As the music reached a crescendo, the star of the luncheon party, whose birth a few months ago was being celebrated with family and friends, remained oblivious to the waves of sound crashing all around him. He continued to sleep blissfully through it all.

A doting uncle picked him up, determined to let him participate in the fun. As the adult joined the dancers on the floor with the babe in his arms, a curious onlooker was amused to see the slumber interrupted.

The swaying movement only seemed to soothe the baby as his eyes remained tightly shut. Those very same orbs had opened briefly a little earlier when the cake was being cut.

Perhaps the little one had been dreaming of something deliciously edible and woken up to see the extravagantly decorated cake as if he had conjured up the same.

Sensing the expectation of the crowd, he had managed to keep awake to the oohs and aahs and clicking cameras capturing the special moment.

As the excitement subsided briefly, the baby sensed it was time to go right back to sleep now that he had done his bit. The eyelids soon came down, shuttering his view of that noisy lot.

What struck the observer was the thought of that tiny scrap of humanity experiencing perhaps the time of his life. Maybe not that particular day but that phase when all it had to do was sleep. Every other need was catered to by anxious parents hovering over their little angel.

Every cry was interpreted in a hundred different ways. Was this pain? Hunger? Or perhaps just wind. At no other time in one's life is everyone's attention centred round one tiny being whose smile can tug at your heartstrings and whose pain or discomfort can cause you sleepless nights.

This babe in arms will not hear harsh words spoken nor will it know irritation or anger as its presence will elicit only the tenderest of feelings and a protectiveness so strong that no harm can possibly befall it.

The most assured of parents can be frustrated and made to feel helpless by their inability to decipher every mood or symptom displayed. That is when the reassuring presence of a grandmother is sought. After all she's raised her three children and is an old hand at the parenting task.


What one conveniently forgets is the fact that that experience dates back to several decades ago. But knowing instinctively what to do is perhaps a skill never forgotten like cycling or swimming.

Though I must disclose here that this theory can be disputed. I did try getting on a bicycle recently thinking it would be a piece of cake. Hadn't I spent hours as a child riding around the neighbourhood? To make a long story short, the balance factor was my undoing.

At that particular celebration described earlier there seemed to be a battalion of babies. The stork certainly seemed to have been working overtime.

Sets of parents could be seen sitting together discussing growth patterns and congratulating themselves on how far they'd come from being a carefree young couple to one with responsibilities weighing them down.

Those with slightly older children looked at these fledgling parents with nostalgia and a feeling of thank god that stage is over for me.

So, little one, savour this moment which is, I admit, a prolonged period of time. Cry as much as you want, safe in the knowledge that you will not be taken to task.

Instead, your mother and father will probably berate themselves for their inability to read the signs, their lack of knowledge on identifying the reason for that wailing.

Sleep as long as you want. There will be no rude awakening. Hushed voices will not impinge on your consciousness. As I see it, it's the time of your life.