Aren’t people smart at giving others advice? Note that ‘giving’ in this context is not suggesting, it’s more of pushing it down your throat and watching you cough and splutter and the moment you catch your breath stuff some more ‘valuable’ advice down your throat until you close your mouth forever in submission.
‘A’ and I are into our 2nd year of parenthood. Which was amazing and rewarding as some of my earlier posts have suggested. But unfortunately, we have our fair share of the ‘Advice Demons’ in tow who believe there is nothing more satisfying in life than preaching about the do’s and don’ts of parenting to unsuspecting first-timers like us.
Here are a few of the Advice Demon types :
1.) The Perfect Mommy on baby sites
So, I keep on reading about babies who sleep from 7pm till 7am and their well-rested mothers comments on BabyCenter. And some of the comments are downright pompous and judgmental.
“Our Jake has a little bedtime routine. It’s a nice warm bath, some cuddle time with us and then a bottle. After which we put him down in his crib and then he falls asleep by himself. He stopped getting up for feeds since his 3rd month and now sleeps through the night till 7am.”
And then the bomb-dropping line:
“We trained Jake like that.”
Oh! Dear Woman you might as well have pointed a big accusing finger at the rest of us unworthy Moms who are still considering it a miracle if the baby is asleep by 9:30pm. It translates to ‘ The rest of us train our children to stay awake, because we love it when we’re trying to watch a post-dinner movie and baby is cranky because he/she wants to sleep. But we being the ‘incompetent parents’ that we are like our babies up and awake and being the ultimate party animals. Party activities involve whimpering, rubbing eyes, closing eyes but opening them wide again, etc.
2) All children in the world HAVE to be a replica of my child
They come in different variations:
- My baby was a good sleeper, so yours should be too.
- My baby was a good eater, so yours should be too.
- My baby pooped twice a day, so should yours.
- My baby liked potatoes on Wednesday and apples on Sunday, so should yours.
- My kid is a brat now who kicks people, but I’ll keep mum about that bit.
3) It’s because you don’t stick to the routine.
‘A’ and I hear this often enough.
Every parent knows the Golden Rules of the sleep time routine – Bath, Book, Bottle and Bed. That’s supposed to be the ‘magic’ formula. Sure is magic, and ‘A’ and me are not too good at that sort of magic (mere Muggles that we are).
Every day we follow the Routine to a T. Apart from the minor deviations. After the Bath, its 4 picture books in a row, then 4 adorable A,BC,D videos (that’s the only tune I hum these days).
Finally a bottle, and then instead of that tiny mouth yawning and the tiny eyes getting droopy, my baby is wide awake. Grinning adorably but almost in a sinister manner, challenging us to guess what time we will be able to drag our weary behinds to bed finally.
He’s all awake, springing up and down ready for some real action. We have tried everything. No naps after 5pm. No sugar in the evening time. Dimming the lights. Ignoring him. And we continue to persevere every night.
The rosy side of things though is that some nights, we manage to channel our frustration into laughter. In a twisted sort of humor sense, seeing a toddler all up and about at midnight is kind of hilarious.
Other nights, I grumble about how ‘R’ has inherited his father’s light-sleeper tendencies. I have even planned to urge the Bharat Matrimony website to come up with an additional checklist besides their smoking and drinking section which has little check-boxes for you to choose whether you are a light or heavy sleeper, poor or hearty eater, etc, etc.
No laughing matter this checklist. All this information might save you from years of sleep-deprivation in the future.
Author’s Note: I kindly ’advise’ my readers not to leave any ‘advice’ for me in the comments. KThnxBye!