Sunday, January 30, 2011
Admit It- The Child is Difficult, Not Vivacious
Have you ever thought that about your own flesh and blood? You know the thought. You think it but you don't dare speak it. The though is this, "MY GOSH, this child is difficult!!!! Would she just sleep for love of all that is holy!?"
There is a lot of talk about how we describe our children and their personalities. High need, sensitive, smart, even (my favorite) vivacious! It kind of makes me laugh that we have to use words that truthfully, kind of sugar coat things.
I have a hard time being dishonest. Actually, I can accidentally be so truthful that I am outright rude. The same is true when it comes to my own children.
(Disclaimer- I fully expect to be torn apart for this post. But at this point I have realized that people will tear me apart for pretty much anything no matter how I meant it or not so I am throwing caution to the wind.)
Yes- I have a vivacious, sensitive, intelligent and high need child. Around here though she is often just referred to as "stinker pot" or "stormy" for her frequent turns of mood.
Oh we love her. And I mean we LOVE her. We really love her. She is the third so she has a brother and sister who both dote on her and adore her. Sometimes I think that if I had a favorite it would be her. (Of course I don't have a favorite, that would be wrong.) But I tell her every day that she is my favorite baby -- EVER.
She makes me laugh more than any of the other children ever did. I enjoy her more than I can describe. I thought she might be my last so I just held her and loved her and soaked her in when she was born. She is incredibly smart and talks and sings and plays earlier than I remember the others ever doing that. She is a joy and the most entertaining, fun filled child I have ever seen.
And though I would love to describe her as vivacious when she screams "NO!!! MINE!!!!" and smacks somebody in the face, honestly, that is not the first word that comes to mind. And though I know that as a supposed attachment parenting mom I should embrace the sleepless nights with a 17 month old who still wakes every two hours, I actually just want to scream. I guess I could scream but she is already screaming so it would be REALLY loud in the house if I joined in, at three AM no less. I should enjoy the sheer amount of NOISE that one child can produce on a nearly constant basis expressing her every need or displeasure or ache or pain. But, sometimes I just want some peace and quiet.
(I am not looking for advice on sleep training, co-sleeping, getting adjustments, parenting tips or anything else.) At this point in life I sincerely believe that some kids are just not good sleepers and some are. That is just how the chips fall sometimes. Some kids like to please those around them and will adjust their behaviour to do so. And some kids realize that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and so they squeak.
Language is powerful and I understand that. I see the point in using nicer words to describe a child than the ones that immediately come to mind. I understand how calling contractions "rushes" could prepare your mind for a more painless labor. I have heard of labeling theory and I get it.
I also realize though that sometimes the truth is just the truth. Sometimes a kid is harder than others. There a lot of factors: circumstance, birth order, personality, patience of parents, and so on.
The point is not that we dare not tell it like it is. The truth is that sometimes a child is harder than another. Sometimes a child refuses to cooperate in the ways we would like. But the bigger truth is that there is nothing wrong with that.
Will I sometimes say this sweet child is difficult? YES! I will. Because it is sometimes the truth. The other half of that truth is that I love her all the more for it. I enjoy her more because she is strong willed and amazingly intelligent. My love for her grows stronger BECAUSE she requires more patience and kindness and understanding, not in spite of it.
So here is to embracing that difficult, screaming, no sleeping, "oh my gosh I think I am getting a tooth, you know that means I will wake up screaming hourly for a week mom" child. There is nothing wrong with the truth, difficult or not.