Saturday, December 1, 2012

Baby Love

Meet my nephew, Liam.

at two months old

This sunny little munchkin is the undisputed, uncontested darling of our all-adults-now family.  When he was barely a month old, he learned, I kid you not, to warble his newborn version of the word "Hello" and for a time, he'd strain to get the not-quite-formed syllables out every time my sister played the song, Hello Goodbye.  He also began to smile at around that period, first in his dreams, then more voluntarily during the day not too long after.  Now that he's three months old, he smiles and burbles all the time, and he carries on "conversations" with most anyone who talks to him.  He loves waking up in the morning, he loves to stretch, he loves his grandmas, his bath times, their wall clock, and his baby rattle.

There's an episode during my nephew's second month in this world that I find particularly insight-filled.  As it happened, he quite suddenly developed an obsession with munching his mitten-covered fists, and he would munch, munch, munch for hours on end.  For about two days, we let him keep on with it but then he stopped wanting to drink milk and when we took a closer look, we realized his cute little habit was rubbing his mouth and gums a bit raw.  So we began trying to curb his habit by saying "Nooooo Liam" and gently pulling his hands away whenever he'd put them to his mouth.  He would, of course get a bit mad at us afterward, so we would try to get him to stop crying with kisses, cuddles, and silly dances to the tune of Frank Valli and the Four Seasons' song, Walk Like a Man.  Now, here's the fascinating part: about a couple of days later, we were quite amazed to find out that he had picked up on the meaning of "No" and he would, out of his own baby volition, remove his hands from his mouth every time he heard us say the word.  His outrage at having to cease an enjoyable activity decreased over the next few days, and now he almost never munches his mittens unless it's to engage in a little game that involves only smiles and no tears.

Now, what I find to be worthy of note is not the all-too-obvious implication about children's "trainability" but the encapsulation of what I think to be such important precepts in the realm of infant and, I dare to include, child discipline, precepts which I even more daringly venture to condense as such:

Correction must be founded out of real concern for the child's welfare and never to merely serve adult convenience or mood swings.  In such cases when discipline is found to be required, it must be applied gently, consistently, and unhormonally. And should the baby/child balk at the thwarting of their will, it is imperative that the adult respond firmly but always, always, with much love and regard for the child's person.

So anyway, the little munchkin is due to be here with us very very soon for a short vacation and I just cannot wait to see what new tricks he's got up his sweet baby folds. 

10 comments:

  1. He's so cute:) Liam, is such a nice name.. I almost picked this one instead of Dylan... but then I said I'll just name my second child Liam, if I'll have another son :) My college professor once told me that babies are literally blank.. they don't have personalities, and that whatever they become in the future will be due to what they have absorbed from their environment growing up :) Dylan also loved his mittens then.. then before I can stop him from munching his mittens, his dad gave him pacifier.. so he forgot the mittens but he liked pacifier more.. there was a point that Dylan will not drink milk until he's half asleep because he's already contented with his pacifier.. now that he's eating solid foods, the pacifier moments becomes lesser and lesser but he still sleeps with it..

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    1. Thanks Bheng! I think Dylan is a very nice name too and of course, your son is so adorable himself. :) Your college professor must have never had contact with a baby to think of them as blank canvases.

      Hmm, how do you prepare solid foods for Dylan? Anong food yung hit sa kids, hehe? :)

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    2. I use a small blender to blend malunggay, apple , potatoes, kalabasa, all pre boiled :) walang kahirap hirap pakainin ung baby ko ehhehehh how about liam? sabagay. 3months pa lang sya.. mga 4 months pwede na yan tikim tikim..

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    3. yup.. my professor told me that and then when I have my own son.. I said , there's already something in this baby .. :)

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    4. Share please ng recipes! Ahehe. :p Wala kasi kami masyadong alam sa baby food kaya iniisip isip na namin kung panu ba dapat. Lately, nahihirapan kami painumin ng milk si Liam, gusto nyang nilalaro yung tsupon with his gums. Pero feeling ko mageenjoy sya sa solid food, hehe.

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  2. Aww...cute! So wonderful to have a baby in the family, esp kung matagal nang puro adults kayo.
    I think babies have their own personality already, and then it combines with what he learns from those around him. I can see that from having two sons, as babies kita na personality nila.

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    1. It really is such a joy to have a baby in the house, they're so sweet and it's so much fun to see them grow and develop! :)

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  3. CUTE BABY!!! I love babies (though not looking to have one anytime in the next two years just yet ;)!

    And what an interesting post too! It's been a while since we've had any babies in the house. I agree that they have personalities even at only a few months; I've never taken care of babies that were so alike in their ways :)

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    1. Thank you. :) I haven't been near a baby in so long, but I've always wanted to be around them, and until Liam, I think I used to be one of those (creepy) strangers who'd watch babies and kids at the mall, hehe.

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    2. HAHA! Same here!!! Mukha raw akong mangingidnap ng bata. :D

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