- You need about 12 extra pairs of eyes. Babies don’t value their own lives. They are often fearless, way past the point of reckless, and completely gleeful about it. Some children need a lot more supervision than others, but it is my opinion, after spending a lot of time with a baby, that you need eyes in every place to keep up with them.
- Children are not to be trusted. I have no idea what age psychologists think sneakiness starts at, but babies are very capable of observing others to see when they aren’t paying attention, in order to do an activity that they know they aren’t supposed to do. Why do I know this? I’ve seen Squally do it on several occasions. She’ll wait until I’m totally entranced with the keyboard to go off and play in the cat’s food or water bowls and then reappear when she’s done. What is my proof? Entering my bedroom to find the contents of the cat food bowl scattered across the floor, the wet sleeves of the sinister Squally Muffin as she runs into my arms with a happy squeal of baby evilness, a freshly filled water bowl that is now half-empty. This is my evidence of sneaky baby syndrome. How to prevent this? See number 1. Extra pairs of eyes. Which I clearly don’t have.
- Babies are fast learners. If you show them how to do certain activities a few times, they often pick up on them. Also, Squally learned “if you’re happy and you know it” basically overnight. I believe this is because she really loves clapping and the linking of an activity she already enjoys with new material created a magical connection for her which allowed her to learn the melody of the song.
- You always need to be ready to move. Babies absolutely do not value their own lives. You will be ducking, dodging, catching, and blocking. If your baby is walking, you are walking. If your baby is running, you will be running. This is not a game. Your eyes will be glued to your child. With great paranoia, you will be constantly assessing the dangers in your children’s environments, scanning people to evaluate their level of sketchy-ness, always prepared to drop your purse and tackle anyone who is bold enough to even give the appearance of trying to run off with your baby (we call this the “drop and tackle” for short).
- You will find yourself weeding out the kiddie TV shows that you enjoy. This might sound a little selfish to anyone that hasn’t spent a lot of time with children but after trying to keep a 1 year old entertained all day for several months, you’re going to want to stab a fork into your eyes and gauge out your ear holes to escape all the terrible, mind-numbing baby shows that are floating around the TV networks. Trust me, you’ll definitely start avoiding all of the shows you totally hate in favor of those that are more tolerable but still capable of holding your child’s attention. One show that I love to avoid is Caillou. Caillou is the most annoying, spoiled, and poorly behaved four-year-old to take up waves on the television. Do we really want these children to take after him? (No!!)
- You will be tired basically everyday. I swear I never expected watching Squally to be such a tiring exercise, because she’s such an independent baby and likes to play by herself pretty often. But, apparently, keeping your head on a swivel to prevent baby collisions, baby falls, and crushed baby. Have you ever been shopping with an active baby? Well, it’s a game of cat and mouse that never ends. After having 13 near heart attacks and chasing an energetic child all over a store, you’re going to be begging for your bed by 9 o’clock on any given day.
These are just a few more things I’ve experienced while helping to raise Squally Muffin. Tell me some things you’ve learned by commenting below and inspire new blog posts. ??