• #TheWriteChoice challenge: Day-4

Sastang dandavat at your lotus feet oh Swamiji!

Today let us discuss about what newborn babies teach us as parents. To start with, babies are quite adorable. Their attractive big eyes and toothless grins can rejuvenate even the most grieving heart. They are just amazing and have the potential to teach quite a handful of life lessons which we have forgotten as we grew under social conditioning. With baby Samil in our lives, we are rediscovering our life as parents and learning awesome tips from him about life. Some of the most prized learnings are as below which can be really inspiring as well as amazing.

1. Babies Sleep Like a…pro (nah! like a baby)

Samil sleeping pic

look at the picture of Samil having deep asleep oblivious about any worries in life! Do you also feel sleepy? 😉

Babies, especially newborns, sleep as if they were hired to do it. Although it may not appear to be the case, they sleep on average 10-18 hours a day, albeit in chunks and pieces. All this sleep helps babies grow and develop a healthy immune system. It also helps them remain alert and have happy moods. When they don’t get enough sleep they can become cranky, irritable, and are difficult to soothe or please.

Sounds pretty familiar? Huh! We adults also feel the the same fatigue. Lack of sleep makes us grumpy, susceptible to illness, and negatively affects – among other things – our memory, reaction time, and alertness. We may not need those long hours of sleep, but to be at our best of physical and mental state, we do need to  enough sleep a priority, just like babies do. The way Samil sleeps with no worries in his mind, hands and legs spread out as if he gives a damn about the things happening around him is really note worthy. This type of sleep is a kind of meditative state. In more than one occasions I have been late for office as I was sleeping cozy with this ‘sound sleeper’!

2. They Very Much Like to Follow a Schedule 

As worried parents we could not wait until our cute package of non-stop activity is on a regular sleeping, feeding and playing routine. I was like a sleepless zombie and so was Sanghamitra for first one and half month. From a Scientific study, it is proven that, babies also love it and are much happier to follow a daily routine. Samil is now flourishing with a proper routine and when we give it a slip, we have to bear the brunt! We grownups could learn a thing or two – or may be more – about the value of routine in our lives instead of wasting our valuable sleep time while binge watching things that value us the least. For babies, a regular schedule decreases instances of being overtired, over hungry, or overwhelmed.

See how happy Samil is by following a schedule!!!

The same is true for us, as we are at our best when our minds and bodies are adequately nourished. We are alert and can focus with a degree of sharpness impossible when basic needs aren’t met. Routine makes us feel safe and secure which allows us to confidently explore new possibilities and achieve milestones. Being said that, I have a word of caution: Mundane routines are to be avoided and there are a lot of hacks to make the regular routine more enticing.

3. Babies Do Roll Over After Lots of Practice 

Achieving this huge milestone doesn’t just happen overnight. It comes with months of practice and persistence as well as consistent effort. It starts with the lifting of the head, then the head and shoulders, followed by using the arms for mini push ups. The movements progress to include back arches, rocking, kicking and swimming like motions. All of this builds muscles which months later, at the right time, culminate in the first successful roll over. Samil is now getting ready for the big day with all the above acrobatics.

The above is a pic of his acrobatic swimming pose! He is always busy in one or other activity!

When we practice and persist, regardless of what we are up to, we too build muscles and strengths (both physical and mental) that we are even surprised to discover. Our new skill becomes automatic, seemingly happening without much thought or effort on our part. It just flows flawlessly from the subconscious. We rarely notice the progression, but if we take an extended break we immediately recognize the degradation we have undergone when we return. Hence, the line of wisdom “practice makes a baby err a man perfect!”

4. They Grab Your Hair, Earrings, Glasses, Tie (anything they put their hands on) and Won’t Let Go! 

The “if they see it, they will grab it,” stage of baby development is awesome, isn’t it? Who knew that babies had such strength? When they get hold of your hair, fingers, earrings or chains, a piece of cloth etc. they don’t just hold, they yank. Ouch, it hurts! And the best part is, it seems as if nothing will distract them from their current object of affection and possession! They are extremely focused and possessive about their prized catch! Samil’s grips have more torque than that of the jaws of a wild croc, bite that!

If only it were as easy for we adults! We should learn to be like babies in this regard: ‘goal is the only thing that matters, nothing else, no obstacle on the path either’. There are a million things going on around them, but they are only interested in one and channelize on it without distraction. If we can be this much focused, we can be much more creative and productive and might actually cross everything off of our to-do lists once in a while effortlessly. Please give it a thought and contemplation.

5. They Send Out Clear Signals ‘They are Done and Need Some Change’. 

Every parent has witnessed it. The little one is over tired, over stimulated or not liking strange new arms holding him, new hands pinching his cheeks. These unfamiliar situations drives the baby crazy. When they are frustrated trying something new they become totally weird. (but mind you, the effect is temporary). Until they cry, you never knew babies had such lung capacity and when this happens, the earth stands still until calmness is restored as you will die to get rid of the shrill pitched frequency of epiphany.

A crying Samil driving us crazy.

Moral of the story? Everyone has his / her limits. Pragmatic people understand this and know when to stop pushing. Simply taking a short break, stepping away, taking a walk, listening to music, engaging in conversation, anything that clears your head can replenish the creativity well and provide you with insights which were previously elusive.

Actually the article is swelling up like anything and the next five points will be in the next post with conclusion. I know your attention deficit problem, because I also have the same! 😉

(To be continued…)

Jai Shri Hari…