Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Good Baby

Brooklynn is two-and-a half weeks new, now.  My husband has used up his vacation time and returned to work.  The boys are in school and Kirstin is in preschool and dance lessons.  It was inevitable, I suppose, time to face reality.  

We ventured out in public.  Twice now!  And it's been surprisingly successful.

Yesterday Brooklynn was in and out of the car seat three times helping me play chauffeur (read "mini-van mom").  She got introduced to the other moms picking up their kids at preschool (Kirstin made sure everyone got to see her baby sister) and she hung out with the boys and I outside of Kirstin's dance class.  She was the one without the colouring book...

And, although I knew it was coming, I was still unprepared for it.  Two different people asked me that question that people ask.  The one that drives me up the wall.  The one that I cannot help but answer with a snotty reply.

"Is she a good baby?"

Why, no... no she isn't.  She poops in her pants CONSTANTLY, she burps without saying 'excuse me', she interrupts me while I'm making supper or talking on the phone... she stays up too late, she complains if we don't give her undivided attention... she NEVER cleans up after herself, and she's recently taking to spitting on me.  Every time she cries, I have to change my shirt.  Oh, and she sucks her thumb because she knows that means we'll have to fork over thousands to the orthodontist when she's older.

The little brat is driving me crazy!!!

Okay, that's not actually what I said.  What I said was, "Of course, ALL babies are good babies!"

I'm not exactly sure what other answer people expect me to give.  If you want to know if my baby cries a lot, then ask me that.  If you want to know if she's sleeping through the night (umm... she's 18 days old, are you kidding me?), then ask me that.  If you want to know if she has fit seamlessly into our lives without me having to sacrifice any of my adult indulgences... well, that's just nuts.  You don't have children expecting not to have to give up a little free time here and there.

I supposed I could just say, "Yes, she's a wonderful baby!"  But I can't.  The question makes me crazy.  People have asked it with every single one of my children.  Everyone one of my children has been very different in their personality and quirks.  And every single one of them has been a fabulous baby.  If they weren't, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have four of them now.

Babies are designed to be challenging.  

If they slept for 8 hours a night right off the bat, and then had a two hour awake period followed by a three hour nap, consistently every day, they would starve.

If they were content to lie in their cribs and quietly stare at the ceiling while I sit and scrapbook/write/crochet/watch television/facebook/blog (insert indulgent hobby here), they would get flat heads and developmental delays from being understimulated.  

If they never cried, well, they'd be under-cuddled, riddled with diaper rash, hungry, etc (insert basic needs here).

And if I could pop a soother in their mouth everytime they wanted to nurse and I didn't feel like it, they would learn to ignore their feeding cues and they would fail to thrive.

So, really... please don't ask me if she's a good baby.  I will tell you what I've told the other 200 people that have asked me that over the years...  "All babies are good babies!"


Our 'Good Baby'  --- self-soothing with her thumb, nature's pacifier! 

Incidentally, she hardly ever cries, she sleeps 20+ hours a day, she only wakes me up twice a night for a twenty minute feed and then goes right back to sleep, and she's quite content to sit in my lap while I crochet, watch tv, type, etc.  We think there's something wrong with her...