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About A Week: Out Of The Mouths Of Infants

In this wonderful column Steve Harrison tells of the loving advice he receives from his six-months-old daughter.

Rachel my beautiful baby girl is now six months old and is a delight to be with. She laughs and giggles non-stop whilst chattering away in a language only she and I comprehend.

Every morning I get the delightful task of staring into her wonderful eyes whilst she imparts some of her deep wisdom to me. She is far wiser than her six months should allow.

This morning she told me that she is deeply concerned, that she loves me unconditionally, that she thinks I should change certain things in my life.

I listened to her intently. Like I said, she is smart. I find myself wholeheartedly agreeing with her.

1 - She thinks I should stop trying to out-drink everyone who comes into town or to our house, especially the young backpackers. My ability to tell colourful stories whilst consuming large amounts of alcohol concerns her. Large amounts of alcohol diminish my ability to think clearly and make rational decisions. Go on telling the stories, she says. We love them. But slow down on the drinking. I gaze at her in wonder, knowing what she says is correct.

2 Get into a better sleeping routine, she says. Now here shes got me. She and her grandmother fall asleep about 8 pm and rest peacefully throughout the night until the moment of waking. Rachel thinks I try to burn the candle at both ends. Shes very perceptive for six-months-old. Her eyes pleading, brimming with love, she gently suggests that I should calm down a whole lot. That I should go to bed at an earlier hour, get up earlier than I do. Establish a rhythm closer to nature. She takes short naps during the day and suggests that I should do the same. It works for me she says, and yet again I know shes right.

3 She tells me I am not worried about the future, but your lined face announces that you spend a lot of time worrying. I examine her face. Not a line or wrinkle. Perfect skin. Flawless perfection. I am nonplussed. Obviously she can read my mind. I assure her that I will try to be less worried. Gently she makes a suggestion. I should pray more. Allow God to take care of more of those things which concern me. Shes right of course. As I look at her I realise she is an angel sent by God to teach me and bless my life.

With a profound look she says I know you like drinking with the lads Dad. Staying up late sometimes. I think you even enjoy worrying. But I love you, and I want you to be here for a long, long time.

I melt as I look into her brown eyes. Who could resist such persuasion. I marvel at the wisdom that comes from the mouths of babes.


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