Thursday, 4 August 2022

If I Could be Anyone for a Day

 If I could be anyone for a day, who would I choose to be? A revered doctor performing a delicate operation? An elite runner completing the Boston Marathon in under three hours? A headliner at the half-time show at the Super Bowl? Nah. None of the above. If I could be anyone for a day, I would be — a baby.

Has anyone told you lately that your double chins are cute? Or that your roly-poly tummy and your flabby thighs are adorable? Not only do babies get to be fat without the added weight of social stigma, but they get complimented on their rotundness.That’s right. No one says to a baby, ‘you should get more exercise.” On the contrary, they take the onus right off you, and take it upon themselves to do the job for you. Yep. As a baby, I could simply lie there with my feet and hands in the air, and before you know it, someone would come along and exercise me. They’d wiggle my legs and pull me up by my arms. They’d lift my bum and turn me over. And they’d even praise me for all the hard work I just did. 

If I were to get overly tired from that rigorous workout, I’d get to have a mid-day nap. And if I didn’t want to stop at one nap, no one would get on my case if I decided to shoot for two or three. Even more striking, if I then ended up with insomnia in the middle of the night – because of all those gosh, darn naps – I’d find someone willing to hang out with me. All I’d have to do is holler and cry, and someone would come along to relieve me of my boredom. When was the last time you complained at three in the morning that you couldn’t sleep, and had a loved one rise to the occasion?

If I were a baby for a day, I could eat with my fingers. I could belch. I could spit up on white carpet. I could throw my supper dish. I could even drop your new smartphone in the toilet. Now you might not be pleased, but you wouldn’t yell at me. Who yells at a baby?

Babies don’t know how good they have it. They get to do some really cool stuff, but they don’t appreciate just how cool these things are. Babies get to stare at people. They can get right up into your grill and stare away. Babies can suck their toes while they are out visiting people. And babies can get away with wearing pyjamas to all occasions.  Loose, cozy fleece onesies with built-in sleepers. It doesn’t get better than that.

Being close to the ground, I could fall ten times a day and not hurt myself. I could toddle along without knee pain because my joints would be generously lubricated. And I wouldn’t have a clue what tension headaches are all about. 

Tension? I would never worry that my plane might be delayed. Or, God forbid, that my plane might crash into the ocean. No, being a wee thing, I could easily stretch out across a loved one’s lap and snooze my way across the Atlantic. The loud humdrum of an airplane engine? Heck, I could tune that out. Jet lag, hah. I’d stay on my schedule. Like it or lump it.

I haven’t even got to the best part yet about being a baby. Babies smell insanely good. No teeth equals no bad breath. When you smell that good, people just want to hold you and kiss you and snuggle you all day long. Now, think about that for a minute. How would your day go, if you received as many cuddles as a baby gets in a day?

In my one day as a baby, I would have infinite curiosity. I would explore with all my senses. I would suck blocks and spatulas. I would pull myself up on table legs and curbs. I would savor the sensation of my first blueberry, my first lick of chocolate ice cream. I would listen intently to the sound of running water and a barking dog. And I would giggle and smile at the endless marvels of the world. 

Babies really get it. They know how to stick to the fundamentals. How to stick to the present. How to forget about yesterday and not worry about tomorrow. A baby is, perhaps, the most philosophical of all human beings. If I could be a baby for a day, I would remember all that I have forgotten. I would remember how to truly seize the day.