The thing with babies is that they’re so small.
You forget, when you haven’t held one for a while. A decade qualifies.
The girls and I paid a visit to a great mate’s bub last weekend. A 5 week old bundle of cuteness.
They were impressed with how easily he went into my arms. It’s something a Dad never forgets.
All these years on, and the little bloke slipped straight into position. Cradled into my forearm. Tiny head safely tucked away.
He looked up at me, with blue eyes that looked years older. What was he thinking?
I suggested to the assembled gathering it may have been something about the large, rough melon above him. I noted there was no serious disagreement.
At 5 weeks, there’s not a great deal to think about. Sleep, milk and poop pretty much does it.
The girls were amused to hear his mum describe an emerging wind habit. My mate tells me he is approaching Olympic class for flatulence. The bub, not him.
It’s always fun to see new parents in action. Absolute love and devotion. There is no concern about a lack of sleep at present, because it’s still fun. We’ll check back in 4 years. My money will be on a different answer.
It took me back to when the girls were tiny fart machines. I could have said that differently, but this one line will be enough to embarrass them for days.
Daughter Two was a sound sleeper as a baby. Still is. It was rare that we needed to attend to her during the night.
The Teenager was a different proposition. She would wake, constantly. There were tummy issues, and she found it difficult to sleep for more than a few hours.
I frequently volunteered to bring peace back into the household. My answer was to sing to her.
I would bundle her into my arms, and head downstairs. Gentle rocking and soothing tunes.
I would start with a bit of Eagles. Those smooth sounds were often enough to get her back to slumberland. ‘Take It Easy.’ ‘New Kid In Town.’ Then ‘Hotel California.’
Hushed tones, of course. Just enough to relax both of us. Doing laps of the rumpus room.
From there, I’d move into a little Creedence. ‘Proud Mary’ or ‘Have You Ever Seen The Rain?’ Joe Cocker would play a role with ‘You Are So Beautiful.’ The most fitting of songs for her.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone could be having a whinge after exposure to such a collection. But if the mini version of The Teenager was still grumbling, I’d bring out the big guns.
Kenny Rogers has been putting people to sleep for years. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.
He starred in all our late night singalongs. Meaning he was perfect to get a baby snoozing again.
First up would by ‘Coward Of The County’. Then, one of the all time greats. ‘Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love To Town.’
“You painted up your lips and rolled and curled your tinted hair. Ruby are you contemplating going out somewhere? The shadow on the wall tells me the sun is going down. Oh Ruby, don’t take your love to town.”
She would be drowsy by now. You probably are too. Perfect timing for the highlight of my midnight whispering performance. ‘The Gambler’. And by the end of the great man’s anthem, she would be asleep.
You might laugh at such antics, but Dads are nothing if not inventive. You won’t find my methods in any reputable baby book. That might be why they worked.
My mate has cool modern technology to fix such problems, so he probably won’t need my song sheet. That’s ok.
The Teenager still won’t go to sleep. But now it’s because of friends and phones, not farts and food. Not even the great Kenny has an answer to that.