Baby challenge #5
(relax and enjoy
Having a new baby is like entertaining a house guest. You begin with a flurry of conscientious activity, fussing over every meal, planning an extravaganza of events. But then days and weeks pass. Your perky veneer loses its luster, and you begin to wonder how long you can last.
So you fudge a bit. You let your little darling languish happily in the crib while you brush your teeth. You prop a bouncy chair next to the sink and wash dishes while you jiggle the chair with your foot. You make a phone call or two. And you decide you don’t have to read from Finnegans Wake at every nap time. You calm down. Finally.
And your house guest? He’s happy as ever. Because, in the end, he didn’t come here to be entertained: He came here to be with you. And if being hauled around in a carrier while you do the laundry, or hearing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” for the eleven-thousandth time, or greeting daddy with a loud “Hooray!” (followed by a tearful “Take this baby, NOW!”) doesn’t seem like a bonanza to you, you’re missing the point.
“We need to realize that daily life is where we encounter our kids,” says Parks. “Bathing, feeding, changing diapers, getting through the day: It’s here that we make our relationships with our children. It’s through these things that we become a family.”