Basically, the premise is allowing kids as much choice as possible in their lives, even if it's guided choice. ("Would you like green beans or broccoli with dinner tonight?" - both alternatives are acceptable.) If they make many of their decisions, then they are more likely to accept the few decisions that have to be made for them by the parents. But, I digress.

It's tough being a baby. The Boy is experiencing teething pains and growing pains, which explains why he's slept so much in the last day or two. That's fine for me, as it allows me to catch up on sleep and to get housework done - mowed the lawn and weeded the garden during one of his naps today, while I slept with him for two of the naps. But, most of his pain seems to be soothed somewhat by snuggles from Mommy and / or Daddy, particularly if those snuggles involve a trip to the park and THE SWINGS!

1 comment:

Paul D. Keiser said...

Yup... Still cute. :)