Sur­viv­ing in­va­sion of the tiny tyrants

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Mi­randa Mur­phy is a mother of three and a jour­nal­ist at Fol­low her on Twit­ter @mur­phymi­randa

LONG­TIME friends of ours re­cently had a baby, and ex­pe­ri­enced for the first time the joy of a dear lit­tle new­born in the house.

Mostly, they wrecked.

Their daugh­ter is a gor­geous thing and, like all ba­bies, a tiny terry-tow­ellinged tyrant.

Like Hannibal in Hug­gies, she marched into their pre­vi­ously free lives in her jack­booties and en­slaved her ex­hausted par­ents to meet her ev­ery need.

She colonised ev­ery cor­ner of their ter­ri­tory with her stuff, over­com­ing their sole de­fences of sharp cor­ners and shiny sur­faces.

She dic­tated the house­hold’s ev­ery wak­ing and rare sleep­ing mo­ment.

Her mum, dad, ex­tended fam­ily and friends are, of course, en­rap­tured.

How­ever, it’s fair to say their dog did not take well its de­mo­tion from most favoured pet. It was spot­ted suck­ing a dummy.

But our friends should be ex­tra proud. Their daugh­ter flaw­lessly ex­e­cuted the tac-

were tics in the New­born In­va­sion Hand­book pro­vided to all ba­bies on ar­rival — in­deed, our ter­ri­tory has been con­quered by three waves of in­fant in­vaders and we are yet to re­gain sovereignty.

I sus­pect that when ba­bies are placed side-by-side, they’re not gur­gling non­sen­si­cally at each other — they’re ex­chang­ing coded op­er­a­tional re­ports.

“Psy­cho­log­i­cal war­fare go­ing well, stop. Woke par­ents on the half-hour all night, as in­structed, stop. Launch­ing phase II in three ... two ... one ... WAAAH!”

They’re also im­per­vi­ous to in­ter­ro­ga­tion, never di­vulging cru­cial in­for­ma­tion in the face of in­tense ques­tion­ing, like: “What’s wrong? Are you hun­gry? Tired? Wet? Too hot? Too cold? What is it?!” You’ll never get a thing out of them.

Of­ten new par­ents be­seech old hands: “Why did no­body tell us what it’s real- ly like?” But should we alert them to what lies ahead? Is fore­warned really fore­armed — or would it just make them for­lorn?

I don’t reckon our hor­ror sto­ries about eye-goug­ing fatigue and con­fu­sion are go­ing to help — al­though I’ve told my fair share.

No one can be pre­pared for the sleep de­pri­va­tion and iso­la­tion of look­ing af­ter a new­born un­less they have ac­tu­ally been through NASA as­tro­naut train­ing.

I take the “benev­o­lent nanny” ap­proach. It’s slightly con­de­scend­ing but I pat the bone-tired new par­ent gen­tly on the arm, at­tempt to muster a gen­tle twin­kle in my eye, and as­sure them that It Will All Get Bet­ter.

Though I sus­pect that, with three kids’ worth of op­pres­sion im­printed on my face, I come across less Mary Pop­pins and more Mrs Doubt­fire.

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