Thursday, June 12, 2014

Let's Talk

Do you believe that you understand your children's personalities even when you are pregnant?  I've always felt that I have a sense of them even in the womb.  My daughter always seemed feisty and spirited.  She seemed to love conversation; Anytime I would talk to someone she would start kicking to let me know she was engaged.  Now that she is just over four months old, I'm starting to truly see her personality.  And I don't think that I was too far off.

We are helping her learn how to go to sleep in her crib instead of holding her and she is not a fan of the transition.  I feed her and rock her until she gets heavy lidded eyes then gently place her in the crib.  I will lay my hand on her chest until her little chubby fists leave her mouth and fall beside her head.  I call this the surrender pose.  I tip toe out of her room with a silent prayer that she will sleep peacefully.  Then she gets mad.  Really mad.

Sometimes it takes a while for her to realize that I have left her side.  Last night was one of those times.  I laid her down then went to finish up bedtime with the boys.  Their rooms are close to one another but my sons use a white noise machine that drowns out any other competing noises.  I snuggled with the boys completely unaware that my daughter was hysterical in the next room.

I should note that I cannot handle my babies crying.  I was a complete failure at the "cry it out" method because it felt like my insides were being held in a vice grip then twisted around and around.  I would feel sick to my stomach and run uptairs into their room taking two steps at a time after one minute of crying.  So when I walked out of the boys room and heard her screaming, I ran.

She was red faced, tear streaked and mad.  Furious, actually.  I picked her up and she stopped for a minute, looked me in the eye then really let me have it.  I could hear her saying, "Who do you think you are leaving me in here ALONE?  I am an INFANT!  I am HELPLESS!  What were you thinking?!"  I tried to snuggle her up to my chest and put in the binky but that only made it worse.  So I picked her up to a sitting position and we sat face to face.  "Tell me everything," I said.  She stopped crying, took a few deep breaths and proceeded to talk.  "Oooh!  Aaaahh!" she said with a note of frustration.  I apologized for leaving her stranded and reminded her that I would always be close by ready to help.  She stuck out her bottom lip for a moment then did a nose dive for my shoulder.  Apparently, she had finished her rant and was ready to call it a night.  I gave her her binky and we both settled down for a minute.  I laid her in her crib and she gave me a tiny smile.  All was right with the world again.

I never would have considered talking to the boys because they didn't want to talk.  My middle, in fact, would cover my mouth with his tiny hands to stop me from talking.  But my baby girl needs to be heard.  She needs to know that I am listening.  

Each human being is created with a completely unique set of characteristics.  It will forever blow my mind that God has the ability to create such diversity.  As parents, we must try and understand them and meet them where they are.  We aren't always great at it; It takes a long time to figure out these tiny people who are always evolving.  But, in the end, I think it's worth the effort. 

What characteristics make your children unique?  What are your favorite things about them?  How are they different from you?

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