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.