Harry’s tips for happiness

Mummy bloggers abound at the moment and whilst I certainly am not wanting to join their  number, I can’t ignore that Harry has made his presence known in all areas of our life and it would be churlish not to record it. Some of this I could have foreseen – a supermarket shop never used to be so challenging before child – and some I hadn’t anticipated at all. Life has slowed down (despite still being very busy) and every day brings a new change, a new way of being as he becomes an actual new being. He turned nine months old yesterday and the metamorphoses from squealing, grumpy newborn to giggling, wriggling, grinning child is remarkable.

Smiley baby

People always comment to me how happy Harry is and it’s true, most of the time he has a massive smile on his face and is delighted with the world about him. I think there are lessons to be learnt here: as adults we over-complicate everything but the babies have got it sussed. And so here are Harry’s top 5 tips for contentedness:

1. Know when and where your next meal is coming from (and make it reasonably tasty & healthy)
Solid food is the best thing that ever happened to Harry. As long as he’s got three meals a day, plus two snacks and an evening bottle, he’s sorted. A late meal = misery. So Grown Ups, remember to eat your weetabix, make time for healthy snacks, and make sure you have a proper dinner. You will feel better about life, I promise.

2. Live in the moment
This one has fascinated me. Harry can stub his toe, or get fingers stuck in a drawer, and as soon as the immediate issue has been resolved – i.e. fingers have been freed – the wailing stops and he moves on to his next exploration. What a gift this is. Grown Ups: Let go of all the bad things that have happened to you; forget what should be or could be. Let it all go. Live in the moment and enjoy the freedom.

3. Live with curiosity
Every new room, place, toy, animal, mixing bowl, spoon, phone, etc etc, is a thing of wonder. Fingers are in drawers, arms are in flower beds, exploring this new and wondrous world we live in. Grown Ups: don’t forget to live with curiosity about the world around you. There is no such thing as boredom.

4. Get plenty of sleep
Ideally 13 hours plus three daytime cat naps. Grown Ups: Wouldn’t life just be better if we got more kip?

5. Expect everyone to be your friend
Harry meets everyone he meets, and I mean EVERYONE, with a massive massive smile. And unsurprisingly they all smile back. He expects people to be his friend and as a result they’re unfailingly nice to him. Grown Ups: a smile and a friendly attitude goes a long way in getting what you want in life.

So there we go. I’ve had 16 years of formal education, 16 years of professional development, 13 years of yoga, and here is a 9 month old baby with everything to teach. Never stop learning folks.

Yoga baby

Also this week:

Allotment: All the cut flowers are now planted out; we have a plantation of cosmos, sunflowers, sweet williams, dahlia, chrysanths, borage, cleome, zinnia and sweet peas. They’re all later than normal which is no bad thing, given that we’re after September wedding flowers. Without wanting to tempt fate, I think this year the allotment looks the most promising that it’s ever looked.

Harvesting: Lettuce, oregano, chives, strawberries, sweet william, lavender

Cooking: BBQ beef ribs, lots of salads with fake feta from the Halal shop, peaches and strawberries with yoghurt, pecan brownies, baby dal with spinach and coconut.

The sweet williams are now marvellous and smell divine


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