“Who says I need the Zen or a Guru to show me the wisdom? Tell them I have a baby, the greatest teacher of life.”
I believe in learning from everyone. Recently, my daughter who is 20 months now, started forming broken sentences. As cute as it sounds, it also reflects what language we are using in our daily life. So no wonder even though everyone has polished language in the family, still we are careful not to make any slip of tongue, even in jokes. That made me ponder about one thing- Is it always that the parents teach kids or is it the other way round? I try to behave as an adult but end up feeling like a kid while being with my daughter. Ever since she came into my life, I am just learning from her. There are various lessons I have absorbed from her till now:
1. Relax after hard work: After going through the tiring process of birth, babies relax like anything. They just sleep all the time without bothering about anything until they are mentally and physically ready to look around. My daughter tends to become cranky and shows her disappointment if she does not get to sleep properly after a good play. So, when you are tired because of the tough and tiring time, just relax and chill out until you feel good.
2. Have meals on time: When my daughter was just an infant I realized that she needs to be fed in a gap of every two hours. Babies are very particular about their meals. They just don’t believe in skipping diets. They start crying their heart out if left hungry. Nothing comes first but food. And here we become so careless regarding our breakfast, lunch or supper and hence, no wonder, we suffer.
3. Be confident: No one teaches babies to turn and crawl. They do it themselves alone just by trying again and again. They never compare themselves with others nor do they get intimidated by anyone’s presence. They are competing with themselves. How good would it be if we take lessons from them in solving our problems to grow in life!
4. Smile-laugh-cry heartily: You make weird faces, babies smile. You make funny noises, they just laugh. To them it just doesn’t matter who is doing what or where they are. They just heartily express what they like or don’t like. Play some good music and they actually start dancing anywhere. They cry when they are not happy about something but the next moment they can become normal as if nothing happened. As we become adults, we tend to become serious. We no more smile or laugh or dance outside our comfort zone or with strangers on small things. We just look for an occasion to loosen up. We are ashamed to cry. There is definitely something to learn from babies on this.
5. Treat everyone equally: My daughter greets everyone with a smile. Be it my maid or my sister, she treats everyone lovingly. Her attitude has changed me. I have started looking at a person as a human first and then by any other identity.
6. Be gentle in your actions and words: A baby imitates your behavior. If you are always polite and loving, a baby also becomes polite and loving. If you get angry and use curse words, the baby will do same. So babies teach parents to always be patient in every situation and keep a cheerful atmosphere. What your parents fail to teach, by telling you millions of times, babies teach you effortlessly.
7. Love your Relations: Babies don’t have ego issues. They just enjoy everyone’s company anytime without feeling bad about anything. They don’t respect relations, they love them.If we start liking everyone’s company like them, we’ll definitely be loved and hence, we will share good relationships with everyone.
8. Be active: Have you noticed that kids never sit idle? Neither they cry out or complain about boredom. They just keep themselves occupied even when they don’t have company. What happens as we grow up? We start complaining and cribbing. We live life on a timetable and often get tired doing the same things in a routine.
9. Be curious: If you are curious, you can draw inspiration from a bit of paper or even a drop of water. Everything around you is sure to fascinate you. Your perspective will not be limited to the known realm. My daughter loves to play more with the packaging than the actual toy. Actually, she can make a good play from things ranging from a grocery bag to my lunch box.
10. Feel nature: She is super charged while playing in water. She loves to mess in the mud. But her best reactions come out in wind. My girl loves wind. Whenever it touches her face she breathes it in, smiling, as if embracing the nature. I have started to enjoy all these real gifts of life. In my busy routine, I had always overlooked all that but not anymore. I now believe that babies are sent with a secret mission to remind everyone around how easy and simple life is. I am simplifying my life by taking lessons from my baby and I am very grateful to her. How about you?
Roohi Bhatnagar is a passionate writer and an artist who also works for IT industry to earn her living. She is a doting mom of a cute daughter. Her stories have been published in “Chicken soup for Indian Souls” series and her paintings have been part of local exhibitions. These days her life’s mantra is to clutter the platter. Apart from the dream world where she often wanders you can also find her at her blog “Soulful“.