A dozen days

 

He’s 12 days old, and a century wise. South Asian Parent has a new family member, and he’s already been contributing content.

What we’ve learned from our little one in a dozen days:

1. Newborn babies spend more than 80 percent of their total sleep time in REM. Because he produces the widest of smiles while he sleeps, I imagine my nephew is living it up large in his subconscious. Studies have shown that even fetuses experience REM sleep (and may be dreaming while in the womb).

2. A little pat goes a long way. When he’s agitated (which is not too often), when he’s almost scratched his eyes out with his nails, and most of all when he’s just gulped down an ounce of milk–a few pats on the back are enough to calm him down (or make him burp).

3. When we handle little babies, we hold so carefully, keep away the dust, and use words that are always soothing and gentle. As we talk this month about intentional (and unintentional) child abuse, I wonder why we’re not as mindful as the years go by. Of our children, and of ourselves.

4. Everybody looks the same to a baby (albeit a little blurry). Wouldn’t it be great if we could keep seeing that way? Awareness is a worthy goal, but perhaps what we need sometimes is a little less awareness, and a little more indistinguishability. So that we can’t focus on the details–whether children have autism or not, between darker and fairer skin, and who’s the prettiest girl in class.

If we could only make out the outlines (as newborns do), see just a body and a face–and feel the rest in our hearts–would we be better off?

 

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