I’m going to start this post out by saying I love being a parent, so as anyone doesn’t think I absolutely despise it or gets any other crazy ideas in that regard. I know I’ve made mention before of the fact that my husband is working some shift work right now, he’s about to transition to a new job but I’ve been living like this for a while and I just need to vent. It’s important to note too that I have only two family members living in the area local to where I live to help me out (who aren’t incredibly reliable) and that I don’t have many friends that I can ask on to help me out who aren’t too busy with their own lives.
I do have a couple people that have offered to babysit for me and while I think it would be helpful – I’m not going to pretend it’s going to help with what I’m about to talk about. Being a mother is so hard, so much harder than I ever thought it would be. I’m sure many parents think this but I don’t think it’s really something you can quite comprehend until your in the position yourself. If you are mother then you’ll probably know exactly what I’m about to rant about.
These people I know that complain about getting a break from their kids and say things like “Oh, I don’t know what to do with myself because my kid is spending the day with so and so” really irk me. Rather than appreciate their time alone, they complain about it. Maybe they aren’t complaining – maybe they are just stating fact… but to someone like me that let’s face it, never gets a break, it’s really freaking bothersome. Let me explain.
I can’t eat by myself. By that I mean, if I’m eating something, the Habanero wants some – and rightfully so I can’t fault him for wanting to try everything he’s a curious little guy. I can’t drink by myself, if I am trying to drink even some water, I get whined at to share. If I try to get him his own water and it’s not in my cup more often than not he gets incredibly pissed and goes into a tantrum. No mom, I didn’t want my own water… I wanted your water to blow bubbles in and backwash with. Maybe my own kid’s backwash shouldn’t bother me so much, but I’m admittedly a germaphob. I can’t crap alone, in fact I mostly can’t crap anyways because I can’t even relax enough to unless I’m at work and I don’t have someone staring at me like a kid or a dog. If I close the door, the crying commences. If I want to shower by myself, its not going to happen. Even if dad is home, I’m expected to shower the little man. And not only does dad expect me to shower him, but the Habanero expects to be let into the shower anytime the water is running. Have you ever had a slobber filled ice cream cone? He doesn’t actually eat it he just slobbers all over it until I have lost the will to eat it.
Is it too much to ask for to be able to be open a package of anything in my own house without my kid or my dog at my feet begging me? You know, I’m starting to wonder if maybe this all is getting to me more than it normally would because I’m pregnant and I have to eat and drink ALL THE TIME. I don’t know. Anyways, I just wanted to share how little I know realize I thought I knew about what it’s like to be a parent, besides all the other responsibilities of actually developing a human being into a good person. This is exhausting.
I wanted to post today but I’m having a hard time with the mental clarity to come up with anything that might be worth reading because well, the Habanero decided to wake up about every 30 minutes last night. My husband took care of him from about 11 PM to 3 A.M. at which point he lovingly rolled the kid over to my side of the bed to take care of. Needless to say, I’m going on fumes today and it’s just been “one of those Mondays”.
No rest for the weary I will be spending my evening at my annual volunteer orientation class for a local garden center that I’ve been working at for my 3rd year. So if this post is completely incomprehensible you’ll have to forgive me but here goes.
Every time the Habanero awoke last night he was crying. I don’t know what was going on, but sleep, bottles, and extra blankets – nothing worked. The best part is that he was cranky this morning, but non-the-less in a shouting mood so I spent the entire car ride to daycare/work with him in the back shouting. He wasn’t crying, he was talking very loudly which as you may have guessed can be pretty unnerving when you are going on only a couple of hours of sleep.
The tossing and turning, crowding and uncomfortable positions had me mostly losing hope by about 4:30 A.M. that I would be getting any rest before it was time to get up. So there I laid, pretending to sleep, trying not to move so that the little man would think maybe just maybe he should roll over and try to go back to sleep again himself. No dice. At about 6 A.M. after several hours of trying to fall back asleep I was rudely interrupted in my thoughts about how much it sucks to lose sleep by the Habanero standing on my hair.
I’m pretty thrilled to get past the stage of all out hair grasping anytime the Habanero touches my hair, but he’s started this new thing where he lays, rolls and stands on it which surprisingly hurts nearly as much if not more as his infamous little death grip. This kid loves hair. I’ve thought about cutting mine all off, but I’ve been told that this does nothing to stop the follicular attacks.
Most nights I am required to offer my sacrificial strands for the reassuring hair twirling that ensues before the Habanero’s eyeballs roll to the back of his head and he conks out. If you’ve never seen a baby’s eyes do this before I can tell you that it is pretty unnerving, even now that I’m used to seeing it. Thankfully, the Habanero no longer has his casts on his feet which means at least for now, I’m no longer getting kicked in the face with them. If you’ve never been kicked in the face by a cast, it’s a pretty memorable experience you should try it some time!
After shoving the little man off my hair and back to my husband’s side of the bed and yelling about how much it hurt to have my hair stood on, we got about 5 minutes of inconsolable crying before he finally settled back down and got over the fact that I was mad at him. I know he’s too young to understand really that he was hurting me but sometimes it just doesn’t make me any less reactionary to his attacks.
Reaching back into my memory from nearly a year past I thought it might be good to write up some of the first things we noticed about life with our little bundle of joy that could have indicated that were dealing with a high needs baby. The biggest flags were likely that anytime I raised my voice around him, he would cry, even as early as when we first brought him home from the hospital. And that he was feeding all the time, clearly as a means for comfort. I can probably count on one hand the amount of times that a bottle was turned away by our little man since his birth.
Anyone that knows me well in my personal life will tell you that my inability to have an angry fit within ear shot of my child … well… it’s been like learning to be a new person for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an angry person, but when I am upset I like to be a little high needs myself in that I make sure everyone knows about it. So with a baby that can’t handle even the slightest inflection of the tone of my voice you can pretty much summarize my life as “walking on egg shells” whenever he is conscious. Now, I’m sure your thinking maybe I’m over exaggerating this – perhaps you might even think this normal for a baby to sense their mother’s moods and respond to them accordingly. Yes I have heard this before.
What I can tell you is that the Habanero does not only respond to me in this way, his teachers also tell me that he frequently cries whenever there is any tone of disapproval in their voice. And this isn’t just like a oh, you hurt my feelings cry, it usually goes into a full on fit immediately – bottom lip sticking out and all. Our son is very gifted when it comes to expressing his emotions, that much is true. What we have learned is that most of the time these times of being upset do not require comforting to end just as quickly as they have started. The nice thing about being so extreme in his reactions to things is that typically the fit doesn’t last long.
On a positive note, I wouldn’t call the Habanero a cry baby by any means, he’s not one of these kids that cries all the time about anything. In fact, as a newborn it was often remarked what a happy baby he is. If he’s crying it’s typically because either you’ve shown some sign of disapproval, or he needs something like sleep. Some other notable traits of a high needs baby that he had were that he hated being swaddled, love being cuddled and was constantly moving. He never really just kind of laid there like a bump on a log even as a newborn.
These days his constant need to explore and inability to be put down when we get home in the evenings are some of the characteristics that point more toward high needs, perhaps because we’ve gotten used to all the other things as part of every day life. When we get home after work I can’t really do much in the kitchen, even to prepare his meal for him because he’s (literally) hugging my leg the whole time. As you can imagine this makes it very hard to get much accomplished. His meals are usually very simple and require little work primarily because I don’t have the patience for trying to keep him happy while cooking. As for myself, because my husband works nights half the week he’s usually not home to help preoccupy the little guy so my dinner is almost always something completely unhealthy that I can make in 10 minutes or less at about 9 PM at night. So you see… this can be pretty draining day in and day out, but they say that is to be expected!