Guest Toddler: 10 dos and don'ts for newborns according to a toddler
As a seasoned toddler, I often think back to my newborn self with a wry smile.
I was such a rookie, flailing around in this non-womb world wondering where the cozy flesh-nest and comforting sounds of pickle sandwiches being digested had gone. And why does everyone keep staring at me in that crazed, lobotomy victim way? And what is their obsession with putting tiny hand-socks on my hands? And hats indoors?
So here're 10 dos and don'ts for my newborn self to put his mind at ease:
1. DON'T panic
It's natural to want to scream for the first few hours of life post-womb. Go with it, it's a big shock being squeezed down a narrow flesh tube and then ejected from what is clearly a too-small escape hatch out into the big, cold, loud, echoey world. When the shock subsides, I recommend sleeping for the next few hours to conserve your energy for the long months of no sleeping, colic and posing for endless pictures that lie ahead.
2. DON'T sleep
There'll be time for sleep later when you're about 18 weeks old, in the meantime get to know the Incubator and the Ejaculator better by spending 18 hours a day cuddled up in their arms. They LOVE that.
3. DON'T give in on the crying front
You need to set a precedent here and gain the upper hand against your parents. A really good trick is to lull them into a false sense of security by making them believe that they've got one of those "easy" babies on their hands then BAM hit them with a three-hour crying sesh every night between 6 and 9 pm.
4. DON'T worry about the tummy pain, it's just wind, AND it's your secret weapon
Wind is a pain quite literally, it's baffling that human babies are born seemingly before our bodies can deal with digesting but hey, them's the breaks. The upside is that with that wind you will be able to torture them endlessly and convince them that it is necessary to hold and jiggle you up and down for approximately 19 hours a day. Well played sir.
5. DON'T get sucked into a routine
Keep them guessing. If you slept for two hours yesterday, make sure you don't fall into the same timetable today. As soon as you see them relaxing that is you cue to STRIKE!
6. DO explosively shit yourself the second they change your clothes
It's a blast (literally).
7. DO blink slowly at them and yawn adorably whenever they look close to breaking point
Occasionally they need reminding that you are the best thing that ever happened to them.
8. DO sick up whenever the urge strikes
Especially if she foolishly tried to "look nice" that morning, that'll learn her.
9. DO thwart her every effort to get organised
This can be achieved in a variety of ways (see points 6 and 8 for suggested tactics) or just fall asleep right when she's finally gotten the sick off her shoulder, the bag packed, the pram assembled and even managed to wash her hair and apply lipstick. "You're not going ANYWHERE lady."
10. DO not worry, they will eventually get the hang of this parenting lark
In the meantime give 'em hell.