Parenting is a Contact Sport

Hair pulling, scratching, kicking, throwing fists. No, I’m not talking about a typical day at the Jersey Shore house. I’m talking about my house, and more specifically my life with Little Bear. Who knew a four month old could be so, um, violent?! Not a day goes by that I’m not kicked in the boobs or scratched in the face. I even have a bruise on my jaw from a wayward tiny fist! Having such a wiggly butt baby is becoming a danger to my health! Silly boy.

Little Bear is ALWAYS moving…even in his sleep! He goes to bed facing one end of the crib and by the time he wakes up for a feeding (two hours later) he’s done a 180 and his head is at the opposite end from where he started out.

If he’s this active now I can only imagine what it’s going to be like when he becomes mobile. There’ll be absolutely no stopping him. At least by the time he can start walking (or more likely, running) around he’ll know not to hit and I won’t feel so much like punching bag. On the bright side, an active baby is a healthy baby, and who knows maybe him being so super active this early is a sign he’ll be talented at all sorts of sports, just like his Daddy.

Either way, I’m exhausted!!!

Four Months

Happy Four Months Little Bear! Whew, this month has been a doozy. He has been one heck of a grump! Our handout from the pediatrician said that between three and four months should be the easiest age of infancy…if that is the case, well, I give up! (kidding of course…sort of….) We started off the month with his first ear infection, and we’re ending with a double ear infection and a diagnosis of GERD. Not to mention just how much he’s grown! I didn’t realize what a big difference three months and four months make until I saw last month’s “birthday” picture, his legs have practically doubled in size. No wonder he’s been such a pickle…what with his ears being all messed up, plus what I can only imagine is the baby equivalent of heart burn, plus growing like a weed. It’s been one uncomfortable month for Little Bear!

It hasn’t been all tears. His personality is really starting to shine and I must say, he is one silly little baby. He loves to laugh all the time. His favorite things are his “crinkle pup”, watching Curious George, the “C is for Cookie” song, and trying to eat absolutely everything he can get his hands on! He is starting to consistently take two naps a day, but we’re still getting up every few hours at night. He still strongly dislikes Tummy Time but is tolerating it enough to practice his “push ups” and he even rolled over from his tummy to his back. Since he’s been feeling so poorly he has become quite the cuddle monster. By far, his favorite place is in my arms getting a snuggle, and that’s just fine with me!

We’ve certainly had some frustrating moments as of late but I’ll chalk it up to a learning experience. As long as I remind myself that this is a phase we’ll be just fine. And heck, according to some people, I’m going to miss this phase. Probably not the tears, but definitely the cuddles!

Sweet Slumber

Little Bear slept through the night. Once. About a month ago. And only because he had spent the majority of the day before screaming his adorable little head off. 

Every now and again we have a *lucky* night where he will sleep for 5 hours in a row. Five hours that, and I say this with no tinge of jealousy whatsoever, are usually at the beginning of the night during Hubby’s shift (yes, I’m VERY lucky to have a husband who doesn’t mind being on baby watch from 9pm-2am. God knows I’m grateful and love him for it!). And I do mean now and again…certainly not on a reliable basis, and unfortunately for Hubby when he does wake up between 9 and 2 it usually takes about an hour for him to fall back asleep. Once 2am rolls around Mason is well aware that it’s “Mommy Time” and he plans on taking full advantage of that!

So it is that we have taken to spending a good portion of the wee morning hours sleeping in the rocking chair. Thank goodness my mom talked me into buying the recliner/rocker/over stuffed all around amazingly comfortable chair for the nursery because we sure do spend a lot of time in it!

It seems that once your child hits two + months the favorite question of friends and strangers alike is “How is he sleeping?” Meh. That’s my answer. A better question would be “How are WE sleeping?” because truthfully, as I’m sure most mothers can relate to, even when it’s not my shift I’m lying there in a state of half sleep justincase. We have both entered into a zombielike existence…and I’m pretty sure it’s starting to show; because everyone and their mother has some sort of advice on how to get him to sleep through the night.

I’ve heard everything from routine is key {obviously…and don’t you think we’re doing that?!?!} to “once he reaches 12 pounds he’ll magically start sleeping for longer periods” {uh, when I was a baby I didn’t sleep through the night until I was well over a year old and I’m sure I weighed more than 12 pounds; and dear God I hope that’s not genetic!}. In my opinion, as long as we keep up our routine, and once he’s old enough to not be exclusively fed quickly digested breast milk, he’ll start sleeping for longer periods. For now I’ll just remind myself that when he’s having a fussy day it means he’ll sleep better!

Night night, sleep tight Little Bear!

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.