I am tired today. So is my son. The problem? He doesn’t know it and I do.
I have a very lively child. He has been that way since he was born. His head was never floppy, and he wanted to do everything early: he ate early, he rolled early, he was an early talker, he was walking at 10 months, he quit nursing (against my wishes) at 12 months. He has a mind of his own and a will of iron.
I have spent this past month chasing him everywhere, picking up after him and learning to deal with his new found temper tantrums as well as enjoying his ever growing ability to communicate; his verbal abilities are growing by the day.
We just arrived home from our two week vacation. We were driving every few days. He did amazingly well. He was very busy. My community jokes that he is a wild man. I am trying not to label him and roll with the creative energetic punches of my spirited child.
I was concerned how my spirited son would act during my sister’s reception, during the 20+ hour drive , at my grandmother’s apartment complex, and at the places where we were going to eat out.
Everywhere we went people commented on how big he was. My son is very average size, maybe even a little on the short side. It isn’t his size that makes people say that, but rather his personality. People commented how well behaved he was, while I shook my head in awe and wiped the sweat off my face from chasing him around. I just had to smile. I had to smile this whole trip, even when he was exercising his new found “rights” and “vocalizing” at just about everything.
I got to see my son through other people’s eyes this trip. I see my spirited, independent wild child, I chase him around all day, clean up after him, try and make sure he eats enough of the good things, or slows down to eat at all for that matter! They saw a well behaved child who was big for his age, alert, intelligent, active and full of fun.
I don’t want to label my son or have him be labeled. I want him to be created and creative. He is himself. Average big. I got to see him through new eyes, it gives our relationship a fresh perspective. And yet for all his independence my little boy has clung to me to go to sleep for every nap and bedtime since we arrived home, just like one of those little monkey babies you see on TV. He hangs on tight and shoves his face into my clothes and breathes me in until he falls asleep. I’m in love with my average big child.
11 thoughts on “Average Big”
Oh, this is so like my little man. He is going to be two in just a few days, and has a very advanced vocabulary & has been very quick to hit all those milestones, just like your son. It’s so easy to forget that he’s really still so small…especially since we’re preparing for baby #2 in just a few weeks. Also, my son is average size, too, actually until about 20 months old, he was on the very small end of the charts, but people are always calling him ‘big’, which is so weird to me- I bet you’re right about it being because of his vocabulary & very active personality! 🙂
This sounds so much like my youngest, she is now 4. Very lively indeed, but always wants to give hugs and snuggle.
wow. my son is the same way!! he just hit 8 months old, he is pulling himself up and cruising on the couch and makes me a nervous wreck (haha) but when he is out he is a ‘good’ baby. he is also average size. since he started moving around early he only gained 10 oz between 4~6 months. even with his ‘independence’ on the floor i still have to cosleep with him for him to sleep more than 45 minutes.
Thanks for writing and posting this. I can definitely relate. Our daughter turned 9 months old yesterday and is “big” for her age as well. She already has 14 words. She’s been cruising and crawling for 2 months. She’s standing without holding on and trying to walk on her own. Everyone, including my husband, thinks that she is this uber-mellow, smart, friendly baby. And she is around them, but they don’t see everything else. Few have ever seen her cry and those who have, marvel at how calmly and quietly it is executed.
At home, when it is just the two of us, it’s a different story. Despite my best efforts and multiple attempts with various non-CIO sleep solutions, she won’t nap at all unless she is in my arms. She won’t play unless I am sitting within a few feet of her and even then she frequently stops playing to make sure I’m there and crawls over to hug me before returning to play. She cries when I go to the bathroom or try to fix myself something to eat.
I am thrilled that she is developing so well and is such a sweet child. But it’s so hard to not have even a minute to breathe. It’s also hard that most of my friends and family don’t see and understand this.
It helps to know I am not the only one going through this.
I love this. My son was a very dramatic baby, and sometimes I get stuck into thinking that he’s still as wild as that at 2.5. When I travel or we meet with friends, he’s often very quiet and charming and they comment on what a “good” child he is. I mean, he was still good before, and some of the behavior changes are just that he’s somewhere new and interesting, but it’s a benefit for me to get unstuck from my perspective and see what other people enjoy in my child.
I am so glad that this struck a chord with so many of you. It is always great to know that we are not alone on this great adventure!
I’ve read a few of your posts (I especially like the one about regretting your regrets) and I wonder if you can help me…
See, I don’t want kids and never have, but I’m in a relationship with someone who does. We’re constantly talking with our friends about the positives and negatives of parenting, and he keeps telling me that I am only seeing the negatives and ignoring the positives. I don’t want to wake up when I’m 50 and suddenly realise he was right, so I DO really search high and low for parents talking about the great stuff that makes them love being a parent. But I can’t find it among our friends. The only positives seem to be “it’s really hard but it’s worth it when they say I love you mummy” and “if you don’t have kids you’ll be lonely when you’re old”. Nobody seems able to articulate what it is that really makes everything worth it, and when I ask them to I’m treated as though I am attacking them, when really I just want them to tell me – WHY should I do it? WHAT is so great about it?
See, I’m truly searching for the good side, and commonsense tells me that there MUST be a good side, but when I talk to my parent friends all I hear are complaints. My partner accuses me of only seeing the negative side, but there is nobody talking about the positive side so how can I see it?
You seem intelligent and articulate (as do your commenters) and I thought maybe you would be willing to try harder than my friends, and maybe you can find a way to articulate what it is that makes parenting so wonderful. What makes it worth it for you? What are the things you are so grateful for, that have enriched your life? If you were to tell me why having kids can be an exciting, enriching and wonderful journey, what would you say?
Thank you for your lovely blog and your time. 🙂
Liesel – Thank you so much for your comment! I appreciate your compliment though I must say that the regretting my regrets post I believe was done by another blogger, a very nicely written post.
I will have a go at your question.
First off there has never been a time when I have heard older people say that they had a regret about having a child, the only thing I have ever heard is that they regretted not having them sooner, not having more or not spending enough time with them.
But now I will get personal because I know that is what you are looking for.
Being a mother has completely changed me and it started from the time I got pregnant. I became more aware of myself, how I was feeling, what I was eating, that I was doing something bigger than myself and yet everything was so inward focused. My sex life with my partner took on a whole new level, we become closer because we had created something together.
I became an adult in a whole new way, I discovered that I KNEW what was right for me and my child, I made choices and said and did things that I never had the courage to be before because suddenly I understood that I was going to be making choices not just for myself but for my child as well and that gave me strength and purpose.
When my son was born it was the hardest and best thing ever! I did it! It made me a woman. All of the sudden I understood what it meant to be a woman! And I was/am powerful!
The intense love I felt and continue to feel for my son is nothing like any other love I have ever experienced and my life is enriched by it as well as the life of my husband, sure it took some adjusting and I will not say that is all peaches and cream but we have come out the other end a united front.
I have learned to give of myself in a whole new way and it has made me in to a new person.
I enjoy my son because I am never alone and to me that is great! I do not like being lonely. I have someone to talk to, someone to do things with and I just look forward to the older he gets the more things we can do together and the more communication we will have.
I have become more courageous. I spend more time having fun because my child needs to play therefore now I play as well, I am such a serious person and he has made me become more creative in my play and I now have to think up ways to make every day things fun.
Then to top it off I get the honor of shaping another human beings life! How I parent, how I love, how I talk, what I eat… etc. I have never before had so much influence in someone’s life. What an honor!
That is what I have for the moment. I hope it is encouraging and I hope you find the answer to a very deeply personal question that only you in yourself can answer.
Jasmine, I got tears in my eyes reading your reply to Liesel-
I have a 13 month old daughter who has totally re-defined my life in the most profound ways… for me too it began with my pregnancy and the new relationship with my body as a creator of life-feeling my baby growing inside me was a most wonderful feeling that words cannot express adequately-I took special care to nuture myself knowing that my positivity and good diet, singing, and general good vibes would have a positive impact on my growing bub.
The birth was the one most significant event of my life-it took a lot of courage, belief in myself and the baby, stamina and determination on my part-I was in labour for two nights and came through it with no drugs, little intervention-vaginal birth, with a healthy baby. It was amazing and I felt like it heralded my passage into true womanhood. Being a mummy to my daughter is a journey of little sleep, tears and joy-discovering new depths of courage-I know that my thoughts, emotions, values and actions impact on my daughter and therefore I am more authentic, because of being a mum. The cuddles every morning, observing my baby discovering the world around her, developing her own personality, her total trust in me and her daddy, celebrating her milestones, and seing the world through her eyes, for me being a mum is the most rewarding gift of my life. The downside is minimal for me-The lack of sleep, feeling a little stressed when I havnt been able to take care of myself adequately, and modifying my social life to my babys routine, all this is a small price to pay for the great feelig of being a mum. I am looking forward to when we get pregnant with baby number two. Liesel, whatever decision you make-life is too short for regrets.
This is sooooooo my son! Love it!