Conversation with a (typical) Newborn
Me: Well hello bright eyes! I am so pleased to meet you. I am excited that you are going to share four hours of your day with me. I have been looking forward to holding you and playing with you. I have the house all nice and cozy for you at about 85 degrees, everything is quiet here, your mama is going to make sure you have a full tummy, and then I want you to just sleep sleep sleep. Sound good?
Five minutes pass.
Baby: HEY! WHERE IS MY MOM? A picture shoot is not how I had my day planned out. Your crampin my style lady.
Thirty minutes pass and we have little or nothing to show for it.
Baby: We need to have a one on one. I think you missed the memo. About a week ago, all was perfect in my world. I was warm, snuggled, it was quiet, I never got hungry, I never needed to be changed and my mom was always holding me. That all came to a rather abrupt halt on my birthday and I am still trying to adjust to the changes. While there are some advantages to being out of the womb, I am having to cope with quite a bit these days, the very least you could do to make this transition easier would be to hold me. What makes you think I can balance my own head on my hands and who says I want to? Please pass me back to my mother now. She’ll know what to do.
Me: Ahhhhh…yes….I do see the difficulties I am creating for you today. I am doing my best to make this easy for you but it’s probably going to get worse before it gets better darlin.
Baby: You say that as though I have no options here. I’ll have you know that I am firm believer in boundaries and I will enforce my lines as needed. If you continue to push me on this, I am going to have to give you a presentation of my power.
Me: I have no doubt that is true and I expect no less. I have learned to be a woman of patience though and am pretty determined myself. Unlike you, I have had years to hone my skills and you, babe, are brand new player in this grand adventure of life. That puts the odds in my favor.
Baby: Now I am getting very angry. Maybe you are unaware of the cards I hold. I can cry – very loud and very long. I can flail. I can refuse to be swaddled. I can insist on being fed every five minutes. If that doesn’t work, I can spit up on your best blanket and I can potty on everything you’ve got. But we don’t have to go there. We can stop all this right now. Pass me back to my mama.
Me: You do indeed hold all those cards. I expect you to play each and every one of them. When you fuss and flail, I will smile at you and think you a perfect little creation. When you insist on being fed, I will be your champion and ask your mommy to abandon her feeding schedule and give you all the nourishment you want. When you potty all over my stuff, I will gladly clean it right up. I am a persistent woman sweetheart. My own mama taught me that with children, you have to be willing to go farther than they are. I have learned that lesson well and I confess my strategy to you upfront. All is well baby. Just go to sleepytown now.
Hour one passes and the duel continues.
At the ninety minute mark, we still have very little to show for our efforts and mom and dad are breaking into a sweat.
Somewhere between hour two and three, after baby has insisted on being fed again for the umpteenth time, the conversation winds down.
Baby: I am feeling an odd sort of sensation now. It’s toasty warm, my tummy is more than full, and I am getting quite exhausted. Yawn…..still though….I have some fight left…..sssshhhhhhhhhh.And then…there is a twitch…and a few sleepy smiles….and…out for the count.
And then…I lean down close and whisper this…
Me: Good night sweet thing. You put up a gallant fight today and I applaud your efforts. No one will fault you for abandoning your grand plan to unravel our photo shoot. You are sufficiently milk drunk now and can no longer resist my charms. Now I can move you into many different positions, switch hats and blankets and baskets and beds, and you will sleep in blissful oblivion and we will accomplish a lot in the final stretch of our shoot. I realize that you have given up several hours of your fine day that you can never get back but by the time you wake up this will be a distant memory. You will forget.