From the day he was born he was alert and active. Whenever I had gone to visit friends’ newborns they’d lay in a swing or a bouncy chair passed out like an old man after Thanksgiving dinner. Moms looked tired and worn out, sure, but they were still managing life.
We on the other hand were not.
Liam’s eyes were always wide open and his body was in constant motion. I hated everything about being a new mom. I couldn’t stand the constant crying, hated pacing the house all day trying to get him to quiet down, hated the sound of the bathroom fan or the blow-dryer that we used for noise to help him sleep; hated that we had decided to have a baby.
I mean for God’s sake wasn’t he tired? Aren’t babies just supposed to eat and sleep all day?
Liam rolled over both ways, back to front, left to right, by the two and a half months. He crawled at five and a half months, was walking along furniture by six months, and walked by nine months. In retrospect, when I look back on our experiences now I understand why we needed to use a seven pound weighted blanket to get Liam to stay asleep.
Now that I know Liam I understand that his behavior as a baby was due, in part, to his temperament as a person. He is an active, opinionated, colorful, hardworking, and passionate perfectionist. All the things that were (and are) difficult about him will be the things that make him a successful and unique person.
People are drawn to Liam because he is witty, funny, and wise beyond his years. He is one of those people who just has something “special,” though you can’t quite put your finger on exactly what it is.
I wish I had known the things that I know now when I first had Liam. I wish someone had told me that it would get better, shared resources that actually worked for babies (and not the “typical” calm and cuddly baby).
Most of all I wish I had known that I was not alone; I wish I had people who could relate to what I was going through, people who were able to understand the exhaustion, laughter, and tears that accompany raising a spirited little one.
Liam is now almost two and we are a little bit less tired and whole lot more in love.
The best thing I can compare raising Liam to would be training for a marathon. You work hard everyday; there are hard days andceasy ones, days you want to give up. But you get stronger as you go and you learn just how much you can accomplish when pushed to your limits. And when you cross the finish line in the end, you’re exhausted but proud.
When you look back on the journey, all the long hours and all the hard work you put in, it will be worth it. Because not only are you strong enough physically run 26.2 miles but you’ve learned that mentally you can handle just about anything.
Carleen in a full time teacher, an an aspiring writer, and a full time mama who has survived life with a colicky baby. She is currently working on mustering up enough courage to have baby number two. She lives just outside of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Image courtesy of tiverylucky
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