Little man, big drama

I’ve wanted to write about babies and the delightful quirks associated with them for some time. It is fitting in a sense that this post coincides with the end of a week in which my wife – for the first time since Oluwadamisi, our son, was born – has been away from him for an extended period of time. In the two nights that she’s been back, boy, have we seen some drama! Here’s some insight – from the perspective of a 10-month-old father – into the complicated, mind-boggling world of babies.

Toys

Look at this poor fella...
Look at this poor fella…

Let me give parents-to-be some free, useful advice: don’t waste your hard earned money on those things they call toys. As far as babies are concerned, they are an utter waste of money. Invest instead in durable and inexpensive mobile phones, remote controls and laptops, for these are the things babies find most attractive. They ignore the splash of red and green easily within their reach and instead gun for the TV remote control – in all its majestic blackness – that you had tucked away where you thought they wouldn’t notice it. It is as though they can tell that all those brightly coloured toys are cheap and worthless. Having a baby is expensive enough, save some money on toys until they are toddlers.

Sleep

Don’t be deceived by those cute pictures of babies in blissful slumber; it is often hard work to get them to sleep. Generally, with adults, the more tired one is, the easier it is to fall asleep. Not so with babies. The more exhausted they are, the crankier they are. The crankier they are, the harder it is for them to fall asleep. Twisted baby logic. There’s a lot of drama with babies, but the drama that comes with sleep trumps them all. They want to be rocked and nursed to sleep, and they don’t care if it’s 3 in the morning. On other days, they wake up at 4 am, wanting to play.

IMG_1362
Don’t I just love when he is like this

Picture this: after two uninterrupted hours of turning the living room upside down, it looks like Damisi has finally worn himself out. I pick him up, sling him over my shoulders and begin pacing about the room. Ten minutes later, I spy his shut eyes in the mirror. Just to be sure, I pace about for a few more minutes. I go up to the bedroom and place him, gingerly, on the bed. He is now fast asleep. I shut the bedroom door gently behind me and go back downstairs, already relishing the prospect of an hour or two of serenity whilst he is asleep. Five minutes later, I return to the bedroom to get my internet dongle and there he is seated upright on the bed, wide-eyed. My wife calls them “power naps” – short, intense 5 – 10 minutes of sleep that leave him reinvigorated, fully charged for another couple of hours of wearing himself and everyone else out. If ever there was a misnomer, “slept like a baby” is one.

Living on the edge

It is true that the intrinsic nature of man is to be disobedient and it is that which is forbidden that we are most drawn to. Damisi has convinced me that much. I’ve already talked about how babies are drawn more to remote controls than to their toys, but their proclivity for danger and the forbidden goes beyond this. Enjoy those first few months when you can leave your baby somewhere and return to find her in exactly the same spot. As soon as they can crawl, babies are all about living dangerously. I find it perverse that it is the things that pose the greatest risk to them that they are most bent on playing with – wires and electric sockets are easy examples. They never stay in the middle of mum and dad’s king-sized bed to play; rather you are most likely to find them precariously at the edge of the bed, one turn away from falling over and landing on the floor with a thud. The edge of the staircase; the top of the center table; the base of the standing fan: these are the little ones’ favourite places to play.

Crying

They say babies only cry when they are hungry, tired, frightened, upset or in discomfort. That is not entirely correct. They also cry for no reason at all; or if we must attribute a reason, because they are babies and crying is what babies do. It is this last category of crying that tests my patience the most. The others I perfectly understand and can accommodate. On those occasions when I am convinced Damisi is crying for no reason at all, I sometimes wish we could leave him to cry, just so as to find out how long he can keep it going. Luckily for him, his mum would never give me a chance to see this evil experiment through. Come to think of it, why didn’t I try this out whilst she was away?

… & some more drama

As a general rule, babies are most comfortable, when adults are in the most discomfort. How else does one explain the fact that they find it easiest to fall asleep, when someone is carrying them whilst standing or walking about? In some cases, the instant you attempt to sit to rest your aching back, they begin to fuss. You return to an upright position, and they go back to being quiet. You can almost hear them say: I’m not asleep yet; how dare you sit.

They also seem to have a knack for disrupting intimacy. I’m sure a lot of couples can relate to this. If they are not waking up whilst you guys are just about to get it on, they make sure they successfully wear you out beforehand. Why does it have to be the night you put a bottle of wine in the fridge and are looking forward to having the missus to yourself that your little one decides not to go to sleep without creating a fuss? Almost as if they have an inkling that what you guys are up to could result in another baby that would take their place in the pecking order, and are not prepared to take any chances.

Oluwadamisi
Oluwadamisi

It has to be one of life’s great mysteries how one so little has turned our lives completely upside down. But I wouldn’t trade any of it for anything else on earth. To my little man: here’s to loads of more drama.

Photo credits:

1. “Look at this poor fella” – Olutola Bella

2. “Don’t I just love when he is like this” – Olutola Bella

3. “Oluwadamisi” – Olatoun Okunnu

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45 thoughts on “Little man, big drama

  1. I know this post is “oldish” but I couldn’t help laughing hard! Especially when you talked about babies and sockets. Brought back memories of my baby brother’s crawling days. You had to keep an eye on him every single second! He always went for the sockets the second your attention drifted. We used to play this game… we’d pretend to be doing something else and watch the little conman crawl quickly to the sockets, once he stretches his hand to touch the lights (the attraction was the light on the adapter) we’d swoop on him and carry him. The look of frustration on his face would keep us laughing and the best part was that he couldn’t even cry cos he knew he was wrong.

  2. After my experience with my nephews, I have declared that my future children will be sent to a convent (from birth), until they become aware of their actions, appreciate the realities of life, grasp the dichotomy between good and evil…and most importantly, able to clean up after themselves.

    Fin.

  3. “I’m not asleep yet; how dare you sit.”
    Haha, you’ll get your revenge when he’s older. You’ll relax on the armchair and call him to come downstairs. He’ll make the trip from his bedroom upstairs to the living room downstairs. You’ll say, “Please help me get the remote control.” He’ll look at the remote control on the TV stand, a mere 7 paces from you, roll his eyes and say, “Dad!” You’ll smile and say, “Thank you.” 😉

  4. My fellow boat mate[both as a lawyer and a father], I am a father to a …….[don’t even know how to describe that guy] three years old boy and a nine months old daughter [coincidentally she became exactly nine months old today!!!!]. I literally lived[not read] in your article. So it is an understatement when I say I understand. Let me put it this way no remote using devices in my house has got any remote romote right now. My boy is at the stage of tantrums, exploration and vocabulary development and-Jehova help me-can the young man make life miserable for you on a bad day and make you laugh non stop on a good day! I am currently not a football addict because “small oga” has a way of demanding that the channel be permanently on cartoon “page” whenever I want to watch anything…..including how we are frittering away dollars to South Africa. He is also developing a mind of his own!!!!For example this morning as we came across a neighbor’s wife and I urged my son to greet “good morning” as is the custom. Do you “the young man” took a long look at the woman and said “No”. The finality resolve in his voice told me all hope of getting him to extend that courtesy is lost. Can you imagine that! Tola, I solemnly tell you ” you never see anything o”. When that boy get to this stage that my son is you will definitely decipher that there is a difference between “daddyhood and fatherhood”. As for my daughter. That is the cutest being on this planet earth until she becomes hungry, angry or whatever! She has a way of turning the rooms upside down within minutes no matter how long it took to arrange that room. She also hates being put in a walker!!!. I don’t even dare to bring works home these days. I started respecting my wife after being with those two for a few hours to enable my wife dash to the market for a few things. I was almost getting disoriented by the time she came back!!!!But those cuties are so adorable that I can never trade them for anything in this world!!!!! I can gush on and on but your article has just made my day!

  5. Nice write up, apt too. The “..wide eyed” part, and Oladele’s “..what you guys are doing laughter- It’s quite fascinating and almost scary when they do that, and they sure outdo themselves with each stage of development! God bless them one and all…..

  6. Bellanchi, you couldn’t have been more apt! Whether lil man or woman, they are almost all the same in developmental challanges whether as neonates, infants, toddlers or children. Lil men are however kinda a little more inquisitive than their opposite mates across all developmental stages. I only hope I’m right as I’m talking from personal experience. I have replaced dstv remote twice despite all arrays of toys in the house. I don’t even bother to replace other remote controls’ batteries as they would go missing in days! My mtn phone is still not not yet found and therefore not available all thanks to the great lil man! As regards living on the edge, hmmmm, we have had some near misses, which without doubt confirm the saying that “God Himself watches over kids…” (while not conceding to the assumption that we are careless and inexperienced parents).

    I couldn’t but help laugh out loud when I read the bit about intimate times. These little angels know it all I assume! My little man would either choose not to sleep at all if the time is scheduled for Zero Dark Thirty; or worse still, wake up as early as 4.00am to ruin a postponement to wee hours. In rare times when we call his bluff and try to get intimate albeit in strict concealment, he knows how to spoil it all by the cheeky “I understand what you guys are doing” laughter which beats me.

    As per crying and sleeping issues, those would fizzle out as they develop into toddlers. But Tola, don’t heave a sigh of relief yet cos they graduate into temper tantrums at that stage, which would also test your patience as “parents”. Each stage of development comes with its attendant challanges. I have had cause to call and praise my folks for raising 5 kids who all turned out great!

    Have you stopped being a kid to your folks? “A sese bere ni, meaning “we are just starting”. Cheers.

  7. Very well written Tola. I had a good laugh!. Thanks for preparing my mind for the drama I intend to face in the near future.

    Cheers!

  8. Nice one Bellanchi. Lol @ they have an inkling that what you guys are up to could result to another baby…

    Damisi doesn’t want any body to overthrow him o! So all your conspiracies ll not work!!

  9. Hehehe…enjoyed this too much. Look at that seemingly innocent laughter on his face that says, “You guys are complaining? You ain’t seen nothing yet” …lol.

    If only I could survive on power naps.
    Here’s praying you grace,wisdom and all forms of resources to facilitate Damisi’s drama-characterized growth.

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