Don’t you DARE breathe on that baby!

Shhh dont disturb him. He’s researching for his acceptance speech. For when he wins the Nobel Prize.

There’s a new baby in our extended family circle. My little bro is a dad for the first time. Its a joy to see him and partner discover parenthood for the first time. And funny too. Because it reminds me of when i was mum-to-one.

*Baby#1 I didnt let anybody touch him. Breathe the same air as him. In case they had germs. The plague. Bad habits. Scabies. Tapeworm. Evil thoughts. Or in case they dropped him. Because of course everyone else was an idiot and didn’t know anything about looking after a baby.

But by Baby #5 – I handed that child to anyone with two arms. Family, friends, neighbors, passing acquaintances, complete strangers. ‘What a cute baby!’ Yes she is, here why dont you hold her/ take her for an hour long walk/read her the entire Twilight series/ bring her back when she’s toilet trained and earning a six figure salary.’

*On Baby#1 – I made all his food from only natural, organically grown Mother Earth bounty. He didnt eat sugar, salt or butter. And i wanted to kill people who thought it was cute to break the food rules and slip him additive-laden ice cream and lollies.

Baby#5 – She had the very best food that money could buy. In a bottle. A packet. A Happy Meal. Now, she doesnt even know what a vegetable is. I bribe her with chicken nuggets to do what I want. She wants oatmeal choc chip cookies for breakfast? Give em to her. Anything to shut her up. It’s healthy, homemade fare isnt it? There’s oatmeal in there.

Baby #1 – Listened to classical music in the womb. (The whole put-headphones on my fat stomach thing? Yes, I did that.) I read him Shakespeare and Keats poetry when he was a scrawny premature 3 pounder. And when he was a toddler, he didnt watch any junk cartoons. NO. Because I was determined, this child was going to have every brain neuron stimulated and extended dammnit! He was going to be disgustingly intelligent in every way.

Baby#5 – Ummm well, I listened to a lot of Nelly Furtado and Timbaland when she was in the womb. So much so that when she came out, I would play it and she would stop crying. Truly. And i watched a lot of Desperate Housewives when I was breastfeeding her at 3am. I’m not sure what she’s learned from THAT. She’s extremely clever though. She knows all the words to every episode of Dora. And Little Bill. And Wonder Pets.

So yes, I understand the new parents desire to only do the very bestest for their child. When i see my new nephew, I make sure I don’t breathe on him. Try to hold him too much. And I certainly wont be slipping him candy when he’s eating his all-organic homemade baby cuisine. Because I’ve been there. And when the new parents eventually have 2,3,4 children? I will lend them our collection of Dora. Offer to babysit and feed their kids chicken nuggets. And cookies. Because they’re healthy…there’s oatmeal in there dammnit!

How about you parents out there? Have you noticed a change in the parent you were THEN and the parent you are NOW?

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14 comments

  1. OMG I am on the floor laughing. I am on kiddo #1, but I have to write. He has colored on every wall in the livingroom and I totally let him because it means he is quiet and not playing with knoves so I can write.Loved the post. Wonderful.Kristen Lamb

  2. sooooooo true. When my first baby got sick and was very snuffly, I sat up with her all night. ALL night. Lodged in the corner of my bed, against the wall, propped up with pillows. My arm ached, burned, then went numb, and still I sat with her so she was upright and could breath.When my second baby got sick, I put her upright in her stroller, covered her with blankets and locked her in tight. I put that in our room and went to sleep. Lying down. 😉

  3. Uh Oh Kristen you are really in trouble – what will u let baby #2 get away with all in the name of writing in peace!? lol My 5 always know they can get pretty much whatever they bug me for when im in the middle of a writing burst – ANYTHING just leave me alone! Thanks for the love.Spanna – you and me both. did you poke your first baby all the time when she was sleeping…to make sure she was still alive? Put a mirror in front of her face to check for breathing? and did u take the entire house with you whenever you went somewhere? and then of course the next babies – "Oh are we going out? right, hop in the car and lets go. No wipes? no problem, lets use child 1's tshirt…No clean nappy? Oh well, fresh air on the butt will do her good…"

  4. As I was reading the baby #1 bits and I couldn't help laughing cos although I consider myself a pretty relaxed mum, I know I'm also probably a bit strict and still quite idealistic at this stage lol I know I'll learn a lot on the way butI really do hope I retain some of my parenting idealism lol for the sake of my poor future-youngest lol. Just started following you — great blog!Donna x

  5. Great to have you with us Donna – we need lots of parenting idealism on this site – to remind me why its a good thing. I look at my eldest child, my son JB and Im so proud of him. And yet, Im also so sympathetic for him – he was the guinea pig i practised on and he endured a lot of my newmum angst and overstressed tension! Im so grateful that he's turned out so well, in spite of my strict-ness. Glad you're enjoying the blog!

  6. What has happened to you over 5 kids, I have impatiently squeezed into the 2 years so far with my toddler.At the age of one – she had not tasted cake or ice cream or anything with sugar, come to think of it; never watched TV; slept at 7pm at the latest; we swore to never allow her to sleep in our bed; and always had fresh home made meals.Now, at two and a half – she has a well established sweet tooth (loves cake, chocolate, cookies); has her own TV and DVD player in her room; sleeps when I remember to put her to bed (e.g. last night hubby came home at 10:30pm to find her still watching TV…I had crashed out on the other couch); she wanders in to our bed now and I don't have to energy to take her back; she eats what I can get my hands on – from two minute noodles to Malaysian takeaways to her favourite…butter sandwich :DBy the way, if you ever need to offload that Dora collection, I'll send you our postage address.

  7. Bina I am laughing and laughing and laughing WITH you. As I rustle up some saimin for my gang. And give this Beast another butter sandwich. Except I sprinkle those 100's and 1000's sugar things on hers (or else she wont eat it.) Yes, we begin with such noble good intentions. And then we move to survival mode. Just trying to stay alive here! And maintain my fragile hold on my sanity. LOLAnd the Dora collection? I would love to get rid of it but the Beast would hunt you down across the ends of the earth to get it back. 'you can run…but you cant hide' Mayb when she grows up and gets hooked on boys then i will finally be able to exile Dora from the house.

  8. hahahaha…so true I was one of those paranoid mommas with my first child. Every little cough or spot and I'm on the phone with the doctor or take the 30minute drive to the clinic. Now with my 2nd child, he gets spots under his neck or has a little cough and I'm like "OH it's ok, baby #1 had that, it'll go away by itself". Baby#1 slept with me on the bed for the first 3months whereas baby #2 has been sleeping in his crib since he was born. hehehe

  9. I have no children but as an aunt to 24 and a great-aunt to 9, I feel confident enough to say HAHAHAHAAHAHA.Never, ever touch a first time parent's kid. Actually don't touch anything in a diaper, they leak, they drool and you'll have to clean their tushie. I get 8 bucks an hour to do that if you want a night out.LOL. I don't do it free anymore. I like a weekend to myself occasionally.But if you'll trade dog sitting…we can talk.

  10. Tirzah thats ALOT of children to be an aunt to! I gotta be honest and say that I couldnt stand to babysit someone else's child, Im awful with other people's kids. "Never EVER touch a first time parents kid." – I second that emphatically!

  11. What a funny post! And so true. With our first, a nurse cousin told us we were too clean with the kid and she'd never build up an immunity if we kept her sterile. We didn't listen, of course. Washed all her toys after she went to sleep at night. Mopped the floor twice a day–naptime and evening. By the second time, our obsession with cleanliness had abated and we became normal again. Or what passes for normal at our house.

  12. Having my two children eight years apart has been a journey. With my first I was pretty tightly wound, except for TV (my second doesn't know about child oriented shows). My second I keep saying "we didn't break the first" whenever my husband gets uptight.

  13. Kuaback – I hear you. The doctors in Samoa quickly learned to hate me when i had my first child. Dr Adams used to say to me, "A little bit of (internet) knowledge is a dangerous thing ay?" as he shook his head and tried not to roll his eyes at me as i hovered over my child, offering all the ideas of what i thought HE should be doing for my kid.Caroline, my mother in law kept telling me the exact same thing – "your kids are too clean, let them play in the dirt or else they will never build up their immunity". Of course i didnt listen…until a few more babies down the line! Yes, we're a little less obsessed with cleanliness in our house now too. Love the comments people. Keep em coming.

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