My little brother was born in the month I began my secondary school leaving exams and three months later, with my exams done and his mum having to return to work, I took over his primary care.
It was easy. He slept almost all the time and I only had to feed him and change him.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently and it’s had me wondering about two statements:
‘Knowledge is power’
‘Ignorance is bliss’
Which is more powerful?
As a sixteen year old, I knew very little about scary stuff like Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or how to administer infant CPR. I didn’t know whether a little baby should be laid on their side or back.
I didn’t know a lot and really, I wasn’t worried because for me and at that time, ignorance was utter bliss.
Now, I have a thousand worries flitting across my mind if/when I’m left alone with a baby or toddler. I worry if they’re laid on the proper side or breathing properly or choking on their own saliva. Just an endless spiral of worries really.
So what’s changed between 16 year old me and present me?
Knowledge. Yep, knowledge.
Even though I wasn’t careless with my little brother, I remember some moments alone with him and the thoughts of what could have gone wrong have my heart in my throat.
My knowledge should make me better with babies but the fear created by that knowledge fills me with a lot of reservation about being left alone with someone else’s child.
So that brings me back to it, what’s the balance between the power of knowledge and the bliss of ignorance?
©Ọrẹolúwa Matẹ̀milọ́lá 2021 All Rights Reserved