Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Good Kid

I've been reluctant to post and waste a perfect song/video combination. Sometimes there is the perfect soundtrack for a moment and when they collide, it's beautiful. I shall leave the song on the blog for a while more in a general thematic approach to Amelia's developmental journey here at 12 months. It works and mama likes it.

And if you have no idea what I am talking about, I apologize. I do that sometimes. Ask my students.

In any case, we are in our second year with Miss A. As we travel through the summer, I am thrown into many a tough memory. Planning for the 4th of July, I catch my breath at the struggle that we found ourselves in on the same day last year. Everything is reminding me of where we were a year ago and making me thankful for where we are today.

After zombie-stumbling our way through that first year, we have to stop and remind ourselves of something very important. . . Amelia is happy, healthy, and a really good kid.
I read once that parents who called their babies 'difficult' were right about this temperament almost 100% of the time at 3 months old, about 50% of the time at 6 months old, and 10% of the time at 1 year. This means that when you have a baby who is not so easy to care for as a newborn, you classify your child as 'difficult' and move on. When that baby gets healthy (and let's face it, newborns don't scream without reason and therefore the 'difficult' label is really about them being sick and in pain and NOT about their personality), the parents are so traumatized by that newborn stage that they continue believing that their baby is difficult. It's easy to understand how this happens, but also important to not fall into that trap.

Within the last few months, we've come out of our zombie-like shuffle, opened the drapes, and rejoined the world. Yes, it took us that long to overcome the trauma of our beginnings with Amelia. In becoming more mobile, social, and independent, I've been faced with a very real fact: Amelia is a great kid. I see toddler after toddler have meltdowns in restaurants, grocery stores, and even their living rooms. I hear wailing and screaming everywhere I go . . . and it's not my daughter. (Disclaimer: I know that I am playing with fire by even mentioning it here!) Amelia is this happy-spirited little girl who laughs and smiles easily and is too busy checking everything out to really find something to complain about. Even when she's exhausted and cranky, she is sweet and loving and smiling.

Even at home, when I find myself easily distracted by work, laundry, cleaning the kitchen, or anything else, I realize that she's grown quiet and is no longer in the next room. I imagine all of the ways in which she could have hurt herself or destroyed something and go running to find her. Invariably, she is sitting quietly by herself playing with something totally innocuous and when I say something to her, she smiles and hand it to me. The other day, I was in the kitchen making lunch and realized I hadn't heard her in a few minutes. I immediately saw an Oprah special in my mind and panicked. I found her in the corner of her room where her books are, flipping through one of them, quietly 'reading' it to herself. She plays quietly by herself for hours, finding enjoyment out of the littlest things. She'll put her toys down periodically and crawl into my lap for a hug before going back to her playtime.

When we are around other babies, Amelia goes to them and hands them her toys. When they snatch away her favorites, she just looks at them and picks up something else. When they cry and scream she crawls over and tries to make it better.

After months of truly believing that our baby was possessed and miserable, it's been quite the realization that she is this sweet, loving, peaceful, happy baby girl. I find myself so thankful that she is mine and have to remind myself that I am a lucky mama. LUCKY! Can you believe that? I used to think that all the other mamas were the lucky ones.

1 comment:

Sha and Michelle said...

awwww - Little Angel baby!!!

Annie (my cousin) is a really good baby 95% of the time...

I hope I'm as lucky as u and my aunt are when it's my turn...

I hope I don't have a mini-me!!! I was a terrible baby _ I'd drive me crazy!! LOL...