Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Hands of Fury

Based on a lifetime spent watching nature programs on television and the last 6 weeks watching the Prawn, I’ve become increasingly baffled as to how we’ve managed to succeed as a species due to the fact that babies are really a bit useless.

This is not to say I don’t totally adore my useless baby. On the contrary I love every finger and toe on her squishy little pink body. But when compared with the offspring of other species, who are pretty much independent straight from the womb, she’s a little dopey. In the wild, her mother probably would have eaten her. This is, of course, the price we pay for our big brains; they take a good old while to jump start.

At the moment, it’s her hands that are bothering me; and coincidentally, bothering her as well. They seem to belong to someone else. A while back, a viral video was circulating the internet featuring a dog who’s hind leg seemed to have a mind of it’s own, causing the dog to attack himself. This is kind of how it goes with The Prawn. Her hands, under the direction of some obscenely gleeful puppet master, take great pleasure in pummelling her tiny head.

So we’ve started swaddling her at night and sometimes during the day if she’s particularly fussy. I’ve read some anti-swaddling propaganda on certain fringe websites, (it’s cruel, it’s restrictive, blah, blah, blah) but seeing as how the practice is thousands of years old, they can go suck it. Swaddling, of course, has it’s most famous proponent in the Bible. If the Virgin Mary thought it was good enough to keep the son of God from punching himself in the freaking face every 5 seconds, it’s good enough for the Prawn.

I’ve been told that The Prawn will eventually gain control of her limbs and cease trying to perpetuate this early form of self-harming and use her hands for good rather than ill. There are enough perils in the world that I must try to keep my child from without having to worry about her being one of them.


Reesh said...

I've often thought the same thing about our species. I look at other animals on this earth and often their babies are born already able to walk! It does take a really long time for our brains to be fully programmed and functional on an independent level.

If the swaddling works - you should do it. Those anti swaddlers obviously never had a baby whose hands like to hit themselves in the head. You will learn very quickly that parenting is more about doing what keeps everybody happy and sane and less about trying to do everything "right."

Anonymous said...

you are telling me girl.

i had my baby today is day 7, and i am running off to the breasfeeding clinc again for the 3rd time this week. i am pumping and using a bottle since she is not latching very well. gosh who knew breast feeding would be so HARD.

i never knew either that the afternoon would come and i have been looking after baby, pumping, feeding etc and realize i haven't brushed my teeth or even drank my morning cup of tea! who freaking knew??

cant imagine having more than one!! can you?

alisa said...

Apparently it's both amazing and a miracle.
If anything, it has little arm restraints on the inside of the baby burrito wrapper.
When my animal comes out, I'll tell you how amazingly miraculous it is (or not).