The Daily Prompt I chose “Baby ” as babies always have my interest.
I had German guests for a few days earlier this week as a airbnb host. People can book rooms upstairs at my place in a day’s notice. I have to be careful to close the dates where I have personal appointments. It reminds me a bit of my job as a health visitor. Then I also had to check my calendar often to make room for unexpected situations and the last many years, when we had electronic calendars, colleagues could book meetings with you if your calendar looked empty.
The German guests brought their baby of 15 months. Fortunately I have a lot of things in the house for that age. A cot, a baby carrier, a car seat, a high chair, a changing table and suitable toys.
They were happy to stay with me. I noticed that she “spoke” like all other babies in that age. Babies make all these sounds to express themselves and they are alike in all countries.
I wasn’t their Health Visitor so I shouldn’t interfere with anything but it is difficult to stay out of that role. I did say one thing though. Her motor development wasn’t very advanced. She had just learnt to walk and one foot turned outward like how a penguin would walk. She was wearing tight and a bit stiff shoes indoors.The father took care of her while his wife was at a college on a German workshop for teachers.
I told him that it would be good for her sometimes to be barefooted indoors to be able to move her feet unhindered during crawling and walking. At once the father referred to their pediatric doctor who had advised the parents that she wear shoes while walking ALWAYS.
A good way to learn steps
She had the pacifier in her mouth all the time she was awake. I didn’t mention anything as they knew better themselves. But had they been interested I would have told them that language development is like couple dancing. The parent say something and the toddler will repeat. It goes the other way round too, the curious child points out to something and “asks” with an asking sound what it is. The parents understand and answer very distinctly.
The game between the parents and the baby is repeated until something else is more interesting. The pacifier in the mouth of the baby’s distorts her sounds so that she won’t be heard properly. The pacifier is good for its purpose when the baby is tired and needs it, it has no meaning for an energetic child. A pacifier for too long periods will eventually dislocate the front teeth.
It’s very difficult for me to keep quiet on the things I see that are so obvious and easily understood when common sense is used.
I so much wanted to make real food for her while she was here. I don’t know what she was given the long hours between the breakfast I served and bedtime. Some of it was these modern tubes with fruit and porridge. I suppose it’s of good quality as the firms are given restrictions on making baby food so that they only use good quality ingredients.
The children will never see what the “Tube”food looks like and won’t be able to train using a spoon or a fork to eat it. I would say that it would do on a train or bus trip for surviving the journey. I couldn’t help making oatmeal porridge with apples for her and I saw that she had eaten some of it.
She has good parents who love her and she will be okay and still I can’t help observing what I see and hear because I am so used to it during the many years of working in families on health advising.
If they had wanted more feed back on their parenting I would have complimented them for NOT having their heads buried in their mobile phones while their baby was awake. It hurts me to see so many parents being more engaged in their online life on their phones than to prioritize contact with their babies.
The feeling of belonging or sense of their inner selves will be damaged if the baby look for the eye contact of their parents in vain. The message will be received:
“You are not that important to me”.
A baby is supposed to sleep quite a lot so there should be spare time for the online life.