Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Baby You


Everyone loves hearing about what kind of a baby they were like, looking through their pictures and for the incredibly lucky ones, watching videos of their long silences, wails and goo-goo-gah-gahs recorded. My parents were not long-sighted or technologically-advanced at the time to own a video camera, and they weren't exactly what you can call the best photographers either (-_-), so I'm left to rely on the few two-decade old photos and historical accounts from the family.

My baby-hood is a passionate subject in my family. When my name and the word 'baby' appear in the same sentence, everybody rushes to inform me how much of a pain I was. Apparently, I was one of those babies that make you wish you had "tied your tubes" or didn't even have eggs to begin with. Actually, now that I think of it, maybe that's the reason there isn't much documentation of that period. You'd hardly want to take out your camera to picture a wailing baby.

I sort of feel guilty about the long, painful hours my parents spent wondering how to get me to shut up. And the long nights my mother stayed up trying to put me to sleep. Until they discovered an absurd solution that worked: spinach. All they had to do was feed me some spinach before going to bed and I'd be asleep for a good many hours. Our freezer those days was filled with container after container of spinach, waiting to serve as my hypnotizer.

When I was several months old, my mother started to work at a school very far away. The good news was that the school had a lovely nursery filled with the most cheerful babies ever and a warm nanny that loved her life and what she did. All of that changed when I arrived. My mother, teaching a class on the second floor, could hear my wails all the way from the ground-floor nursery. My cries inspired my fellow babies who joined in the choir. It was only a matter of days before the nursery closed down and the nanny ran home, probably vowing to never work with children or have any of her own ever again.

But now that I'm all grown-up and not into making the lives of everyone around me miserable, something I always wonder is what the baby me says about me. Was my baby personality my default personality that I was born with, which my environment then altered? Or is that personality still in there somewhere suppressed by social obligations? Or does all that behaviour have nothing to do with personality?

What about you? How was the baby you? And how much of the baby you is still in you?

4 comments:

  1. I was always the cheerful one you cried so much and you were the most annoying baby.

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  2. hahahaha spinach? so now we have a female iraqi popeye, you need to get to iraq asap and beat all the baddies up. We'd probably need the world's supply of spinach though...:|

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  3. OMG I couldn't stop laughing... To be honest my dad is obsessed with technology so as you can imagine there are thousands of photos and videos for me to look at. Some are just too humiliating to look at, however they always manage to cheer me up when I am down.

    My parents say when I was a baby I had a very weird cry.They actually had me checked to make sure I was fine!! On the other hand, the first word I said was my mum's first name. I never called her mama, I just called her by her name.

    When I was around 2, everyone says I used to follow my mum every where and help her ( hanging clothes, washing dishes- I washed my own toy set etc..)

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    Replies
    1. Aww, your first word was your mother's name! How adorable!

      Lucky one :/

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