I’d Like Another Crack At Infancy
I was already well into my twenties when I learned how critical the first years of life are. And how screwing them up, as I already had, would have lifelong consequences for my brain development, emotional stability, and baseline central nervous system functioning.
Had someone the decency to clue me in, I wouldn’t have been so laissez-faire about my infancy. Trying to rewire those anguished neural networks now, decades after the fact, has not been easy. Old habits and early synaptic patterns die hard. Far smarter and more efficient it is to simply take a mulligan and start my childhood off right.
Next time around, I’ll be doing things very differently. For one thing, I’ll complete that renowned first latch that was so routinely denied me back when I was originally born. That will set me up nicely with a warm first impression of a world that is safe, secure, and tasty. I’m not going to let some retro ‘60s nurses whisk me off again, in some retro plexiglass bassinet, to some retro baby internment unit.
Next infancy, I won’t naively lay there again waiting for my needs to be met, futilely kicking until I give up crying, and all hope. When I need something, I’ll take matters into my own hands and find it. Just because I can’t walk or talk yet, doesn’t mean I’m helpless.
As a baby, I will be at the height of my adorability, and I plan to take full advantage of it. You’ve got to use what you’ve got, while you’ve still got it.
While my family is busy tending to the fallout of their own inadequate infancies, I’ll find alternative stewards who possess the required reserves to care for me. Everyone knows that the family we choose, or choose to hire, is just as important as the one we’re born into.
A proactive infancy won’t only allow me to get my basic needs met, it will also help me feel capable and self-reliant. The first time through, my passivity and low initiative left me helpless, needy, and alarmingly codependent.
But I won’t mistake self-reliance for rugged individualism. Next time, I’ll develop a talent for self-advocacy as I learn how to ask others for help. No more free-soloing. That’s the whole point. I can’t do it alone.
I’m just a baby, for crying out loud.