Babyland – Episode 3

I believe that being a parent is a taxing job, if not the toughest and challenging job there is, in the whole wide world. In the weeks since we had our baby, my wife and I realised and learned a lot of things on the job. Being a parent involves being perpetually tired, endlessly worried and constantly thinking of the best way to bring up the child, all of which I had covered in detail in a previous post (Babyland – Episode 2). In the same breath though, I also believe that some of the perks and rewards that comes with being a parent, is something that can’t be matched by any other job in the world.

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To start with, there is the benefit of watching the miracle that is a baby figuring out how to do things on his own and the joy etched on his face when he successfully does it. For the first few weeks, he slept and remained on his back obediently. He would remain lying on his back anywhere we chose to leave him, as he slept, cooed, gazed intently at anything that caught his fancy or simply getting to know his hands and feet. Those weeks gave us the false believe that it wasn’t that difficult be a parent. I mean, how difficult was it to take care of a stationary baby, right?

One fine day, we found him on his tummy, giving us a wide smile, with his hands stuck under him and his legs flailing behind him, excitement evident on his face. Days later, we found him on his tummy, smiling at us, with both his hands and legs flailing gently around him. He had figured out how to move his hand free from under his body. Then, he progressed to flipping from his back to his tummy and then back as he wanted. He was basically rolling around at will.

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Soon, he decided rolling around was boring and that it was time to crawl. He started off with failed attempts at raising his buttocks. After days of working on his muscles, he managed to raise his buttocks up and remained in that manner for a while without dropping down in exhaustion. Then, he got stuck in figuring out how to move his knees and hands in a coordinated manner and ended up dropping to his tummy in frustration and exhaustion.

Realising that he was getting nowhere, he decided he might have better luck with a combination of “swimming” and a military crawl. I was pretty certain then and still hope that in the future, he would give Michael Phelps or his contemporary at that time, a swim for his money. With the “swimming” and military crawl move, our baby was on the go, no longer stationary. Then one morning, we found him crawling towards us, at the speed of a speeding bullet. As he approached us, he gave us this wide smile of his, implying that he has accomplished something and was proud of himself for having pulled it off. A smile to warm the heart.


Then, there is the joy of teaching and watching the baby, learn and repeat what has been taught. To start with, it is not easy to teach a baby. Then, waiting for the baby to show what was learned, takes ages. Babies tend to have a mind of their own. They generally do the opposite of what you would like them to do. However, when they finally show you what they have learned, mimicking as close as can be expected of a baby, of what they observed from you, it is truly a wonderful sight and feeling.

I remember watching my wife teaching our baby the actions from a nursery rhyme. It was the “Wheels on the bus” song and she was trying to show him the actions for wheels going round and round as well as the wipers going swish, swish and swish. He would smile amusingly at my wife as she made those actions as she sang the song. At times he would laugh and only God and he knows if he was laughing at her or with her.

Being the teacher that she is, she persisted with it and one afternoon while coaxing him to eat by singing the nursery rhyme, he rewarded her persistency. He did the exact same actions according to the verse of the nursery rhyme. Now, that was a sight to see. My wife laughing away happily as he showed he had learned something, as well as that of our baby laughing at the sight of her laughing.

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Lastly, there is the benefit of being beneficiaries in the transaction of unconditional love and unlimited adoration between parent and baby, that goes both ways. Having a baby brings out all the love in us and the ability to adore somebody. More importantly, both love and adoration, comes out unconditionally and in unlimited supply. The fact that we are exhibiting these emotions, puts our mind and body in a very positive state. When the same love and adoration is returned to us, both unconditionally and in unlimited supply, the positive state of our mind just multiplies.

Now, adults may show love and adoration through expensive gifts, flowery words and beautiful flowers. These tend to make us feel good. However, the feeling of love and adoration that one gets from a baby, can be exhilarating. A baby, with no means to show love and adoration through expensive gifts, flowery words and beautiful flowers, does it in a very simple yet powerful manner. One that we adults may have forgotten.

It is reflected in the eyes of the baby gazing at you, in the way the baby melts into your arms, in the silent words mouthed by the baby and the pure innocent smile the baby gives out to you. The baby achieves this by simply being there with you and only you, at that moment. Having experienced precious moments like this with our baby, I have to admit that it is truly a valuable and powerful feeling. It is one that only a baby can pull-off.


Being a parent, especially of a baby, might be a taxing and tough job. However, the benefit of watching a baby successfully figure out how to do things on his own, the joy of teaching and watching a baby, learn and repeat what was taught and being participants in the exchange of unconditional love and unlimited adoration, can be quite rewarding. More than anything else, being parents is an opportunity granted by God and that in itself should be rewarding enough, right?

P.S.: Featured image is sourced from Pexels.

Babyland – Episode 2

Before my wife and I had our baby, our closest experience with babies was that of carrying and playing with the babies of our friends and cousins. They were kind enough to let us fuss over their baby when we visited or met up with them. Now for those who may not be aware, babies are absolutely cute and adorable. They are fun to play with and fuss over, at least when they are in a good mood. All fun ends when they start bawling. That is usually when we return the baby back to the sender. They always seemed to know what to do.

We learned pretty much on the very first day, that with our little baby, there is no such thing as return to sender. We are the “senders”. We had to know how to deal with him. So, just as numerous parents would have done with their baby before us, we too started our process of learning the “how to handle your baby”, on the very day that we met him. Now, we have always loved our parents all our lives and admire them for all that they have done and achieved in their lives. However, our admiration for our parents and all parents in general, went up several notches, since our baby came into our lives, now that we have a baby and are experiencing life as parents ourselves.

Image sourced from Pixabay

To start with, there is the general lack of sleep and rest, something that I had covered in “Babyland – Episode 1“. I have seen many fathers and mothers come in to work looking like they could use an hour or two of extra sleep. I felt for them and would tell them to go home early and have some good rest if they don’t have anything due urgently. They usually responded wearily with a mixed look, bordering somewhere between gratefulness and amusement. I do realise now, the folly of such advice no matter how well intended it might have been then.

Lack of good sleep and rest is generally the norm since our baby came into our lives. Good rest with uninterrupted sleep is indeed a luxury these days. We are definitely grateful for the rare occasions when baby chooses to sleep through the night or when he goes for a sleep-over with his grandparents. Thankfully, our little one is slowly getting his routine sorted out over the past few months. I suppose, he feels that his parents do need some rest at night, if they are going to play with him the next day. Then again, having observed other parents and recalling our experiences with our parents, I suppose parents just don’t get to rest until their brood has grown up. Even then, it is just ever so slightly.

Image sourced from Pixabay

Next, is the amount of worrying that creeps into the mind and dealing with it effectively. We experienced it for the first time, about two months in, when our little friend was feverish in the middle of the night, over a weekend. We had no idea why he was having fever or what we were to do at that time. My mind was racing away, imagining the worst, having heard of stories from some of our friends, about the time their baby was admitted in the hospital due to fever or an infection. Thankfully with some advice from our parents and support over Whatsapp from doctors that we knew, we managed to bring his temperature down.

Other than health, there is also the worrying about his future education. Listening to our friends talk about schools, comparing the standards between public and private schools as well as the cost associated with private schools, gives us the creeps. Then hearing from others about how expensive higher education is these days, just multiplies the worry to another level. If it is that expensive and complicated now, how would it be when it is time for him to study?

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Besides health and education, there is also the worry about safety of our baby, within the house and when he goes out of it. Trying to keep our baby away from the risky areas at home is in itself trying, now that he moves around at speeds nearing that of speeding bullets. There are the power points, television, edges of chairs and tables, high areas ranging from our sofa, chairs, to the television rack, kitchen drawers and cabinets, refrigerator and the balcony. Keeping him safe around these areas takes a lot of creativity and sudden bursts of energy.

Then, regular news about the weird and dangerous people out there and the things that they do to children regardless of age, can at times be overwhelming. Reading about children being kidnapped, molested, raped, abused and other such sad news, make us wonder as to the kind of society and world that we are bringing up our baby in. If it was possible, I would love to wrap our baby up in bubble wraps and keep him close but then that is not how one brings up a child, is it?

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Other a general lack of good rest and being worried around the clock, one other thing that increases our admiration and respect for parents in general, is the way a child is brought up. As our baby starts to become more independent, we have to figure out how we are to discourage him from doing something wrong or dangerous. We have to learn how to punish him constructively, when he does something even after being reprimanded, without limiting his ability to do things on his own, confidently. We have to recognise the balance between teaching him something against making him dependent on us to learn things rather than discovering them on his own. We have to identify how to inculcate good values in him and make him feel for it naturally instead of forcing it upon him.

We want him to learn to respect people around him and not feel that it is his right to have things his way. Being the only child, at least for now, we want him to understand that it is important to share things with others, especially when it is limited in number, rather than thinking that it belongs only to him. We want him to be helpful and mindful of others and not become a selfish person who only thinks of himself. We want him to become someone useful to the society instead of one who becomes a burden.

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I guess parenting may not be something that is easy to start with. The path of parenting will be full of potholes and sharp corners. We may make mistakes but more importantly we will just have to figure out how to correct it and bounce back from it. Someone, a parent himself, told me once, that no parents are ever ready to be parents. I suppose we all learn along the way and improvise as we move along. With faith in God, I believe we will be just fine. After all, we are the “senders” and in fact, we couldn’t have “received” something more precious from God, our little baby.

P.S.: Featured image is sourced from Pexels.

Babyland – Episode 1

It took quite a while for us to get to the beginning of our journey in parenthood. There were the false starts. There were the long gaps of waiting in between the many false starts. There were the anxious moments of trying to be parents and then waiting to find out if we were ever going to get there. Then there were the trying periods of getting over the disappointments and trying all over again.

So along the way, while waiting to actually start our journey in parenthood, we accumulated a significant amount of theoretical knowledge on what to expect and do when we do become parents. We received lots of advice from our parents and close friends on what to expect and do when we did become parents. We amassed quite a number of books along the way on what to expect and do when we stepped into parenthood. We read articles online on what to expect and do when we got our baby. Armed with all this knowledge we thought we at least had some basic information on what to expect and do when we finally became parents. We had no idea how far off the mark we were at that time.

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In the very first week, we realised that there was the language barrier. Trying to figure out what he meant, was trying. Was the little fellow indicating that he was hungry? Was he trying to say that he wants to sleep? Was he in pain? What was he friend trying to say? No amount of learning a language or a variety of languages could have prepared us for this. Slowly, we somehow begun to understand what his cries meant, most of the time. We managed to figure out which cry meant he was hungry, sleepy or uncomfortable and got it right most of the times. During the times, of which there were many, when we had no idea what he wanted, there was nothing else to do but to just hold him and coo sweet nothings into his ear.

Next, there was our battle with sleep. Our little hero decided that he loved us very much and wanted to spend every moment of the day with us. In the beginning, he started of by waking up and crying almost every other hour throughout the night. Of course, we had to keep him company while trying to figure out exactly what he wanted. I still recall a moment in the early hours of the morning, when utterly exhausted, I asked my wife if it is going to be like this every single night. She replied back in between yawns, hopefully not. Thankfully, little hero realised that he needs to sleep too and brought down his late night and early morning activities to a minimum. Having said that, these days, uninterrupted sleep at night or at any time of the day for the matter is truly a blessing.

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Then of course, there was the matter of cleaning the baby. It amazes me how everything on Earth was created with balance in mind. A baby is a gentle reminder of this balance. An amazingly beautiful and soft baby, can sure release an unimaginable amount of waste in a variety of texture, accompanied by an indescribable aroma. Cleaning up after a squirming baby without getting any of the interesting stuff in the diaper on us or the table is not a task for the faint hearted. Anybody who is into researching the next big secret weapon, should definitely look into baby waste laced diapers. It is cheap, natural and easily available in large quantities.

Laundry took up a whole new meaning. It seemed like we had opened up a laundromat at home, minus the coin operated washers and dryers. I remember washing his clothes almost every other day, or was it every day? There was no help to be expected from the washing machine as baby’s clothes must not go through the washing machine. It was back to washing every single piece of the tiny and delicate article of clothing by hand, just as we had done in the age before we had a washing machine. As much as we wanted to be environmentally friendly, we had to concede to using diapers instead of the age-old soft white napkins. It was either that or an extended amount of time washing clothes.

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By the end of the first week, my wife and I were exhausted beyond words. The picture above pretty much captured what we so badly wanted. Our baby literally kept us on our toes every moment of the day. Slowly and surely, just as our little friend got the hang of coming out into the world, we got used to having him around us. So, started our journey in parenthood.

P.S.: The featured image of this article was sourced from Pexels