A few days after my son came home from the hospital, the stars aligned and my partner and I managed to make a spaghetti dinner. I’m still not sure just how we were able to swing it, but I know why we went through all the effort, despite being sleep-deprived, overwhelmed and confused; we were just aching for a semblance of normalcy. It’s not like our son had any sense of baby dinnertime rules he should be following, or really, any rules he should be following. He did what all babies do, which was just kinda hang out and sleep and cry when he needed something. It was pretty much what we, as his parents, had signed up for.
However, what if we suspended reality for a second and simply imagined how sweet it would be if babies could follow rules? If they could actually respond to specific instructions? My first priority, personally, would be to make sure my baby was totally an expert in all snuggling poses, and then my second priority would be to get him to cooperate during mealtimes. In between all the breastfeeding mishaps, the laundry piles and the confused calls to our doctor’s office (we were, um, a little overzealous), preparing, cooking and enjoying well-balanced meals were not exactly taking precedence. In order to sit and enjoy a meal, at a table, I needed my baby's full cooperation and, well, that wasn't something I had on a regular basis. At least, not at first as a new mother trying to navigate my way through a completely different and intense life change like parenthood.
Still, the ability to make it through a meal comfortably with a new baby by your side is every new mom's dream, so we might as well stay in dream land long enough to imagine what rules we would enact if our babies could, in fact, follow them. Of course, every mom's would be different because every mother is different, but if I had to create something of a "starting line" for baby commandments, it would look something like this: