In Summary
  • A lot has changed in the art and science of taking care of babies.
  • Now that I have babies of my own, I feel so inadequate and I need to read the manual afresh if any exists.

I raised my siblings. There’s no other way to put it and I really had no choice in the matter.

When I see them commenting with ‘Nktest’ and ‘Lolest’ on my Facebook wall, I’m tempted to remind them that I changed their nappies and bathed them.

A lot has changed in the art and science of taking care of babies. Now that I have babies of my own, I feel so inadequate and I need to read the manual afresh if any exists.

One of the major changes I have witnessed is the diminishing fontanelle. This is the soft opening in the skull at the top of a baby's head. In my days of taking care of my siblings, the fontanelle used to be a full acre of soft and pulsating marshland. If you brought your tiny hand anywhere near the baby's head, Wa Hellen would plot for your murder.

HAT TRICK

Nowadays, babies are born with skulls that can head a soccer ball into the goalpost and score a hat trick.

Babies are also being born with their eyes wide open, and you would be tempted to give them a newspaper to peruse through as you follow up on the lengthy discharge process from the maternity wing. I believe my siblings were born blind and they only started seeing things when they started walking, or how else would you explain their incessant crying even after you had gathered all kinds of toys around them and still they could not keep their small mouths shut?

The other good thing is that babies now sleep without starting a third world war.

In our days I would be left alone with the baby at 8am because our mothers had other things to do like going to look for school fees and locating the veterinary officer so that he could come and treat the cows.

Come 12pm and the baby has not slept. By that time, you would be dangerously cranky because you also wanted to go out and play and baby would not be in the mood to make that happen for you.

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