New dad's diaries: why I am not going to apologise for my infant's crying
As a recent dad, I have heard insensitive remarks about my infant's crying. Here is why I am not going to apologise to anyone about it.
I was travelling on a bus one day. I do that every day but this was special: this was my 4-month-old son's first bus ride. As it happens, he felt like expressing himself. So he let out a wail. It lasted for 15 seconds. Being an expert wail-diffuser by now, I successfully changed the crying to giggling. However, this magic act was not appreciated by a few, and a couple that looked in their early 20's said something abrasive.
The other day, a recent parent was almost in tears when she told me that her neighbour complained to the Condo's management because 'the baby cries a lot in the evening'.
I am sure many mums and dads receive this kind of treatment from the fellow bus/place/MRT or even public place sharers. Careless statements are passed and the parents are expected to apologise for the baby's 'rude' behaviour!
The top three comments I have heard are
- Why bring out a baby so small?
- If you cannot control a baby, why make one?
- Why can't he make the baby shut up? It is so irritating!
And I feel sad about the ignorance of these people. Here is what I have to say to these people, and I am not apologising!
My baby is an infant, not a toddler
I would have agreed with the person who would make the third comment HAD my baby been 2 years old! Disciplining a toddler is possible. No one, not even the parents, like the tantrums thrown by terrible twos. There are ways and means of diffusing this situation, and the toddler would understand what the parent is saying at that age! However, one has to be a special brand of insensitive who suggests that I discipline an infant!
I cannot fly, nor can I afford a taxi every day to and fro from the Infant Care
Yes. Many times, the reason there is an infant in the morning on your bus/MRT is because the mum is taking him to Infant care. She has woken up two hours earlier than you did to get ready and ensure that everything is ready for the baby's day out at Infant care.
She pumps milk when it is still dark outside (and you are still snoring), and barely grabs a bite before rushing out to ensure that she reaches work on time. So next time you ask the question, "Why to bring a kid so small out?" remember - no mum loves to make the lives of others miserable by subjecting them to her infant's war cries.
Infants cry. Period
We have all been infants at some point of time. We all have cried. It is a part of the development process. In fact, it is one of the five things infants do!
They eat, they sleep, they poop, they play and they cry. They don't do anything else! That is their way of telling the mums that they are hungry. They use the same technique to convey that they are sleepy. And guess what? They use the same way to tell that they are bored, want to be carried, want to be sung to, want their diaper changed, or for no reason at all! Infants are quite crafty when it comes to it!
So if you hear an infant cry, don't be surprised. They do it quite frequently. That is their way of enjoying the world! And next time you find yourself on a plane, remember that there are going to be babies on board (they are everywhere. You cannot escape them!). Don't be cheap and buy yourself a set of noise-cancelling headphones. Because if you don't get them, don't blame my kid. It is on you!
The world is his as much as it is yours
Decorum is necessary for a society. There has to be a discipline among the denizen of the world. Otherwise, chaos ensues. But this rule applies to those who are capable of UNDERSTANDING what discipline is!
Expecting an infant to be a well-behaved human is like expecting a puppy not to be playful! You cannot change the order of nature. The society is made up of everybody. This world belongs to my baby as much as it belongs to you! So if your beautiful evening in the park is 'ruined' because of a baby wailing nearby, don't expect an apology from the parents. Instead, help the parents by distracting the baby!
You may not know this, but it is a HUGE sense of achievement when you can make a crying baby laugh! And I will let you in on a secret- it is not tough either!
So, fellow citizen of the world, accept the babies for who they are - pooping crying adorable fart machines. We were one when we were young. Let's make the world a tad bit less judgemental. We have enough to worry about as it is!
Also read: 6 signs of an incredible father