Non Judgemental Babies

For some time now I have found it heartwarming to watch Annabelle interact, more over crave the attention, from people around her, namely strangers.

Annabelle with our watchman and building sweeper

Annabelle with our watchman and building sweeper

It’s safe to say she’s a pretty social baby and she certainly loves the faces she knows; daddy, our friends, our cleaner, our driver, the watchman and the building sweeper. But lately Annabelle has just discovered that smiling at people keeps the attention on her for that little bit longer, or indeed draws the attention her way. And what’s so heartwarming is that she has no judgements on whom she gets her attention from.

Annabelle with a waitress at a restaurant

Annabelle with a waitress at a restaurant

A month or so ago we had to go to the doctors for a check up with her hips (being a breech baby there is a risk of hip dysplasia, especially once babies start to bare weight). We were sitting in the waiting room and the only other people there were two rugged and scruffy young ‘runners’ (boys that are employed to drop things off and pick things up from all around the city, usually on foot or by bicycle). These boys were curled up sleeping on a chair near by and Annabelle was smiling, laughing even, to grab their attention. Once they finally woke up and looked over, sure enough they smiled back and Annabelle was finally satisfied.

We’ve been in a lift before with a rather fragrant gentleman that had very dirty clothes, no shoes and sadly no teeth either. Did Annabelle mind, hell no… a smile’s a smile, whoever it comes from! So as usual, she went on her charm offensive to get him to smile at her. It’s a lovely icebreaker between the very obvious class (or caste) system here in India. Annabelle doesn’t mind who or what you are, just smile at her and she’ll accept you.

On a recent visit to the clinic where I help out (Foundation for Mother and Child Health) in the Dhobi Ghat, Annabelle was passed from pillar to post and she was in her element. I knew it was a safe environment, so I felt comfortable allowing her to meet all these people but a couple of times I turned around and she was in the arms of some other man, women or child. All of them with such different lifestyles and cultures to her own. I wish I could bottle this acceptance and sell it across the world. I know she will change in time and create her own judgements like we all do (however hard we try not to), but for now I think it’s a lovely reminder of how we all started off the same way.

A gentleman at our Clinic

A gentleman at our Clinic

Is there a downside to this? One small one and I have to be careful how I write this for readers overseas not to get the wrong impression.  However, it is a fairly standard thing here to ignore beggars who rap on your car window for money and it’s something every person in the city struggles with, but for our own reasons it’s the best way to deal with such overt poverty. Annabelle, of course, doesn’t understand this and to her this beggar is just another friend she wants the attention of, so she’s there smiling and giggling and generally drawing attention, whilst I’m being all cold and hard hearted!! Perhaps she’ll grow up to work for UNICEF!

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Paediatric First Aid

Last week I participated in a two day paediatric first aid course conducted by Keshanee Shah of Zen Babies. The course was broken down into two mornings, the first consisted of Primary Care (life saving) and the second day was for Secondary Care, as well as a recap of day 1.

Checking for a response

Checking for a response

CPR on a child

CPR on a child

Defibrillation

Defibrillation

Primary care included CPR (and defibrillation), Serious Bleeding, Spinal Injury and Shock and all aimed at saving infants and children. The courses are held in small groups, ours was 4 people, the maximum is 6. Each course is very relaxed but also quite intense and hands on. After talking through each procedure, every participant is required to go through the motions and be critiqued by Keshinee as well as the other participants.

Vault hold and log roll

Vault hold and log roll

Pressure hold and tying a tourniquet

Pressure hold and tying a tourniquet

Over night we were given some home work in the form of a short quiz and the next morning we were each given blind role play examples to have to negotiate our way through.

Although I have done a number of first aid courses, the most recent being battle field first aid for OTC (Territorial Army) at University it was great to not only recap on procedures but also understand, in detail, the differences required for children and infants.

Zen Babies: Keshinee Shah
Keshinee@zenbabies.in / +91 9820323096 / http://www.zenbabies.in
Keshinee also does courses in hindi for maids and nannies.

I blame teething!

I think teething is every new mums nightmare and every mums excuse for a blip in proceedings or a change in their once angelic baby. At about 12 weeks old Annabelle started to drool, rub her ear and gnaw on her fist. Yup, this is it folks, she’s teething. Nope no teeth. Then at about 4.5months we got the runny poos, the slight fever and the rosey cheeks. Ok, this is definitely teething. I am sure those toothy-pegs will be through any day now. Nope no teeth. What about sleep regression and whinging? Don’t know about you but I always blame teething. The words that most commonly leave my mouth as a mother must be “I think she’s teething”.

t for teeth?

t for teeth?

This on/off teething has been going on for some time now. Then, one Saturday morning after feeding, Annabelle and I were just kicking back; she was chomping on my finger and I felt what could only be described as a shard of glass nip through my digit. Hold on, what’s in there…? Upon inspection, sure enough two little nippers, like a piranha. Where did they come from? We didn’t have any whinging, any ear rubbing, any nasty nappies, any sleep regression, any drooling? How unexpected! Now I’m definitely confused, but I will continue to blame teething when she has her whinges and sleep regressions… what else could it possibly be? I do ask myself what I will call “it” once all 30 teeth are through?

Catching a photo of big foot would be easier than capturing her teeth

Catching a photo of big foot would be easier than capturing her teeth