Who Are You and What Have You Done With Little Bear

I don’t know what’s going on. About two weeks ago someone switched out my fussy, grumpy, overly needy baby for a happy, laughing, independent one. They look the same…they make the same crazy bird noises, but they certainly don’t act the same. It’s as if the moment Little Bear turned six months old someone flipped a switch.

Little Bear has been so sweet lately (not that he wasn’t sweet before). He finds everything hilarious and is laughing all the time. And the most amazing thing…he’s craving time to play by himself! I’m seriously enjoying this new found independence. It means I can actually get things done around here and the layers of dust are finally being swept away! And lets not get carried away with it. He is definitely still the same child; he needs his mommy time; which is good because I need my Little Bear snuggles!

Most of all I’m just happy that he’s happier. It had to be a stressful existence being upset all time! Now if he could just get the hang of putting himself back to sleep….

He went from this….

…to this!

 

My Baby’s Better Than Yours

We all know them, those parents who can’t seem to stop talking about just how wonderful and happy their baby is and how they never cry. Not that I can blame them. But I would like them to please shut up and stop rubbing it in the faces of those of us whose life with their children is not all sunshine and butterflies.

Frankly, I would give anything for a day without screaming and tears. It doesn’t just give me a headache it gives me a heartache too. There’s a reason I call him Little Bear; he’s a very high needs baby. Unless he’s being cuddled he’s not happy, and while giving him cuddles is my absolute favorite thing in the world it also makes it almost impossible to get anything done (especially blog posts, which fall distantly behind all the cleaning I need to get done!). He can placated by his bouncy seat and a soothie for a few minutes but soon figures out that they are a poor substitute for my arms and quickly fires up those vocal chords. It makes me feel terrible that in order to cook dinner I have to listen to him cry. But we have to eat. And Hubby is still working while I’m cooking, so what choice do I have?

I love this smile…

…But he does this a lot more

So when I look at Facebook statuses from other new moms about how their baby is all smiles all the time and are the happiest baby ever I feel all sorts of upset. It‘s like saying that because Mason cries he’s unhappy, and that’s just not true! And I’m also jealous, because, of course I don’t want him to cry or be fussy. And truly being a new mom is a lot harder when your child is screaming than when he or she is laughing and playing peacefully by themselves.

But the worst part about it is when you get asked if your child is a “good” baby. What exactly constitutes a BAD baby?? Because my child needs to be held makes him bad? I don’t think so.  The three year old, I used to nanny, that told me he was going to cut my throat with a knife because I turned off the TV at dinner time (seriously!)…that’s a bad kid. But even that wasn’t all his fault; that was his parents allowing him to watch R rated movies and living in an incredibly dysfunctional household. Babies are not bad. Some may be a little more challenging than others but in the end won’t that just make me a better parent for having gone through it? The way I see it, I’ll be this much more prepared for days of temper tantrums and teenage hormones because I’ll already have experience. And lets face it…no child is happy all the time. At some point your “perfectly content” little one is going to have a bad day.