On the 23rd of December I will become an uncle for the sixth time, as my sister-in-law is scheduled in to present to all us Johnstons, Kemps, Whites, Hutchinsons, Vanags’, Sinivees et al, with a new neice or nephew. “Schedule to present” sounds more like a model waving her hand over a luzury gift item on a game show rather than having her legs strapped into stirrups and grunting in the most primal way possible. But regular readers will be accustomed to my descritpive flair for such things.
So in honour of the occasion I wish to share with you a piece of advice to all first time parents out there, and memories to those of several timed offsprings. I recently read one of Michael J. Fox’s biographies, “Always Looking Up”.
There is a truism about parenting that goes like this:
When your first baby is sucking on a pacifier and spits it out onto the floor, you pick that pacifier up, and before returning it to your child’s mouth, you immerse it in boiling water to make sure you’ve destroyed any traces of bacteria.
With your second child, you realize that a quick pass under a stream of warm tap water will do the trick.
With your third child, you pick the pacifier up off the floor, lick it yourself, and pop it back into the kid’s mouth.
With the fourth, you let the dog lick it.
Michael J. Fox
Always Looking Up
Hyperion Books, p. 227