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A Happy Baby Is The Best Teacher

A few days back I wrote about how I did not know anything about babies. I do know what they like, what they don't, how to handle them and what makes them happy and pleased. I get a negative score when it comes to babies and I was more than happy about being ignorant about these things. But little did I know what I was in store for. I did not know I would have to learn all of this in the most toughest way possible. And that too not with my own baby. Last week, I visited my friend after a long time. She has a little toddler of about ten months and that little girl is one cranky kid. My friend was exhausted from all the daily chores and wanted to relax for a while. The baby was sleeping, so we dimmed the light and sat by the window with a cup of tea and caught up on our gossip. I was visiting her after a long time and it felt nice to get back to how we were before.

But with the first sip, we heard a wail and rushed to see our little princess all awake and irritated. I looked at my friend blankly wondering what to do. She told me to hold her for a whole until she prepared her formula to feed her. I was still registering her thoughts in shock and she had left to the kitchen. When a million doubts in my head, I slowly walked towards the crib and lifted her. Her cries got louder. I patted her back and bounced around a bit, like I have seen Monica do in Friends. But no, this child was not the only to be easily pleased. I shouted to my friend in the kitchen to hurry. But before she could come, the cries subsided and I could hear cooing sounds. The princess had found my owl necklace and was licking it clean. I sat down with her on my lap and mockingly moved the owl pendant towards her. She laughed out in glee. Wow, seriously? I could not believe my eyes. And ears. The jiggling sound of the metal pendant was making this little one so happy and thrilled. Okay, well if I have a baby someday, I'm stocking up on a lot of metal accessories.

She sat excited with the pendant for a good thirty minutes. I was pleased to have learnt how to handle a cranky baby, but it was short lived. Soon, the wail was back. We thought she was hungry and we tried to feed her the formula. But madam was in no mood to eat. She held on tight to my pendant almost choking me in the bargain. I took off the necklace and gave it to her. Well if that stopped her from wailing I would have given her all that I had. But no, the cries did not stop. and I felt my lap get wetter. Okay, madam had finished her business and was feeling icky about herself. Cringing and thinking the world of my friend, I watched her remove the soiled diaper and wipe the baby clean. She then made her wear a fresh and dry diaper and the cries soon stopped. We rocked her so that she would sleep for a while and we could get back to our talking. She did sleep, yes. For about two minutes. The third minute, my owl pendant was thrown on the floor and the wails were back with twice the decibel strength.

The mother seemed clueless too about how to handle her offspring. We tried playing soothing music, bouncing her, feeding her, the necklace returned too but she would not listen. The noise was getting into my head and I was feeling insanely hot. I got up and switched on the fan. The minute the fan was on, the cries stopped. The princess was busy lying down and looking at the fan with a smile on her face. As the center golden button of the fan made its circles she laughed out happily. I was mesmerized about the things that could make a child happy. If only such simple things were enough to make an adult happy. Over the next few hours I learnt how a zoom feature on the phone can keep a baby engrossed, how a bright nail color on my nails could thrill a baby and how simple things are enough to make a baby happy. Be it the circling of a fan, the jingle of metal, the key tone of a phone, the bark of a dog from the street, sock bunnies, faces drawn on fingers, tapping a spoon on a glass bowl and exploring various facial expressions of your own. I did not know I could do so much with my face alone. 

During this time I realized how simple and innocent babies are. They are so thrilled with small small things and are happy with almost everything that is around. We adults should learn from them and learn to find happiness in a lot of small things around. It is not that hard. We just need to appreciate the small things in life and stay content with what we have. This little princess taught me a lot about life in one day. I did not get to spend enough time with her mother and I had to give away my necklace with the owl pendant, but the whole experience was worth it. A happy baby is a healthy baby. And a happy baby is the best teacher for a grumpy adult. Keep your baby clean and dry always. And give some time to participate in the happiness of the child. You will then realize how beautiful life is. Like I said before, a happy baby can teach us a lot.