Friday, July 21, 2006

In praise of teenagers - RM column July 20

ALL too often I have given out here about the Young Wan and what she does or doesn’t do, that was until a pal recently gave birth to her beautiful baby girl and it’s making me realise a lot.

Okay my make up bag may still be plundered, my wardrobe raided, I may have to step over mounds of clothes to get near her room and at times be looked at like I have asked her to kill her granny when I have actually asked her to wash dishes but there’s a lot of positive things to be said too.

There are worries and I suppose tortures for parents at every stage of our offspring’s life and personality aside there are common themes running through each phase.

My pal at the moment is walking around in a half-daze, her nipples are sore and cracked, she is sleep-deprived, and life has been pretty much suspended around her while she tends to her newborn.

The centre of her world at the moment are her breasts given that she is feeding her baby herself. And because the new arrival only arrived last week my pal, her partner and the baby are still trying to find a routine.

Those sleepless nights are a long and very distant memory to me, I don’t know the last time I had to get up with my daughter. Actually I tell a life, there have been one or two, alright quite a few occasions, morning and night, when I have had to get up out of bed to get her to turn down music or the television.

But I can normally count on a good night sleep and a lie-in if I want one. And I might even get a cup of tea in bed before I get up.

Every morning she brings me in a cup of tea and in fairness most mornings I get her up and while I jump into the shower I ask herself to make me a cup of tea. At weekends if I am still in bed she will ask me would I like a cup of tea. Wonderful. Never ever underestimate the importance of the morning cup of tea.

I also get to eat my dinner in one sitting with two hands. I am not trying to balance a baby on my knee and stabbing at food with a fork in one hand. New mothers rarely get to eat a dinner that has just been made. It is as if babies have the dinner instinct, know when their mum is eating and then decide they want to eat too.

The Young Wan has also come into her own with the new arrival. While my pal was still in the hospital she wanted to have a walkabout so we left the new arrival in the safe hands of the Young Wan.

When we came back 15 minutes later there she was changing a nappy chatting away to the baby who was just looking up at her.

And while I think she may not be old enough yet for babysitting that could change rapidly over the next couple of months. After all just because I wouldn’t be sure about her babysitting maturity yet does not mean that this won’t turn around in a short period of time.

So three cheers for young Wans, hip hip!

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