Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Mother's Confession

Side note: I have decided to finally give my daughter an internet pseudonym, so from now on she will be referred to as Bella (I like the Latin root and the Italian translation). So I have a Bella and a Bubba. What a pair!

Down to the confession: Bubba is a grumpy baby. He is saved from being completely unpleasant for others to be around by the fact that he is very cute, but his disposition is less than sunny. I certainly don't love him any less, in fact now that I've lived with it for a while it can be funny, but it has been a long, loud road.

My husband can't abide it, and will stand on his head sideways to entertain him. I don't always have that luxury. My mother-in-law even bought us the bouncy seat, the high chair, and the jumperoo from the Rainforest Collection to help us try and entertain his majesty, but on the rare occasion that Bubba will relent and sit in one of them he never stays long. I keep a basket in the living room full of baby toys, and a lovely big blanket for him to scooch around on, but that doesn't last long, either. I can carry him around while I do things around the house, and he will yell and squeal and complain in a generally unpleasant way. There is no pleasing him, sometimes.
That is why, from time to time, he can be found in his Mercedes of high chairs (it has a cool toy that fits into the tray that plays music and lights up and spins), squalling his ever-loving little head off while I make dinner or clean up the kitchen. My husband is horrified by this, and if he calls while I am letting the prince cry he cannot/will not stay on the line and talk.
I can't call it colic - it isn't colic. It just seems to be high-maintenance, sensitive baby. He can wake up from a nice nap, be fed and diapered in a timely manner and seem to have no discernible reason at all to be unhappy, but he will be. And it isn't a "there-is-something-wrong-with-me- that-needs-immediate-attention" cry. It's mostly an "I-am-undecipherably-unhappy-and-or-possibly-bored-and-want-to-make-sure-you-and-the-neighbors-know-it" kind of cry. I call him a diva, which my husband also hates, but it is too true. My mother-in-law didn't believe me, until one day that she was watching him for me and he did the same for her. When I came to pick him up she was waiting for me at the door, baby in hand, car seat at the ready. Most days she encourages us to stay, possibly even for dinner, but that day she was done. All she would say was, "He is so bad!" as she shoved us out the door.
He hates his car seat, and screams the instant he is put into it. He hates to be hot, so boy do we have a rough summer approaching - temperatures are already in the nineties, so August promises to be hot and loud. He cries every time I sneeze (just me, for some reason).
I could go on and on. But I won't. Instead I will also note that:
--I am guaranteed a smile if, while he's eating, I tell him to go to sleep. Only under those particular circumstances, with those words, but if I follow the rules it works every time.
--I am astonished and impressed by his ability to pee through his diaper once daily. We have tried different diapers, different positions for his business end, you name it and I have attempted it, but still he manages to pee through his diaper and all over his clothes once a day, every day. What moxy!
--Occassionally he will take a break from complaining and switch to a more pleasant yelling noise. It's filled with enthusiasm and makes me laugh every time.
--Sometimes, just looking at him makes me tear up with a fierce sense of joy and love at having him in my life.
--He loves his sister. You can tell by the way he looks at her, by the way he smiles at her, and by the way she can get him to cackle. Twice now he has immediately stopped his yowling when she got into the car with us in carpool. Just at the sight of her. How cool is that!
He might be grumpy, but he's mine, and I love him. And I have heard that a grumpy baby can turn in to a well-behaved and pleasant toddler, so here's hoping that's true. I just try and remember how fleeting these days are, and how one day I will look back and long for him to be a little grumpy baby again.


Teresa said...

I love the tone of this post - the honesty and transparency of it. I also could absolutely picture you telling him to go to sleep while he was eating...I hope you know how great of a mom you are! Your kids are so lucky to have you - so connected (to yourself, to reality, to your kids), creative, loving, intelligent - you are amazing, and I hope you have at least a vague idea of that. I love you!

Dana said...


I have totally been there, done that with the colic. You will prevail through this, I promise. I have some thoughts on the subject, but only if you want it. Yes, the annoying friend of your sister's grew up and had three babies of her own.

Anonymous said...

Happened on your blog via google. My son was such a baby as well. It brought a smile to my face to read your blog and remember. He's now one of the most mellow, well behaved, polite four year olds I've ever met. A complete 180 from his surly personality as an infant. It definitely happens. Stay strong!