Baby's Open Letter to New Parents
"I used to be able to sleep whenever I wanted. Now you’re telling me to have short sleeps and long sleeps? You know I can’t tell the time, right?"
Hello Big People,
Congratulations! You are officially parents. My parents. You’re welcome. I did that.
I know you’re feeling a little overwhelmed. And tired. Really tired. I can see your eyebrows twitching. Don’t worry. This new relationship we have going on will be a piece of cake. (Just don’t give me any cake. Processed sugar is not my bag. Yet.)
This sleeping thing is proving tricky, wouldn’t you say? We’ll have to work on that. For starters, ‘day’ and ‘night’ is a brand new concept for me. I used to be able to sleep whenever I wanted. Now you’re telling me to have short sleeps and long sleeps? You know I can’t tell the time, right?
Anyway, that’s why I’m not sleeping. What’s your excuse?
Let’s talk talking
We should probably talk about talking, too. Except we can’t. Because I can’t. Talk. My vocabulary consists entirely of whines. There are about sixty-seven of them I reckon and they’re all completely different as I’m sure you can tell. Some are for tiredness. Some are because I’m hungry, grumpy, itchy, happy, thirsty, constipated, unsure or uncomfortable. Sometimes I’m just checking the volume works.
So, the menu. I feel like we’re not being as creative as we could be. I understand there’s a zero-waste movement going on, but this one-ingredient, milk-only diet is lacking a little flair, wouldn’t you say? I’m not about to go all Gordon Ramsay on you, but … well, actually I might.
By the way, what’s that rubber thing you keep shoving in my mouth. Is that a plug? A dummy. Rude. Oh but, don’t take it away. I quite like it. Give it back. It’s mine. Forever.
Speaking of going away, why do you disappear all the time? Are you a wizard? I’m not going to understand object permanence until I’m at least four months old, so when you say, ‘I just need a shower’, as far as I’m concerned, you cease to exist. Think about that for a while. Yes. You got there. Showers are selfish.
Hmmm. The guilt. It’s pretty real, isn’t it? Don’t worry. Parental guilt is very normal. You’re going to spend most of my life thinking you’ve permanently messed me up. And the older I get, the more I’m going to realise I can use that to my advantage.
But whatever we go through together, just remember I love you more than anything else in the whole world. This’ll be fun.
And thank you. You’ve given me life and I’ve taken yours.
Bad advice for babies
Wherever you turn someone is always trying to give you advice. Everyone thinks they know best, especially grown-ups. Well, little one, not all advice is good advice. Here are the six rules of thumb that are terrible for babies.
Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.
This is ridiculous. Sometimes no is actually the answer, especially if the question is, ‘Can I play with the hairdryer?’ No. You can’t. Cut your parents some slack and take no for an answer. Please! They’re begging you.
Never go to bed angry.
Mostly this is just impractical. What if you fall asleep mid-tantrum? Is that not allowed? Of course it’s allowed. It’s a win for everyone! Take all the shut-eye you can get.
Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.
We’ll let you in on a secret. You don’t have to work at all. You’re a baby. Your whole life is one giant staycation. So don’t stress. You don’t have to spend any time thinking about your life’s purpose. Eat, sleep and fill your nappy.
If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.
Unless we’re talking about driving the car. Don’t try that. Or sharpening the knives, ‘fixing’ the laptop, eating bugs, trying to be a contestant on The Bachelor. Just give up. You’ve hardly even got a frontal lobe.
You won’t get in trouble if you just tell the truth.
Ironically, this is a lie and it will get you in a lot of trouble. Deny! Deny! Deny! Or blame the dog.
Take all advice with a grain of salt.
Don’t add a grain salt. You’re a baby. It’s bad for your kidney development.
Still need more guidance? Then you may need our Self Help for Babies books.
Beck and Matt Stanton are the acclaimed co-creators of the bestselling picture books This Is a Ball, Did You Take the B from My _ook?, The Red Book, Wait! and The Book That Never Ends. Matt’s middle-grade series, Funny Kid, debuted as the #1 Australian kids’ book and has legions of fans around the world. They live in Sydney with their three young children. The first two books in their new Self-Help for Babies series, Sleep 101: How to Sleep Like a Baby and Whine Guide: Find Your Voice and Start Sweating the Small Stuff – in stores from 2nd September.
This article was first published in KidSpot and republished on theAsianparent with permission.