Monday, March 19, 2012

What I learned from Baby Jasmine

Patience...well, that is probably what most new parents learn first, and I am know different. But more than that, my baby Jasmine has taught me to have more empathy for babies. I can't say that what I have learned from her so far is true for every baby, but seems to the truth for her. I hear that every baby is different and this is my first experience ever with a baby. The main thing that Jasmine has taught me so far is that it is not as easy as it looks to be a baby and in fact quite uncomfortable most of the time.

I always thought that the easiest time in life is being a baby. Of course I don't remember being a baby myself but I used to think that it looked pretty easy for babies with their every move being catered to, and being the center of their parents world. Although I am always catering to Jasmine's every need as quickly as possible, I can see that things are not that easy for her. For one thing she can only mainly communicate by crying to let me know she is hungry, has a wet diaper, has gas or wants to be held. I haven't yet seen her cry for no reason. She also learned or perhaps instinctively, puts her hand in her mouth sometimes when she is hungry. But what about all of her other problems? When she goes poopy, she usually doesn't cry, but her legs are moving constantly. She likes to move her legs often anyway but when she poops it is a slightly different movement, but who would know this with out studying her? Jasmine doesn't like to be dirty and cries when she has a wet diaper or when she is spitting up and/or droooling, but the cries are all slightly different. It is not easy to be a stationary human being with no communication skills other than crying and some movement to try and get help and to not be able to help herself. Being completely dependent on others is not only frustrating for the care takers, but it seems to be that way for baby Jasmine too. A lot of times before she spits up she cries like she is in pain and it may be part of a gas problem but the other part is, that the milk is on its way up and it is uncomfortable for her. I think that is where the saying, "poor baby" comes from!

When Jasmine needs to burp it looks so much more painful than any adult who needs to burp. Sometimes she even cries after the burp. I am not sure if it is because it was painful getting the burp out or that getting it out left a lot more room to be able to have more milk and she is still very hungry, or both.

Speaking of milk, can we as adults imagine being on a diet of only milk? It is very less calories at each meal, and it is no wonder that babies have a gas problem from it! Not only burps, but she farts like an old man. It leaves very little time for her to be completely comfortable and usually that is when she can get some sleep. Even then it is iffy if she will get good sleep because she might spit up or have a wet diaper, or poopy diaper and don't even get me started about the hiccup!. It really doesn't seem easy being a baby.

Some might say that I am spoiling her as sometimes her only need is just to be held and cuddled, which I do with her often as well as dancing and singing with her, but I feel that my empathy for her has helped us to work on our relationship at an early start. We are already practicing the art of negotiation, in fact I will not be surprised if her first word is "wait". My mom says that I am spoiling her because "it is o.k. to let her cry for a while" and Uday says you don't have to change her diaper all the time if it is just pee and she is not crying, but I try and treat her the way I would want to be treated. In return I have noticed that she gives me some time to work out, eat, and shower, and I really appreciate that, just like it seems like she appreciates me attending to her every need as quickly as possible. We might just be learning patience and negotiation together. Starting around 7:00pm, Jasmine wants milk often and doesn't give me much time for myself but in return she usually sleeps from 12:00am to 6:00am. Can't ask for anything better from a baby. Her life might be difficult right now, but it should only get better and in the mean time we have already bonded with each other.

Some people might think I am crazy but I learned from my dogs and my baby that these relationships work both ways. It is not about being in control and the master of your kid (or dog), but rather, trying to work as a team for everyone's comfort. I hope others learn from their baby (or dog) too and can empathize the hardships of being a baby or a being dependent on others to not only survive but to thrive and feel loved, because being a baby is not as easy as it might seem.

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