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Baby Safety Tips

Portland, Oregon: As my photo-purging projects comes to an end, and we I have now gone through dozens of slides and negatives, one theme always appears: we were far too young (26!) to have a baby. Not to mention we were living in The Philippines when Lisa was born, on our own, away from family help, grandmotherly advice... and long before Al Gore invented the internet. What were we thinking? Considering that for hundreds of thousands of years, humans have all (mostly) popped-out the same way and (mostly) made it to adulthood, it is interesting how baby-raising changes over the years. Here are a few tips, so you will know how to keep your baby safe and healthy*.

1. When you are 8-months pregnant, it is probably not a good idea to fly across the Pacific Ocean. Nor to stand on an ocean-side cliff.

2. Also, not a good idea to pose with a tiger while pregnant. Probably when you are not pregnant, as well.

3. When you have a baby, you should not be a baby.

Dr. Spock (and the International Herald Tribune

4. Read everything you can find on how to care for an infant.

5. Be sure your family car is solid and safe. (1981 Mitsubishi Lancer. We used a car seat!)

6. Try to avoid dangerous situations, and try to avoid Marshall-Law-loving shoe-hoarding dictators.

7. When bathing your infant, be sure there are no electrical cords nearby. (Goodness, I still have that rattan basket!)

8. All heavy objects, such as televisions (even if they are orange and only show black & white programs over rabbit-ear antennas) must be securely fastened to the wall, and hide electric cords. (PS: do not let your child watch much television. What could Lisa - and our neighbor, Brian, left - possibly be watching?) (PS: do not let your child eat food from the floor.) (Goodness, I still have that wooden bowl - and Lisa has the rocking chair.)

9. Place NOTHING in the crib except the baby. No pillows, blankets, toys, or bumpers.

10. Children should never be left unattended at a pool, river, or the seashore. Or in a jungle. Or at a seashore in a jungle.

11. Make sure the child has a healthy diet, rich in vegetables and fruits. Limit sweets.

Lisa, with her yaya, Sining

12. Do not let your child play on the street or in parking areas.

NOTE: Unless they have an armed guard watching.

12. Restrict alcohol while nursing a baby.

Tokyo Narita Airport, circa 1981

13. Children need a schedule. Do not drag them all over the world, through countless time zones, several times a year.

14. Children need to be close to their parents. They need to spend time being cuddled, rocked, read-to, and loved.

NOTE: Even if their Father has an odd sense of humor (and goes to a lot of luaus?).

My Mom with Lisa

15. Family bonds will remain with your child for life. Make sure they form a relationship with their grandparents.

Especially if their parents are named Dave and Terry.

Until my next update, I remain, your motherly correspondent.

*This is (mostly) sarcasm.