I love my six-month-old baby nephew. I don’t love him because I just play with him and give him back to his parents when I’m tired. In fact, I love him, and I change his diaper and calm his tantrum and rock him to sleep and feed him.
He’s the cutest thing on earth. (Yet. My future babies, I still remember you).
After taking care of him for the past six months (on and off, mostly on weekdays, working hours), I now believe children are such a gift. I hope my parents were this happy when having me.
Here are some lessons I’ve learned from my baby nephew, because not only the wisest and oldest can bestow you life lessons.
1. Forgive easily, trust more
Once, my baby nephew was sleeping soundly and I was three meters away from him. Three. Meters. Away. And he suddenly woke up and decided to roll over and over and… he fell to the bedside sofa (30 cm fall, luckily he had a soft landing). Obviously, he cried.
But two minutes later, after some hugs, kisses, and cuddles he smiled and laughed and continued his sleep.
Countless times he bumps his head and is ignored (auntie’s trying to work, baby boy). But he is quick to forgive and forget, and trust his auntie once again.
2. Love is the answer to all
My love language is physical touch. And this cheeky boy just loves to be picked up (well, which baby doesn’t?). Reminds me that a hug can go a long way, and that love solves all problems (baby’s insomnia, tantrum, crying, hunger – oh wait a minute, no matter what you do, a baby is very fussy without a full stomach).
Which leads to the third point…
3. Everything is better with a full stomach
Cranky babies usually want two things: food or sleep. If he’s crying because he’s sleepy, rocking him for a couple of minutes usually does the trick. But never gets in between a baby and his food. He will make your blood pressure high.
So the next time you are facing problems, face them with a full stomach and enough sleep. Trust me, it gets better.
4. Less is more
A baby doesn’t ask for gold or diamonds. He asks for love. Protection. Companionship. He doesn’t need the latest fancy toys, he just wants you to play with him.
5. You can put someone else’s needs above yours
Not that the baby teaches me this, but taking care of him does.
Humans are selfish by nature and perhaps I am one of the top percentile. But I wake up early everyday and take care of his needs before mine. If that’s not a life lesson, I don’t know what that is.
6. Laugh – more, often, always.
Babies have the best smiles. Theirs are genuine, without agenda or a single worry in the world. When they smile, and laugh, they give it all.
And they don’t need much to be happy! Playing peek-a-boo or making funny faces is suffice.
Coming home from a long day at work to that smile is heaven. Believe me, no one can be happier to see you than your baby.
Bonus lesson: 7. Everything will be forgiven if you’re such an innocent cutie
Sadly, not many adults are cute, or innocent, or can become one.