Things have been a little serious on my blog lately, so this is one to lighten things up a bit. You know how all parents (well, most) say “If I had had my second child FIRST, he/she would be an ONLY child!” I have to admit that I have thought that on more than one occasion. See it all began like this.
When my first child, Z, was born, he was a relatively easy baby. We expected the normal sleep deprivation and strange feeding schedules. We expected fussiness puzzles for us new parents to solve. And we got all of that, of course, but he was still an easy baby. His feeding schedule was almost regular. (You could count on being up at 5 am to feed him.) At six weeks EXACTLY, Z started sleeping through the night. He ate whatever he was fed (then, not now), and played quite happily by himself or with others. He had a very laid-back, middle-of-the road personality. Easy baby. This was much easier than we expected! Let’s have another!
This is where the word “sucker” was imprinted on my forehead I am convinced.
M. was anything but “easy.”
He was colicky from the start.
He refused to be put on ANY feeding schedule.
He didn’t consistently sleep through the night until he was close to six months old. You never knew when he was going to wake up (and us, too, with his enthusiastic crying — he completely skipped the polite “come-get-me-please-Mommy crying and went straight to the COME-GET-ME-NOW crying that would bring us straight up out of bed and halfway across the room before we realized our eyes were open).
“Fussy” doesn’t begin to describe it. Saying M was “fussy” is like saying the Grand Canyon is a “little hole.” It just doesn’t come close to being accurate. He would be happy and grinning and laughing one second, and exploding like an atom bomb the next. Screaming, kicking, little eyes squinched shut, turning red, flailing arms — full temper tantrum mode like I had never seen before! From one extreme to the opposite in .02 seconds flat. (M’s was the first case of Jekyll and Hyde Syndrome that we had seen in children.)
And he’s still like this at 4.5 years old. Oh, not the FULL temper tantrum mode, but whining, stubbornness, stop-in-his-tracks-not-go-anywhere-til-he-gets-his-way mode. For instance, this is the conversation we had yesterday morning:
Me: M, here you have to put a jacket on because it’s cold outside.
M: I don’t want to wear a jacket. I won’t get cold.
Me: It’s cold outside, honey, you have to wear it.
M: Well, I don’t like that jacket. (Whine begins here!)
Me: It’s the only jacket you have, put it on. (I’m getting a little forceful here)
M: Fine! (Yes, he got that from his mother, I admit it)
M: I want it zipped up.
Me: We’re just going to the car, it’s only 10 feet, you’ll be okay.
M: NO! I want it zipped up!
Me: Okay, fine! (See? I told you he got it from me)
So I stopped, put down my purse, my keys, my cell phone, his blanket and pillow for nap time, and zipped up his jacket. Finally, we are out the door. We’re in the car. He is buckled, I’m buckled, car is cranked and ready to go. (Yea! Progress is being made!)
M: Here, Mama.
I reach back to get whatever he’s handing me………………it’s his jacket.
Me: Why did you take this off, M?
M: I didn’t want to wear it anymore.
Me: *sigh* Fine. (yes, again) Whatever.
Off we go. He happily watches cartoons in the back seat while I try to get the car warm enough that he doesn’t get a chill. A half hour later, we get to his daycare. I get out of the car, holding my car keys, his blanket and pillow for naptime, and say:
Me: C’mon, M. Let’s go. Put your jacket back on. (which he DOES! No argument? Wow!!!)
M: Zip it, Mama.
Me: No, M. I have my hands full. We’re just going up the stairs. Come on.
M: But I want it zipped! (Here comes the whining again.*sigh*)
Me: (quickly losing patience since this is Round 2) No, M! I don’t have a two hands to zip it. You’ll be fine, Now. Come. On.
M: But I’ll get cold!!!! (Remember this is the child that didn’t want to wear a coat?)
Me: NO! I do not have a hand to zip it. We’re going 10 feet. You WILL be fine. Come on, NOW.
M: Whine, pretend cry, whine, pretend cry
But he does get out of the car. And starts up the stairs. I give a sigh of relief/frustration. He stops. In the middle of the steps, he stops.
M: (whinnnnnniiiiinnnnnggggg) But I just want it zipped, Mama.
I give up. I’m not fighting anymore. I pick him up like a sack of taters with the one free hand I have and carry him up the steps. Fortunately the door opens, and in we go. Finally! We are here! I talk to the young man at the daycare and warn him about M’s mood this morning. I turn around to say “Good-bye” and get hugs and kisses (hopefully). M is gone. I look through the building. No M. Huh? Where did he go? He didn’t go outside. The daycare worker and I both start looking again. Behind doors, under desks, in closets……No M. Finally, I give up and hope he will answer me when I call.
Me: M?!? Where are you?
M: BOO!!!!! You couldn’t find me, could you, Mama? (Grinning from ear to ear, giggling happily)
He pops out from BEHIND the piano! How did he get back there? How did he FIT back there? Where is his bad mood? Never mind. Forget I asked. Let’s not remind him.
He happily gives me bye hugs and kisses. That’s the thing about M. He goes from mad to glad just as quickly as he goes from glad to mad. It’s amazing. People don’t believe me when I tell them M is moodier than any teenage female I have ever known (including myself as a teen). But it is true! Phenomenal really.
That night I marvel at my sleeping little boy tucked in bed. This sweet little angel sleeping so peacefully is that same whining little demon I dealt with this morning. And even though his sweet little hugs and kisses and unsolicited “I Love You, Mama” declarations make up for all sorts of misbehavior, I still maintain that M is my difficult child. Lovable, sweet, tortuous, stress-inducing, mischievous, mercurial, mini-man M.
I wouldn’t change him for anything. He keeps things………interesting, shall we say. He keeps me on my toes. I never know what he’s going to say or do next. And part of me loves him because of that very trait.
And in the end, I have to laugh at him and all of his quirks…………because strangling is illegal, ha-ha.