Angry Baby is now TEN months old. I know, time flies when you’re being broken mentally and physically through systematic sleep deprivation!
When she was a tiny newborn, it was like caring for the angriest red ant. She did little but cry, eat, poop, and sleep (In 2 hour increments.) Those who cared for her can vouch, it was labor intensive with little interaction.
As she grew into Angry infant, she morphed into a fish-bellied little grubworm. She also added yelling and clawing her face to the repertoire. The personal moments of connection had increased, but were not necessarily pleasant.
These several months, I trudged through the pain, exhaustion, and frustration. It really was quite easy, nature took over and put my body on autopilot. All without the true joy of interacting with a human. Angry Baby was, after all a baby.
Newsflash to non-parents: Babies on TV are a joke. Usually they cast a 6 month old to play a newborn, why? Because babies are incredibly disinterested. Consider all these factors: 1. they don’t smile, 2. they rarely acknowledge you, 3. Everything ticks them off. 4. They poop 8 times a day. 5. Said poop is NEVER solid, unless they are dehydrated (yikes!) 6. they can’t do anything for themselves AT ALL. Finally, lucky #7. Infants are more like extremely important pets or adorable aliens, than they are human.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not to say YOUR child or friend’s kid isn’t an angel. I’m sure some newborns out there were perfectly formed contributing members of society the moment they sprung from womb-jail. But not my kid. My kid was a mean meatball.
A few months back, a wonderful transformation began. The furious yellybean refined and began to take the form of a lil’ human. Milestone by milestone, she took a recognizable form.
Last week, I took Angry Baby to the beach for the first time (see post: Beach, Please) and as my best gal pal and I enjoyed our day-getaway, we especially enjoyed our 3rd Amigo, the giggling, goofy, WILD CHILD. Angry Baby, though unable to speak, she was a fully communicating member of our group. She laughed, made us laugh and generally had a marvelous time. When did my Angry Baby become a little person?
Oh sure, she’s still a meanie when she doesn’t get her way, and with the cognizant arrival of her humanity, starts the real work.
Discipline, rule and order are concepts that have been jokingly introduced around here in the past, but now, the shaping and molding of a human character begins. But I’m finding the “dirty work” of building a decent, good little person is more than worth the effort. You see, with the hard work, also come the spoils. L4L and I are meeting our 3rd half, and can I just take this time to sound like every other parent out there when I say: She’s pretty neat.
Just recently, I’ve learned the following about Angry Baby…
1. She loves to eat lemon wedges. Like her mother, lemons are her most favorite fruit. Want to soothe a screaming Angry Baby in a restaurant? Give her a lemon wedge. Rather than the traditional pucker one might expect, she lets out a smile and satisfied grunt every time she crams one in her mouth.
2. She prefers to eat standing up, the nuder the better. Angry Baby’s most beloved eating position is holding on to me and standing while I feed her with a spoon. If she’s wearing clothing, she won’t eat. If she’s in a diaper only, she will bathe in, play with and eat the food you provide. On the rare occasion she is able to shimmy out of her diaper, and you allow it to go unremedied for say, 5 minutes, while you try to get her to eat some freaking food already instead of play with it, you will hit the eating jackpot. Angry Baby loves to eat in the nude. What a weirdo.
3. Angry Baby LOVES to laugh. Often at others folly and misfortune, but frequently for nonsensical reasons such as making a certain face, sound or gesture.
A silly, weirdo who loves lemons and being nude at inappropriate times? She’s going to fit in just fine with her roommates.
Love is something that cannot be measured, be it in the toothy smiles of zany jack-o-lanterns or the sloppy face-licking “kisses,” I’m finding my personal capacity for love growing exponentially, just as my child’s ability to express it equally flourishes.