I’ve worked with a lot of babies over the years.
Some of them I connected with, others not so much.
I always assumed if I ever had a baby, we would be simpatico.
That has not really turned out to be true.
My baby is not a cuddler. While he expresses happiness when he sees me (over half or the time), he only wants to be picked up and moved, not picked up and held.
He is not a hugger or a kisser or a nuzzler (unless he’s basically asleep).
He likes getting his way. ALL OF THE TIME. He can’t communicate with words, so he growls, head bangs, slaps, hits, whines, cries and yells.
I am not cool with any of it. I can barely keep my cool when it’s happening.
And this makes me feel terrible.
All of my road rage, cynicism, defensiveness and controlling behavior come to a head when my kid is being what I perceive to be, a jerk.
When the truth is, he’s being a baby and I should have nothing but endless patience, tolerance and love for him.
I’m not going to blame it on lack of sleep or hormones. I will partially give myself a break and say I do feel a mild amount of general anxiety and stress that probably makes certain situations worse than others.
I think I always assumed I was going to be a no b.s. kind of parent. I also thought that having this attitude would come into play a lot later down the road.
I was under the very wrong assumption that my baby was not going to be one trying to roll off the changing table, throw food on the floor, have an actual tantrum in his high chair, insist on touching every single thing that he should not touch. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve watched plenty of babies who didn’t do any of these things. My new charge is basically an angel.
I’m not saying my kid is bad. My kid is willful, strong, determined, curious, active and he is a not totally formed human being with an undeveloped brain and an inability to use words.
I need to learn to appreciate his relentlessness instead of feeling the slow burn of rage when he continues to do something after I’ve said “No” in five different tones, tried to distract him and physically remove him from said thing.
I need to stop rolling my eyes when he’s upset over something trivial.
I need to keep it together more in front of him so he doesn’t perceive his mom as an angry, unhappy person.
I need to stop expecting him to be something he’s not and enjoy him for what he is.