Like all good posts, let me start with a caveat…the title and content of this post does not relate to anything that would be considered for investigation in Operation Yewtree.
Instead, I am talking about those little things that you do as a parent which you know you probably shouldn’t do, but you do anyway. The things that you don’t mind talking about, but when you do, it’s said in jest just in case anyone takes offence and shouts at you. I’m not talking about anything violent or dangerous, more little quirky things that have developed as you bond with the little one and begin to try to get used to life with a pipsqueak.
So, here are five things that I do with Baby L, which I probably shouldn’t be admitting to as Social Services may now get involved…
1) Turning her into Superbaby prior to a feed
I like to think that this is the classic ‘airplane’ with a twist. Rather than bring the food to Baby L in a flying plane motion, I like to fly her to the food like a hungry Superman. This usually starts off with Baby L starting to root and obviously keen for a feed, so the missus begins to get herself ready to breastfeed. With boob out on show, I get the little one into a horizontal position facing down, with one of my arms supporting her upper chest and the other supporting her legs.
Then comes the theme tune as Baby L begins to fly – daaa, da da da daaa, daa, daa, daaa. Daaa, da da da daaa, DAA, DAA, DAAA! It ends with me landing the Girl of Steel into Hayley’s exposed boob with a comedic crashing noise. I’ve done this a lot of times. And I mean A LOT. Yet I always chuckle to myself before getting shouted at by the missus. You’d think I’d learn, eh?! I am slightly worried about what this might mean when Baby L is older. I imagine that this may result in a kind of Pavlov’s dog situation where I’ve inadvertently conditioned Baby L to salivate and want to eat whenever Superman is on TV.
2) Using her as a human musical instrument
This isn’t as cruel as it sounds and it does serve a purpose. I hope. I’m not talking about anything weird like trying to use her as a trumpet and attempting to get her to fart by blowing into her mouth. Rather I’m talking about using her as a drum whilst winding her. I’m not sure if this is all babies as I’ve not gone round hitting random kids on their backs before, but Baby L does feel a bit hollow. This means she produces a pretty cool sound when tapped on her back.
I’ve been experimenting with the best positions to hold her in for optimal winding and sound production, and think I’ve settled on lying her face down across both knees. This means I can use both hands to create a beat – the left hand mimics the bass drum whilst the right is the snare. If everything is going right, sometimes I can even get her to burp or fart to the rhythm I’ve produced. I’m planning on going on tour next year so keep an eye out for tickets.
3) Carrying her like a rugby ball
When we first got Baby L home, she felt like the most fragile thing in the world. Neither Hay or I have had much experience with babies, let alone newborns, so we were pretty scared about mishandling her and breaking this fragile little person. After a few days of not dropping her and realising she was sturdier than her appearance suggested, our confidence grew when it came to carrying and moving her around.
So much so, that I began carrying her under my arm, not too dissimilar to a one arm carry in Rugby or American Football. Don’t worry, she’s more than happy like that and her head is securely supported so there’s no danger of her being dropped. I’ve even tested this out by doing shuttle runs in the garden with her under my arm and leaping up the stairs three-steps at a time to ensure that she is in safe hands.
4) Seeing how hungry she is with my nose
During the NCT classes, we were told that a baby will start to suck and root when hungry. On getting Baby L home at just 12 hours old, it therefore made sense to me to test this theory when we thought that the little one might be a bit peckish. Rather than the missus having to test whether Baby L was hungry by popping out a nipple, I had the brainwave of using my nipple-like nose instead.
If she started to suck on my nose, then it was time for a boob, if she wasn’t interested in my nose, then she didn’t need a feed yet. Other people may use a finger or dummy, but for some reason I thought that my nose would be the best option. To be fair, it did work and I still occasionally use this unusual method! Let’s hope that it soon dies out and she doesn’t have to do this when she’s 18.
5) Mimicking her crying
It’s pretty annoying when a baby cries. It’s even more annoying when a baby cries but nothing is up with them. She’s been fed, she’s been changed, she’s had a cuddle etc etc. But still, she thinks it is acceptable to test out her lungs whilst I’m trying to watch the football. Selfish. So what does any good, self-respecting parent do? Cry back in their face and mimic everything that she does, of course!
A little whimper – I can beat that. A full blown cry – ditto, I’m bigger and can scream louder than you, little one. To every “waaa” she utters, I reply back with a “WAAAA”. I don’t think that it actually helps the situation and comforts her, but it has made her stop mid scream once or twice as an inquisitive and shocked expression appears on her face, almost like she is questioning my parenting methods.
I don’t appear to be the only one that does this though. I recently mentioned that I do this on Twitter and had a number of other people (who will remain nameless so that Social Services don’t add the to a watchlist) admitting that they did the same thing, with one even saying that she copies her kid’s tantrums by rolling around on the floor. It may not help the situation, but it definitely makes you feel better and more in control!
Do you do anything as a parent that you know you probably shouldn’t? Any little traditions you started which have carried on as baby becomes little person?