Learning to accept your child for who they are. Almost like learning advanced Physics. *hard*

Being a mom is a giant 72lb backpack of guilt that you carry around 24 hours a day. (When you sleep it sits on your face). Also, mixed into that bag is a few cans of worry and containers of ohshit.

We just got back from our first trip away with G since October. We went to visit some friends in Virginia who also have a baby a little younger than G. I should begin this tale by telling you that he is an angel. Like one of those kids who you can get all up in their face, scream curse words at, break their toys and take their food while they smile happily at you, offering to share whatever it is you would like. He’s adorable and I love him.

But when  you have a child like G and he is with angel baby for 48 hours, the high neediness of G  really smacks you in the face. It’s kind of like you don’t realize how fat you are until you see your friend whose size 23 waist is just too tiny for that Herve Ledger dress. And then you run home and throw out your entire chocolate covered chocolate stash.

And what you feel is guilt. You feel incredibly guilty for wishing your child was any other way than how he is. There is a quote that I read daily that helps me out with G. Here it is:

Motherhood is about raising and celebrating the child you have, not the child you thought you would have. It’s about understanding that he is exactly the person he is supposed to be. And that, if you’re lucky, he just might be the teacher who turns you into the person you are supposed to be.” – Joan Ryan

I know, sap tree in your face. Sorry. I take whatever I can get to get me through the day.

So I’ll admit, on this trip while wonder baby is happily interacting with adults, playing nicely and G is screaming at the wall for no reason, I cried a bit. I cried for the guilt that I was feeling and a bit because I felt like I was mourning the loss of ever having a  content happy child. I just know that G will never be wonder baby. And although that is OK and he is who is he, it’s a “sentence” for us as parents. People say to us “parenting a child like that will be tough for a long time” or “You guys are good parents, you’re working really hard”. Yes we work very hard to get through the day. And every day is still one day at a time. Sometimes and hour at a time. And I can’t help but sometimes feel envious of all the wonder babies’ parents out there.

I remind myself that as G gets older he will continue to be passionate and have a spark in life and will speak his mind. Those are all super wonderful things. But for now, getting through the hour or 15 minutes without crying or whining is ultimately and never endingly exhausting.

So today happened to be G’s 15 month appointment. I thought the doctor would be concerned about his poops that are mud pies in his pants or how he will only eat chicken nuggets or fishsticks. But he was only concerned with his temperament. Terms like ADHD came up. **(I need to clarify this. The doctor said “It’s too early to consider ADHD yet”. But the mere mention of the word freaked me out. He is a great doctor.)  And I had to choke back tears with all of my might as I answered the doctor’s questions:

D: Is he affectionate?

Me: No.

D: not at all?

Me: No, he prefers running to hugging.

D: Does he get frustrated easily?

Me: Yes and then he just wants to hit things.

D: writes things down…(I hate when they write things down).

And the doctor sent me away with some homeopathic remedy to calm him down and for some signs to watch for. And I died a little inside. It’s not like I was sad because he was sick with a fever or cold. I was sad because of who he is as a person. And as a mother there is something wrong with that. And there is that backpack of guilt again. On my face no less.

And so we came home and played outside today. We looked at flowers and grass and dirt. And then G sort of looked at me for a minute, came up to me and put his head in my lap. He sat up and gave me a hug and a kiss. Then he just stayed there for a while. It was like he knew I needed it. I was struggling and he was saying “hey mom, I love you, here’s a hug. I’m not super affectionate but neither are you. And you’re cool.” And I cried again.

We all want the best for our kids and we want them to be happy. Seeing your kid cry more during the day than not, is heartbreaking. Comparing them to other kids is heartbreaking-er. Because you feel like a bad parent.

I know that we’ll be OK. There are lots of other kids out there with harder struggles to face than a tough personality and lots of other parents who have to deal with worse (there’s that backpack again).

I will remind myself of the person he is, who he’ll become and if we’re lucky he’ll be something great. Like a blogger.

Setting our sights high.

DramaMama,

MODG

 

 

 

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POSTED IN: Dramababy,Mom Stuff,You think you know but you have no idea

{ 202 comments }

Allie March 12, 2012 at 4:24 pm

This is a beautiful, honest post. Thanks for sharing!

NSC March 12, 2012 at 4:27 pm

Aww, MODG. I feel your pain. I too have a “high needs baby”. She is much younger than G, but someday, our kids will have backbones and be leading all those other kidlets around by their noses.
And we will be so proud. :)

Missy March 12, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Wow MODG. I couldn’t have said it any better than that. Just reading that someone out there has the same exact feelings I do makes my backpack about 20 lbs lighter. Thank you :)

Serial March 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

It’s super duper awesome that you’re so open about this. Try not to beat yourself up too much. And try to remember that some people are TOTALLY different people in different phases of their lives. I was a terrified shy kid who hid literally with my face in my parents’ asses whenever we were out in public together (not up their asses, but you know what I mean. You’ve seen those kids) and I was totally over it once I got into school. Not to say you hope he changes, because then that gets the guilt thing moving again, but just remember that it will all keep moving forward.

You’re a tough bitch. And a good mom. [internet hug]

Erica March 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

so that just made me cry, MODG. You’re a good mama. If you were closer and it wouldn’t be creepy, I would give you a big hug right now, too.

So the emoticon for hug as I understand it to be is this: ({}) which I think should be the emoticon for vagina. But whatever. Here’s a hug or here’s a hooohaa. :)

Cookie's Momster March 12, 2012 at 4:32 pm

This made me teary eyed…and also because I’m jealous of G’s amazing lashes. Totes not fair.

Jilly-J's Mom March 12, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Aww. I just love when they sense mama is hurting and give those hugs and loves. Nothing sweeter. Even if two minutes before they ripped a chunk of hair out from right above your ears (My son likes to get those little hairs in the MOST sensitive of spots on my scalp!)

Alex P. March 12, 2012 at 4:35 pm

If you ever need to vent, you’ve got my e-mail. I’ve got 2 with autism and one that is “strong willed”. I also hate the writing down.

Corrinna March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I love this post! I honestly can’t believe the dr was asking you those type of questions about a 15 month old. What 15 month old toddler wants to be coddled and loved on when they have just learn they can run around and tear up the house and you will chase after them. G is a perfect baby and he is the perfect baby for you! So sweet he knew you need lovin’ and he gave it to you, see he is perfect.

Sugar Bostick March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Hey there…..thinking of you…a bunch.
Hang in there….tomorrow will better.
xoxo

Jenn March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Don’t be too sad! I have a similar kid who I lovingly call “Demon Baby” He was never very affectionate, and he much rather run and touch EVERYTHING then sit and cuddle, and read books. I blamed myself for a while, thinking it was because I only breastfed for 4 1/2 months, plus I was diagnosed with Graves disease when he was 7 months, so I thought my medical issues made me reclusive and not loving enough. But now that he is 2 1/2, I’m realizing he just is the way he is. He is affectionate and now enjoys books, and I can actually bring him to bbqs and family friendly parties without too much anxiety that he will become the Tazmanian Devil. So please rest assured that it does get better. And forget anyone who mentions ADHD. He is way too young to nail down a diagnosis like that.

Shannon March 13, 2012 at 11:29 am

Amanda,

Please listen to the above comment when she says that it is too young for them to be tossing those terms about. He is not even 2 yet, he is hitting his developmental milestones. He is bright and active. Focus on the G you know not what a brief doctor visit is making you question.

Pamela March 13, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Seriously. What those guys up there said. I understand it is not fair to judge a doc on one snippet of conversation, but I would be doctor shopping after that. And just as it is unfair to judge a doctor on a snippet, that guy should know better than to ask those kinds of questions about a kid who just learned to walk. Because honestly? G just had the Great Gate Of Independence opened to him. No wonder he wants to run around… HE CAN! and with boys, running leads to hitting shit. I cannot explain this, nor will I ever understand, but all three of my boys did this: walk-run-hit. And they haven’t stopped, ever.

Everybody wants to give birth to the golden child. But I will tell you this one truth: each of us has given birth to a golden child, full of life and wonderment and potential. G is *exactly* the child you need most, and you are the only mama in the world that would ever meet his needs.

Jenn March 14, 2012 at 10:38 am

Watch the movie generation rx. Thats all I can say about this ADHD mumbo jumbo. Please.

SusieQ March 14, 2012 at 6:40 pm

NO joke….you probably love G’s dr. Those ?’s should NOT even be discussed at his age. I’ve been in education for 20+ years. NOW is not the time to even entertain those labels. Please consider dr. shopping. And….kudos to you….for getting up everyday and being the best mom you can possibly be. That is ALL G needs! :)

Elisa March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm

My first baby was high needs and there were days I honestly wished I never had him. I don’t generally admit that, but there it is. He was followed by two easy, relaxed, I’ll- play- by- myself- on- the- floor- or- in- a- playpen- for- hours types. I decided to have one more, and surprise! High needs baby! Here I thought the second and third ones were easy because I was a super experienced parent. Nope, just their personality types. I’m happy to say my first is now really easy going, makes friends with anyone, and is a charming, happy 10 year old. My 8 year old first easy baby turned into a hellish toddler who seemed to have OCD a lot of the time, and my third, now 5 year old daughter turned into the type of kid that talks 24/7 and screams shrilly when she doesn’t get her way. Soooo yeah, I feel ya. Just when you think you’ve got parenting figured out, things change completely. Today I’m just thankful high needs baby #2 let me put him down long enough without screaming for me to read and comment on your blog. Oh and P.S. G’s eyelashes are to die for! He could be a baby model.

Theresa March 12, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I’ve had to come to that realization over the last year, too, except it’s that Kirby is allergic to lots of stuff and apparently has asthma (we found that one out after a week in the ICU last Dec). I made sure to avoid all peanuts while I was pregnant and BFing b/c I read that’s what you’re supposed to do, but not only is he allergic to nuts, we found out that he’s also allergic to our dog (who’s been with us for 14 years), egg, salmon and dust mites. We’re also having to worry about if he’s going to have an asthma attack. So while my friends are happy at playdates, I have to be *that* mom that watches him like a hawk to make sure he doesn’t eat something I haven’t approved and I have to carry around a suitcase of meds…. just in case. Other than that, he’s a wonderful little guy and he amazes me every day, but a part of me just can’t stop grieving for the things he’ll probably never do – like freakin’ sitting with his friends at lunchtime instead of sitting with the other peanut-free kids at a separate table. :(

Terri March 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

This post just made me cry. I also have a drama baby and thought the same things you do. My boy is 18 months and starting to talk which has made things so much easier. He can tell he what he wants and there is less crying and screaming now. I wanted a child so badly and think God said “oh really…then try this one out”!!

Christina March 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

This is my life. Except I don’t have a trip with angel baby to smack me in the face with the realization, my husband spends every waking hour telling me how “not normal” he acts. Which is awesome.
I love the quote and truly need to write it down.
I love my “difficult” child and it brings tears to my eyes when people who know our struggles say “you have been through so much” or “you are such a saint.” Um no, I am a mom and I would do anything for that 8 month old bundle of tears and whines.
I get it, and I am sorry you cry over it too. Your drama baby and my drama baby are going to be wonderful and fun toddlers, boys and men someday. And if we get blessed with 2nd kids one day, we will appreciate their angelness even more.

corax March 12, 2012 at 4:39 pm

A wise friend of mine says to me whenever I complain about my parents (no kids to complain about yet) that we pick our parents (when we are little angel babies in heaven) for what they will teach us we need to learn. Her son would tantrum, get easily frustrated etc and now he is a successful and a very insightful kind man. Thanks for your honesty and remember that we are in the moment is not who we will always be!

Alex March 12, 2012 at 4:40 pm

Just read this. Crying at work. My 17 month old up until recently was EXACTLY the same way. And when you described how G put his head on your lap and gave you a hug and a kiss, I really lost it. Because when Sydney comes up to me and does that, it’s like all the stress and exhaustion melt into a little puddle for that second and you realize how worth it everything is, and that you’re not a bad parent. Because even if only for a minute, they’re happy, and they’re showing you that they love you, and that they know you’re doing the best you can :)

Rachael March 13, 2012 at 2:22 am

I was going to post something similar. I felt like my son wouldn’t sit still for a minute at the age G is now. He was really developing his own voice and was growing more opinionated. He rarely stopped for a book or a cuddle, and definitely not before bedtime.

But now 2 months later he’s changing all over again. He’s still got his opinions and hollers when he’s mad but he’s calmed a bit. He’ll sit with me, we read books. Once in awhile there are kisses and more often hugs and I am finally realizing that they are all different and I need to chill out. He’ll learn to read one day, I don’t need to bug out if he’d rather knock over blocks.

One of your best posts ever. Thank you for sharing.

Emily March 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm

Thank you. That was a really moving post that I very much needed to hear today. Especially this, “I was sad because of who he is as a person.” I struggle with that daily with my daughter. Sometimes I recognize it for what it is, and sometimes it gets the better of me. I need to put up some signs to remind me of who she’ll be, how we’ll get there, and how to live in the moment and appreciate who she is. She has some amazing strengths, they just aren’t mine and I wish someone could teach me how to grow and nuture all those amazing things about her, rather than me reacting to those not-so-amazing parts. Thanks again for this post!

Sayward March 13, 2012 at 4:28 pm

This line that you wrote “She has some amazing strengths, they just aren’t mine and I wish someone could teach me how to grow and nurture all those amazing things about her, rather than me reacting to those not-so-amazing parts” resonates so much with me and parenting experience. I often feel like I need a mentor or something, someone to say “Look, do it this way” when I’m in the moment and about to lose my temper or react in a way that I’ll later regret. Anyway, thanks for putting it into words.

Lara @ It's A Girl Thing! March 12, 2012 at 4:41 pm

My first baby was an angel baby. And now he has ADHD. My second was needy and a terrible sleeper and had reflux and colic and so on, but now he’s calm and happy and smart. My third is a little younger than G and is much like him, and like my second. Except she is very loving and always wants to be held. But we have a lot of screaming for no reason and picky eating and no sleep. You just never know how they will be.

Claire March 12, 2012 at 4:42 pm

If it is any comfort my 14 month old hits, bites, and headbutts me. It is just the age :)

Ana March 12, 2012 at 4:46 pm

All children are incredibly special in different ways! Sometimes we are not ready for what is thrown our way because it is unexpected or not part of the path we thought we would go on…but in the end things always turn out great. We have so much to learn from our children and we can only take it one day at a time. Parenting is certianly not easy and sometimes feel like we need a PH.D in parenting to get through…remember theres no formal rule book…we do what is best for our children and they will love you even if they can’t always show you.

Elisa March 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm

Love it!

erinisabel March 12, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Perfectly said. Thank you so much for putting my thoughts, and I’m sure that of many other moms, out there.

Jasmine March 12, 2012 at 4:49 pm

So I had a super awesome baby – slept through the night. Didn’t cry a whole lot, loved everyone and everything. Was calm and played happily with anything, affectionate, etc… Fast forward to age 3 and she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum and communication disorder. Flash forward to 15- she is still AWESOME. She is affectionate, respectful can communicate (when she wants too)but is socially backwards. She hit all major milestones etc., until she was 3 and then everything changed. But she is still awesome and I wouldn’t trade her for the world. When she turned 4 – I had her little brother – he came out screaming and didn’t stop for 6months (literally) he only slept through the night a handful of times until he was 5. He wasn’t affectionate very often, could puke on a dime and a earth shattering scream was his response to almost everything. He also did everything at a high rate of speed and patience is not one of his skill sets.

What the hell had I gotten myself into?
My son is 11 and while he is not affectionate in public he loves to cuddle with me in the privacy of our home. Once he stops moving (rarely). I don’t notice until we are in a car or other small area just how much he moves. (He NEVER sits still). He had the attention span of a gnat for the longest time – then all of a sudden he turned 5 and evened out. He quit puking, started communicating in a semi-normal voice (boys never really grasp the concept of an indoor voice). Other than he is super competitive with anything sports related (obnoxious kid in gym class who wants to win EVERY activity) But he is polite, straight A/B student kids and teachers love him because he is VERY kind hearted and will play with everyone.

What’s my point? – Babies are a mixed bag and non-verbal babies (12-30 months) are a VERY mixed bag. They are curious about everything and have patience for nothing. But they will even out (eventually) and turn into these really awesome little people. Sometimes waiting for them to get there is very hard. Don’t beat yourself up and while its really hard to not do it – comparing your child to other children is never a good idea. All it does is freak you out!! If your Dr is already talking ADD or ADHD find a NEW one. Its WAY to earlier for those kind of conversations.

I am a mother of 3 kids 15,11 and 6 none of them developed the same way. They all did things very differently we have all had those low moments and between spending an extended time with an awesome baby and hearing negative things from the Dr its only normal that you feel the way you do.

But hang in there, it will get better and Baby G will even out and use words and not so many screams, tears, etc.

MODG March 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Thanks for this. This is really helpful and I appreciate you sharing.

I will say that the doctor only said the word ADHD in the context of “it’s too early to talk about ADHD” but the mere mention of it sent me racing.

hearing from experience moms is what helps me get through this.

Jasmine Robertson March 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm

No problem, I adore your blog and if I can offer you perspective from someone who has been in the trenches that is the least I can do.

On a funny note – I had laid back , happy-go-lucky baby that has slowly evolved into drama 6 yr old girl. She came in from playing outside all teary eyed tonight – I asked her what was wrong and she said – “I broke my leg playing. ” Uhhhhh if you broke it you couldn’t walk on it. “Well then I bruised it really bad – besides – my friend was all in my face and I was tired of playing with her”. – Keep in mind they usually look like Siamese twins so not sure when personal space became an issue but with Diva its drama usually 24/7. The rest of my family and I just look at her most of the time. I am not sure what we are going to do with this one.

Elisa March 15, 2012 at 12:05 am

Haha, my 5 year old daughter is always saying she thinks she broke her leg. She is always fine. She’s just my little drama queen.

Caity. March 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

My 16 month old is more interested in running than hugging. He’s more interested in climbing than signing any of the words we’ve signed to him for the last 8 months, & too busy kicking & throwing a fit because he can’t put the tupperware lid on by himself. He’s wild & doesn’t say any words yet, & fusses at my leg if I even try to go pee by myself. You are not alone, my friend.

::hugs, boobs, & chocolate for you::

julie s. March 12, 2012 at 4:50 pm

Tears…thanks so much sharing. I just gave my baby who is crawling all over me and whining a great, big hug.

Meg U. March 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm

Thank you for never writing BS posts! That bag effing sucks balls. My baby’s 8 months old and im already worried about if she comes home from school crying because some kids made fun of her….sigh i know i know

Heather D March 12, 2012 at 4:53 pm

So I just cried reading this, mostly because I relate so much.
Ever since he was small, I knew our son was a little different. We stopped going to most playgroups because he was SO high energy that we couldn’t do any activities that didn’t include running. He is 4 now and started preschool last fall. We knew he was emotional/high needs, but didn’t realize how much much till he entered preschool and I basically got a call everyday to come pick him up.
After tons of guilt and agonizing, we had him assessed by a local school district and he qualified for remedial preschool. He’s been going there for a while and we’re seeing improvement, but at his four year check, his ped suggested getting on the waitlist to be screened for Aspergers. My heart literally HURT. I felt like all my hopes and dreams for him were gone. Like he’d never have a normal relationship. Like he’d struggle to fit in his entire life. It’s been a few months and we’re still waiting to get in to see the specialist. I’ve come to terms for the most part, but still have moments where I feel punched in the gut. Like when I see him interacting with other kids and how terribly awkward it is for him. But I do realize that whatever dreams I had for him aren’t gone…they are modified. He is smart and tenacious and that will take him far.
Anyhow, I completely know how you feel and it’s going to be okay. Hugs!

MODG March 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm

Thanks for this also.
I totally know the heart hurt feeling.
I appreciate you sharing this with me. It helps.

Heather D March 12, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Mamas have got to stick together. xo

Jasmine Robertson March 12, 2012 at 9:02 pm

My daughter was diagnosed at age of 3 as being on the autism spectrum and communication disorder. I was 3 months into my 2nd pregnancy when we found this out. I drove straight home from the Dr’s office and climbed into my bed and stayed that way for a good three hours. It was the most devastating day of my life. There was NO way my little angel baby had autism I had too many hopes and dreams for her. She is 15 now and I still have hopes and dreams for her and she has some of her own.

She is AWESOME! While she struggles with math (totally against hollywood stereotype) she learned to read (one of my biggest fears). She is getting ready to start drivers education – while its drivers ed for kids with autism its still drivers ed! She is socially awkward and if you didn’t know her you might think she is really shy. But other than that she is a normal kid.

It is devastating to get the diagnosis, but you have the right attitude. Hang in there and I wish you the best of luck with your son.

Marjorie March 14, 2012 at 9:25 am

We are in nearly the same place with our 5 year old. He’s smart and polite and sweet but his social skills are just . . . well, they’re pretty bad. He screams in people’s faces, chews on his shirts, wets his pants usually at least once a week, and cries over everything. There are definitely issues. We moved him from a public preschool to a private one with a MUCH smaller class hoping it would help, but it hasn’t. Both his teacher at his previous school and his pediatrician have mentioned aspergers. Honestly, I’ve avoided making the appointment in the hopes that it’s just a rough phase.

My 18 month old daughter has a totally different set of issues. She has not been the happy, sweet, smiley baby that her brother was. She’s hateful. She hits, screams, kicks, throws things, and intentionally destroys everything she can reach when she doesn’t get her way. Snuggles, kisses, and huge are very few and far between.

What helps me get through the really rough days is just telling myself that all of these qualities that make my children seem obnoxious now will actually be excellent qualities in adults. My daughter will be independent and strong-willed and won’t take any shit from anyone. My son will be sensitive and empathetic and would make an amazing doctor. Just try to focus on the positives when you start to feel overwhelmed and milk those rare snuggles for all they’re worth. You’ll get through this. You have us!

Bri March 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I love this post. I have felt the same way about my “difficult” younger son. Of course I love both of my kids to death, but one is much harder work than the other. G will be great, because he has a great Mama (and because he IS great. Duh).

Kait March 12, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I have a dramababy who has turned in to a dramapreschooler. Everyone keeps telling me she will outgrow her high level of drama but…I really doubt it. She’s just a high maintenence, lively, wild kid. She’s never going to be quiet and well behaved and content like her sister. I will never have a drama free day with her around.

Sometimes parenting her is the hardest thing I can ever imagine doing. Most times it’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever experienced.
Drama
G will never be the quiet, easy kid. But he’s your amazing kid and minute by minute you will make it. Besides, there is always booze after he’s in bed. Vodka always helps me remember that I’m not actually a shit parent.

mia March 12, 2012 at 4:55 pm

“it’s like he knew”

he DID know. they always know. don’t fret, he’ll see you through each challenge and then one day, when you’re totally not paying attention, he’ll tell you he loves you and every single minute of backpack wearing will be worthwhile.

btw, your honesty is just as resonant as your funnies are funny.

Leah March 12, 2012 at 4:56 pm

It is impossible not to compare! My BFF has a little girl a few months older than my guy and when they’re together I feel like such a bad parent. There’s their daughter, you tell her not to do something and she doesn’t do it. I tell my guy not to do something, so of course he does it anyway. They didn’t even baby-proof their house because they sat her down and had a discussion about what things weren’t appropriate, and she went along with it. I just stared, amazed, when she told me that. So then I think, am I not trying hard enough? Am I letting him get away with too much or not correcting him in the “right” way? And I, too, have friends whose kids have major health problems, and here I sit, complaining about my headstrong, defiant yet healthy child. God, the guilt.

AMickey March 12, 2012 at 4:57 pm

Very beautiful post!

LiSa March 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

Beautiful post.

I have a wonder baby. So far, I mean. He’s only 3 months old, so there’s still plenty of time to for him to change. I feel guilty daily because he’s sooo good, yet I still feel impatient when he does cry.

Jen March 12, 2012 at 4:58 pm

…and i just died a little inside reading your post.
i can say i know EXACTLY how you feel everyday and how you felt at that Dr appt. I have a little DRAMA BABY (girl) myself, (well she is bigger now, clocking in at 3yrs old). She was, and continues to be, needy, energetic, picky, whiny, cry-ey, and you know what else? A HILARIOUS spark of a personality. She is still an only child because she is just THAT much of a lovable nightmare. With that said, i am SO sorry the Dr made you feel like you needed to watch out for certain behaviors or indicators of Adhd or WHATEVER. I can say with 1000% certainty, my daughter at 15mos on would not have dreamed of sitting still for a hug, kiss, story, etc. Just recently, at 3, she started to be more “lovey.” I have asked our pediatrician on MANY occasions about her hyper-activity and general non-stop drama- never once has he indicated it was anything more than a child who is full of life and love. Trust me- there is an end in sight. The older he gets, and the better he gets at expressing what his strong will desires- the drama WILL die down. trust. He is perfectly perfect.

Christina March 12, 2012 at 5:00 pm

So you’ve got a drama baby – so what?!! He is opinionated and determined to get his way – thats a GOOD thing! Think about it – he isn’t going to easily be talked into some dumb shit shenanigans or settle for what he is initially offered – he is going to go for what he wants and nothing less! This is a quality found in the most successful people in the world. When I was pregnant with my daughter I begged God for a high maintenance little girl that was riddled with determination and strength – and I got what I wanted! Portia is almost eleven and never lost her determination. I remember when she was very young (G’s age-ish) it was hard but she got a little older and we were able to channel her determination. You and B will do the same with lil G! And once you guys get over the fact that your kid isn’t some push-over-settle-for-whatever-sloth/baby (no offence the sloth/babies or their moms) you will start to enjoy his tenacity. Its a GOOD thing he is who he is – after all he’s got go-getter for a Mom – he’s going to have to keep up! Drama baby = hard now, better later (if channelled properly) Sloth baby = easy now, hard later when easily talked into bad shit in teen years

Veronica March 12, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Okay, I myself am also in possession of a dramababy, and I know what you are saying. Totally. BUT, my 19-month-old recently started this thing where she can go for more than one second without moving. She SAT ON MY LAP AND SNUGGLED FOR TEN MINUTES the other day!!! This is new and unprecendented. I was used to having a high-needs hurricane in my house, and now all of a sudden she is making slow changes. I’m not saying it will magically happen for G, because it might and it might not, but these whirlwind babies are on their own GD schedules, thankyouverymuch, and just because they are “supposed” to have been at a certain stage of development already doesn’t mean they won’t get there in their own time. My crazy kid is also WAY ahead of the timeline in playing. She skipped parallel play and went straight to wanting to be every kid’s best friend, and other kids are like “What the eff?” and even though it’s weird, I’m still proud of her, because she has great social skills and is proving that she will do things whenever she wants, and not necessarily when the American Academy of Pediatrics thinks she should. That guilt is a mother effer, but it gets better (I think … ).

Tara Roddick March 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

What a great post. I love how honest you are with your feelings. G is a perfect G:)

Alisha March 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Try to not be so hard on yourself. My kids are 6 and 3 now and both were difficult and needy in their own ways. It gets better as they get older but there are also days where I am living for bed time. We all wish we had the easy baby and feel guilty for it. It’s all part of parenthood. I know things are day to day, hour to hour and minute to minute. My son was similar to G in many ways so I understand what you are dealing with. It will get better. Hang in there.

Sharon March 12, 2012 at 5:08 pm

Thank you so much for posting this. I can only imagine how hard it was hard to write, but really, thank you so much for putting into words what MANY parents feel, but are unable to say. This stuff is so hard and you are so strong.

ashlie March 12, 2012 at 5:13 pm

I totally understand. Vivian and G were born the same day, and I swear, they are the same baby sometimes. I was talking to someone the other day about someone’s child who has Aspergers and I said, “I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if Vivian has some degree of Aspergers, or is placed on the Autism Spectrum, or has sensory issues.” People are shocked when I say things like that, but for me it’s just a fact that’s waiting to happen. It’s not a problem, it’s not a death sentence, I just know in my heart that there is something that isn’t quite right with her, and I know that once we can finally nail it down and treat it properly, things will start to get better. The homeopathic remedies have really helped with us! In the meantime, I’m dealing with constant tantrums out of frustration and living in no-hug land too! Babies challenge us to be better people – you’re doing a good job!

Stacy March 12, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Don’t worry…..my great friend has a wonder baby girl who is 13 weeks older than my daughter. And while I will be nice and not say the mom is “perfect” because I do believe there is no such thing…..she is so damn close and it makes it hard to be her friend. Even though she is nothing but a beautiful and wonderful person to everyone she meets and never forgets a person’s birthday. EVER. Ever ever. And no, my kid will not sit down and put a puzzle together. She prefers to dump them out on her head.

As the New Kids used to say, keep hanging tough.

caelsmomma88 March 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm

always keeping it real hommie

Sara March 12, 2012 at 5:17 pm

Yes Allie! Beautiful and honest. And perfectly timed for me. I’ve gone through 9 weeks with my own DramaBaby. My first was an angel. The difference has been hard to accept. So hard. And I have cried so much. I’m praying we’ve turned a corner since he was recently diagnosed with acid reflux (stupid sneaky acid reflux that hides cuz he doesn’t spit up). I’m so glad I found your blog. And I’m so happy you share such real stuff. Thank you.

Morgan March 12, 2012 at 5:18 pm

G giving you a hug just made me cry – so sweet! You have such a great way of articulating what it feels like to be a parent. My son is only a few days younger than G and I feel like this has been the hardest time so far – so much worry and guilt and wonderment, not to mention no longer having the happy nursing hormones! Keep up the amazing parenting that you are doing – G is one lucky kid to have such a cool mom who is so funny & articulate!

Kiera March 12, 2012 at 5:19 pm

The last time I posted i dug myself into a really deep hole, and I haven’t commented since. But I still read. I just had my fourth baby, and I can so relate to this post. My first child is outrageously shy, to the point that it’s hard for people, namely adults, to connect with her. I didn’t send her to preschool and this year at kindergarten has been a huge adjustment emotionally for us both. Seeing her with her peers is heartbreaking, too. They all are easy going, and she cries every time that there is a different teacher or a substitute teacher.
G has always reminded me of my second child. She was super fussy all the time and never ever ever pooped as a baby. I had so much guilt that I didn’t even want to be near her because there was nothing I could ever do to comfort her. She wasn’t very affectionate, and was literally described for the first 2.5 years of her life as “ornery” in my circle of friends. It was funny…. but heartbreaking and infuriating and the saddest thing I could imagine. Now she is 4 and is the happiest, easiest going, helpful, little girl. Still not overly affectionate, but brave, and offers her forehead to me when I ask for a kiss. I still carry the backpack of guilt that you write of, that I didn’t attach appropriately to her for 3 years.
My third was fussy, not quite so much as the second, and now, as a two year old she does what you said that G does, throw herself on the floor with major tantrums. My other kids never did that and I can’t help but wonder why she is so unhappy. Why doesn’t she have that joy for life that two year olds should? Why won’t she play with other two year olds?
And finally I have the two week old. Who is the easiest going baby, poops, sleeps, smiles, barely cries. And I feel she was a hard earned baby.
After I’ve thought so so much about how each of my kids is so different, I realize that the 5 year old is so easy! She always listens, always stays by my side, is respectful, and follows the “children should be seen and not heard rule.” Then I remember that she takes eons to adjust in every situation, and she is super emotionally tender. And the four year old is so easy! then I remember how hard she was. And the two year old is easy and hard all at once. And I come to full circle and realize that kids are simply just hard. They have ups, for hours, or days, or years, and then they have their downs, for the same amount, if not more time.
As a mother who has read all your posts, I think we parent very similarly. I do the cloth diaper gig, I co sleep, etc etc, and at the end of the day I drink and way what the f. Other mothers always seem to have it more together than I do, and their kids, moreover, are always SO MUCH MORE CHILL. And I hate that I care, but I do. Because we want what’s best for our kids AND we want to be as happy as we think we should be, having these so called little bundles of joy. I think you’re doing well, and I think all of your feelings are normal, and G is normal. And adhd is overly diagnosed, and even if that is a storm you’ll have to weather, you’ll do great. You won’t be alone!
(sorry this was so so long.)

Rosie March 12, 2012 at 5:22 pm

My first was super-high needs, too. But he made up for the fact that he NEVER slept and was the fussiest child the planet by learning to read by the time he was 26 months old and potty training before he wa

Kelly March 12, 2012 at 5:28 pm

You are an amazing Mom. Knowing you get through what you have gotten through with G gives me hope with Monster. You are not alone sister. Keep kicking ass and being the best Mom you can be. You are doing such a great job. I know it’s hard, but we are Moms. This is what we do. We fight.

Tara March 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm

MoDG, I rarely comment. But your posts since G was born have all hit so close to home. My son was a nightmare as an infant, a difficult toddler, and is now the strongest willed almost 4 year old that I have yet to encounter. I went to bed in tears last night after we had friends with another 4 year old boy over for dinner– with the exact feelings you describe. Our doctor has used the ADHD term and asked me the same questions– we are still waiting and watching (and crying and mourning the loss of a content child). We, of course, love him desparately and are in love with being parents, but it is hard. And it is a hardness that parents of easy-going children will just never be able to understand. Thanks for the post. It really made me feel less alone….

Christie March 12, 2012 at 5:31 pm

This is a wonderfully touching and truthful post.
Much love to you and G

Kelly @Dare to be Domestic March 12, 2012 at 5:35 pm

It’s amazing how children sometimes just know when you need a hug/kiss/affection or a break. I think him doing that is the best medicine a mom could get. You’re doing great, promise!

Tabitha March 12, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I have one kid who is very affectionate and concerned about doing the right thing and pleasing people. And one (14 months) that … isn’t. And especially after having the first one be so ‘good’, it is HARD to not will el baby to be different. But I see her. I see how creepy smart and original she is. I didn’t want her to be a carbon copy of her sister so I’m working on reminding myself that my ultimate goal is to raise humans that are themselves and confident in that.

I loved the honesty of this post. Very beautiful. (I even loved the sappy quote…)

amy March 12, 2012 at 5:38 pm

i have had that kind of child…and we are going on 5 years old next month. no advice, only that my kids is mr independent…rarely wants to play with other kids…would rather hit than hug…and easily frustrated too. he is almost 5 & ONLY eats chicken nuggets and fish sticks still. we get the kid we get, honestly i have spent MANY nights crying about it, but accepting them for who they are and learning about THEM – not feeling bad we didnt get the ‘perfect’ kid is what i will do for the next 5 years.

Laura C March 12, 2012 at 5:39 pm

MODG you are the MOM SHiT. You are the only one ever who doubts you. G already is something wonderful. I have an “easy” baby and my backpack is also full of guilt. (whyissheskinnyamIunderstimulatingherisshesoquietbecauseshe’sslow). I think self-doubt is part of the mom package, but we’ve all got to fight it. Love that baby boy and hang on.

Jessica March 12, 2012 at 5:41 pm

This is probably my favorite post of all time from you. Heartbreakingly honest and makes me realize a lot about myself as a mother. Thanks.

Amanda March 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm

Welp, you made me cry.

Your amazingness as a mother shines through with every post about G, and you will get through anything he throws at you (literally and metaphorically.) My sister’s middle child has a mild form of autism and it really screwed with her for a long time because she felt so guilty wishing he was like her other two. It took her a long time to accept him as the person he is, but both him and her were happier when she finally did.

And so will you too. Chin up, MODG. Thanks for being so honest about everything.

d March 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm

this was so helpful, thank you.. I have the same problem with getting to like some of my son’s (very similar) traits. it’s unbelievable when it is this intense and seems never-ending. god, it’s so hard. he cried like mad last night and I lay in my bed between getting up to go check on him/ calm him and sobbed like crazy. ‘I can’t deal with this, I am not prepared for this. I am scared of having to deal with this for years’, I kept telling my husband. Sometimes all I want is to disappear. I hope we can get through it, I really do. I love my little boy.

Karena March 12, 2012 at 5:42 pm

I agree, very honest, touching post. Can I tell you that from the second you started writing about G’s temperment, you have described my son to a “T”. My son is now 6. The hard times lasted for many years. Hell, on a good week I can get 2 days that are easy now. But he’s still stubborn and difficult. And sweet, and loving, and brilliant, and all around amazing. I’ve had “those” words brought up by people who don’t know him. ADD, ADHD, etc. And guess what? He’s neither. When doctor’s try to give labels like that to kids this young, ESPECIALLY G’s age, it is ridiculous. At age ONE, it’s impossible to determine something like that. Maybe after a couple years of elementary school. My son was the kid that got suspended in Kindergarten. His first year of school was TOUGH. Counselors, psychologists, me crying every day, tough. We somehow got through it and now, on his 2nd year, is doing amazing and hasn’t gotten into trouble once.

All of this is to tell you that there will be ups and downs, if G continues to be anything like Tyler. But there are so many good moments, it gets better the more self-sufficient he is, and he WILL get more affectionate. My son used to be anti-cuddling/hugging. Now he calls me his “snuggle bear” and can’t wait to get home so he can lay with me and hug me. Lean on B, and vice versa. This too shall pass :-)

Rosie March 12, 2012 at 5:44 pm

My first was super-high needs, too. But he made up for the fact that he NEVER slept and was the fussiest child the planet by learning to read by the time he was 26 months old and potty training before he was 2.5 (he’ll be 3 in July and sounded out the word “transfiguration” the other day???). He’s still got a seriously short fuse, but he’s getting old enough to learn different coping mechanisms (deep breathing is working well for him because he starts giggling when I blow in his face…), so the seriously high needs don’t last forever!

And I think my 2nd made up for it by being one of the easier children there has been, so you have to remember that the 2nd is almost ALWAYS easier, even if only because the 2nd has to learn how to self-soothe when #1 is having a meltdown because Mom won’t let him eat goldfish crackers in the bathtub…

Alesha March 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Thanks for posting this! It’s always good to hear from other moms who have a hard time “accepting” their child. My daughter is 5, full force 5 and I should have figured out something was different when she was 15 months, but I didn’t. I was naive…some days I just beg and plead with myself to keep her. sarcasm. maybe not. I remind myself daily that all the qualities that drive me crazy are all the qualities that will help her as an adult.

Jennah March 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

First thing I read after picking up my little after work. Thankfully, she is happily chatting away with me and amused by the fan right now. But….way to make me all teary. It’s OK tho, I LOVE YOU FOR THE BLOGGER YOU ARE.

MODGinurface March 12, 2012 at 5:46 pm

test

ElsMom March 12, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Take heart, we all have days, weeks and months when we feel awful because we don’t like our kid(s) very much. (Love is different than like!) I promise, and anyone who says different is lying. My favorite quote (I even had it put on a bracelet from The Vintage Pearl) is this:

“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one.” –Jill Churchill

Keep your chin up, it all works itself out in the end.

Annie March 12, 2012 at 5:53 pm

Oh, hugs!! I’m sorry it was such a difficult appointment and a difficult trip. But your lesson about accepting your child for who they are is so important and so sweet, and look, your child is only a toddler and you already know this! You are doing a wonderful job. My kids are big (really big, 16, 13 and 8), and I continue to work with this. I watch my oldest, so so smart and thoughtful and careful and anxious and introverted, and I love him and I’m proud of him and he is great. But does he go to football games, and dances, and parties, and get asked to the Sadie Hawkins festivities? No. Will he ask a girl to Homecoming or Winter Carnival or whatever? No. I picture the other teens as excited and fun and social, singing and playing games and going to movies in big laughing groups, getting together on Friday nights and doing stuff. I feel some envy when other moms post pictures of their kids in suits and pretty dresses going out to the fancy dances–my son has no interest. That is just ME, though, hoping that he’s not missing out, and imagining that maybe he’s not happy. But I do think he’s happy–he really doesn’t care about dances and pep fests and hockey. He loves the math team and fantasy games. That’s him, and I need to honor him the way he is, because he really is awesome. And so is G. Also, G is extremely, extremely adorable. And finally, 15 months seems mighty early to be labeling a child as “easily frustrated,” in my humble opinion. Aren’t most of them easily frustrated at that age? Don’t be scared, MODG. Keep being your great mom self.

April March 12, 2012 at 5:55 pm

I’ve been trying to explain my parental guilt to my mom and she just doesn’t get it. I have an 18-month old who is very much like G, and I swear to God you wrote this post just for me. I’ve already printed out that quote to keep in my purse and on the fridge, to remind me how much I love my daughter’s personality and spunk…especially during the times when she’s cried and whined all damn day long…

Thank you for sharing, I so needed this today, and I’m sure lots of other moms out there did, too.

kday March 12, 2012 at 5:56 pm

Truth.
Did you see the news special on 6abc about how babies with sleep problems are likely to develop behavioral problems? I’m looking forward to pondering that thought in the middle of the night while comforting my wide awake 2+year old.

Anne March 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

I totally understand this post! It always smacks me in the face when we are away with other people! I’m like wow….it isn’t always this hard!?
I highly recommend “Raising Your Spirited Child” by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka. While G and my 2.5 year old are a little young for it yet, I am currently reading it daily (and rereading parts) hoping for some relief! It is spot on for us. I’m due in 5 weeks and honestly am scared of what I’m in for (and I always think back to your post wondering if you were the colicky one, or if the baby was lol – that is us totally) Hang in there. Some days are really hard.

ElsMom March 12, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Take heart, we all have days, weeks and even months when we feel awful because we don’t like our kid(s) very much. (Love is a different emotion than like!) I promise it gets better, than worse, than better…Any one that tells you different is lying.

My favorite quote about Motherhood is this:

There is no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one. –Jill Churchill

Keep your chin up.

AmazonAnna March 12, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I have to say, I love reading your posts about poop, Danny Tanner, and fashion because they make my fiance ask me why I’m giggling to myself like a crazy person. But this is one of my favorite posts EVER. THANK YOU for writing it. NO ONE has perfect kids; what does “perfect” mean, anyway? But that doesn’t mean Baby G isn’t awesome and badass in his own babydrama way. You know that already, though.
P.S. I have a dirty secret, and that is… I’m not even a mommy. But I read your blog because 1) it’s hilarious, 2) I also know every word to Britney’s “… Baby One More Time” album, and 3) I can really relate to your doubts, fears, and vulnerabilities. Thanks for being brave enough to put it out there.

Steph March 12, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I have a boy who’s about a week older than G and sounds so much like him. We’re lucky to make it through 5 minutes without him screaming his head off at me about something. And I have never been what’s known as a patient person. I come close to losing my shizz about 50 gazillion times a day, and it’s not a pleasant feeling. If you ever want to talk, I’d love to talk/vent with you about our experiences. We should totally start a forum for parents with high-needs kids. Because, let me tell you, I get no support from my family and not much from my friends either, so it would be nice to know that there are others out there dealing with this with varying degrees of success. Hang in there, sweetie.

Jen March 12, 2012 at 6:07 pm

My son (who is now 11) was exactly your son. I used to cry after leaving library story time because all the other kids sat in their mom’s laps while mine ran laps around everyone. My son has since been identified as ADHD – but also “gifted” in terms of IQ. The two run together often. Hang in there!

Kristen March 12, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Woman! I’m not used to crying when I read your posts, unless you count pee tears…you know, from the laughing. Thank you for sharing.

Katie E. March 12, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Oh sweetie, I wish I could give you a hug, a glass of sweet tea, and a cookie. Instead let me give you the hope that can only come from a friend with older kids. This too shall pass. I had the drama baby model. The drama king of Louisiana is now 5. And he is now a really funny, engaging kid. He still has his moments, but it seemed that one day *poof* he was this really fun KID to hang out with. This was recent. He had a meltdown at every single soccer game last fall. We just gritted our teeth and survived it. This spring he is joyfully playing his little heart out. If there is a scrum he is in the middle of it yelling “karate yells” and kicking like crazy. Here is a little secret about parenting that might alleviate some of your guilt. Some people are rock star newborn parents. Nothing phases them. Some people are good with toddlers. Some people are better with elementary school kids. And the second verse is that some kids are a lot more fun to be around as they get older. My youngest is a troll some days. But that is okay. We will grit our teeth and survive it. Good luck and know that you aren’t all alone in mommy land. My youngest is standing by my chair screaming his little lungs out as I type this. He has thrown a bunch of cheerios on the floor and occasionally wipes snot on my leg.

Lauren March 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm

My daughter was a lot like that as a toddler — very high needs, not very snuggly or warm. It did improve as she got older, but she maintains a very intense, spirited personality. She’s definitely not mellow. The books Raising Your Spirited Child and The Highly Sensitive Child have been so incredibly helpful for me. And The Explosive Child, even though it’s geared towards older kids, has been very helpful now that she’s old enough to talk. It is definitely a hard row to hoe, especially when other people’s kids are so much easier/more cooperative/better at sleeping/less picky/less volatile etc. I feel ya.

kiera March 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I read The Highly Sensitive Child- which was accurate with my one child in particular, but I did not care for (read: fell into a deep depression) how it labeled my child. I would recommend it only in a very loose sense of the matter. I about scratched my eyeballs when the book began talking about his “highly sensitive adult child.” In my heart I knew that it was a bump in the road of life, but was not going to BE her life. And I was right. I had to read it lightly, and I’d recommend that others do too, mostly because how emotionally fragile I am in terms of my children.

Jenny March 12, 2012 at 6:17 pm

Thank you for sharing that quote and your story. I think it’s normal to compare ourselves and our kids to others but it doesn’t make it any easier. I have started giving myself time outs because sometimes the tantrums are so intense that it’s all I can do (it actually has been working out well for me and our son usually calms down shortly after).

Have you checked out the book “Raising your Spirited Child”? I bought it based on a friend’s recommendation – if only I could find some time to really sit down and read through it.

Maz March 12, 2012 at 6:27 pm

This totally made me cry. What a sweetie. You are awesome and G may not act like the “happiest baby on the block” but he sure as shit will be the coolest.

Some babies are difficult, but even difficult babies will hold back how they are feeling if they don’t feel like home and mom and dad are the safe place to let it out. You clearly are his safe place, and he is 100% confident that you will love him and comfort him in his time of drama.

Well done MODG.

Camille March 12, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Aww, that is so sweet that he sensed you needed that affection…

My mom was always very affectionate and I was not. I was also very (very very very) high needs. We got through it, I’m 24 and we’re still very close. We are even next door neighbors. :) I always tell her she is my hero, just because she raised me hahah.

On the flip side, my daughter is very affectionate and I often worry I am not giving her enough, or good enough, affection. We all have our things that make us feel guilty. In reality, I know I am an awesome mommy, and I am sure you are too!! We just have to kick that guilt to the curb. :)

amy March 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm

This is my favorite post you have ever written. (Yes, even more than the shoes on toilet posts which you know I adore.) Very honest of you to share. You know what is so nice about G? Once you get a smile directed your way out of him it makes you feel beyond special. It’s my favorite quality of his…like he allowed you into his “inner circle” and trusts you. You and B do a great job and it is clear how much he adores you both. xo

gail March 12, 2012 at 7:05 pm

Geesh, my son was the same way when he was a baby/toddler! He gave me all the trouble when he was young and portable. By the time he reached his teen years he was a dream! He’s going to be 30 next month and is the most caring and level headed person I know. I’m glad we got the difficult part out of the way during the dirt eating/poop throwing stage of life – and I could tuck his squirming, screaming self under my arm and go home : )

Amy L. March 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Thanks for sharing this! You are rIght- it will be okay. Sounds to me like he is smarter than his years and wants to do things earlier than he is supposed to which would frustrate anyone. ;) He’s still little- give it time and give yourself a break. You are doing a great job with him!

Suly March 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm

Crying my eyes out over here on a sunny Monday afternoon! I’ve been a stalker on your blog since I got pregnant last year. First off, thank you for making me laugh out loud like a crazy person over the last year. Your poop and fart stories are ever so classy. Anyway, my son was born 2 and a half months early. Yup that’s right. Two. And. A. Half. Fucking. Months. For no damn reason at all. As you can imagine, I’ve been an emotional mess since his birth in November. He, on the other hand, is doing great for now. No major issues in the NICU. Gaining weight. Sleeping well. Breastfeeding like a champ. I was told his major long term effects could be learning disabilities and ADHD. I should be thankful for his health, right? I am for the most part, but I’m scared shitless of the future. It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Will he be ok? Yeah probably. Will I always wonder if he is going to be my sweet boy who loves to read, plays nice with others, and loves to cuddle with his mom?? Every damn day..and he is only four months old.

G may not be what you thought, but he’ll be ok. He has parents who love him and care about him and that’s the first step. Not even saying that he has it, but a label like ADHD can sound scary and disappointing but you’ll make the best of it. Shit, if you can eat damn chicken bone soup, you can do anything!! I am a first grade teacher and have seen my fair share of crazy ass ADHD boys who drove me up the wall, but those who do the best have parents who are involved and proactive.

Kristyn M March 12, 2012 at 7:18 pm

I can’t even begin to imagine this feeling of guilt and do not look forward to that part of motherhood but thank you for talking about it! G will be a wonderful, brilliant boy regardless of whether his tempermant means that he has a condition. He has a wonderful mom who obviously cares about him enough to bare her feelings to the entire blogosphere, not to mention a video of her taking on Tracy Anderson! My one piece of advice is this: as a child who grew up with ADD and exercise induced asthma and never knew it, don’t be afraid of your child “having” a condition. My mom was and no one ever thought to get me tested for these things and I grew up wondering why I couldn’t run as far as the other kids, thinking there was something wrong with me when really what was wrong was that my mom didn’t want me to be “labeled.” So instead I was the out of shape whiny girl instead of the girl with the inhaler. (I know asthma and ADD are different but its still a good analogy to how I felt.) Keep up your great work as a mom! And as a great blogger!

Karen March 12, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Hugs Mama! I love the quote and you are the best mom because you care so much!

TC March 12, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Thank you for sharing that. I have a child with developmental issues and I find myself wishing she were different, not just for myself (let’s face it, having a 4 year old in diapers was never what I would have chosen for my husband and I), but for her too. I hate that life might be just that much harder for her. Then she will come over to me, hug me and say with a big sigh, “I’m happy, Mommy!” and I feel like everything will be all right.

Olivia March 12, 2012 at 7:23 pm

I love you MODG. Thanks for always keeping it real.

Kasey March 12, 2012 at 7:25 pm

This post made me tear up when G gave you that hug you needed so badly. So true and honest. I have 20 month old boy/girl twins…they are different as day and night. My daughter is a cutie with big beautiful blue eyes but she has a mean streak. I sometimes find myself thinking she is half Satan. Terrible of me, I know. Her smile seems so sweet but I know better LOL My husband says she is half me (haha honey, thanks a lot) and her and I are probably going to have “fun” when she is a teenager. My son is a lover and a sweetheart. No Satan there. Its hard to not compare kids to other children, especially when they are twins living in your house.

LynzB March 12, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Ditto to what Allie said. And you are not alone. All us parents have felt that way on some level (at least, I have), and as your kids get older you’ll find new things to be disappointed about (and subsequently feel guilty about). But as G gets older, you’ll also find out new things about him that will amaze you. So much so that you’ll wonder how you got so lucky in the stork lottery that G was picked for you. You’re a great DramaMama, and G is so fortunate to have you. Hugs. Xoxo

cole March 12, 2012 at 7:33 pm

It’s crazy, my baby is only a few months old, and i compare him all the time…”why isn’t he doing this…or why doesn’t he stop crying–so and so doesn’t cry nearly as much”…and this just made my day. Thank you for sitting back from the funnies…and saying how it really is. Thank you for being honest…because i really needed this. Thank you!!

Bridget March 12, 2012 at 7:35 pm

Lady – I feel ya. Whenever I get together with my group of friends, my little guy is quiet, gives everyone the side eye, and usually ends up getting cranky. My friend’s darling, on the other hand, is smiley and cool. When I was teaching preschool special ed, I used to tell the parents of my students that we need to remember that kids have their own temperaments, just like adults. It is easy to forget this…I just realized that I did(!)…but so important to keep in mind. As for the ADHD stuff, please know that doesn’t usually get diagnosed until age 5, so not sure why the doc would even mention it. Gah!

Meagan@Green Motherhood March 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm

Oh man, I get ya. I now say that I was the perfect mother before I had children. Ha! But, it’s different when theyre YOURS, and they aren’t what you expected. At 13 months my angelic(post colic) baby turned on me and was so fussy and honnory. Yelling and hitting, ugh! I was devastated. But I soon realized that she suffered from a food allergy (your mud pie poops alerted me, they are exactly what she had/has when she eats gluten or milk.) if I’m careful about her diet, I see a behavior improvement. Maybe it’s worth looking into?
Good luck! Motherhood is hard. Just love on him as much as you can.

Kaelaqlc March 12, 2012 at 7:56 pm

Beautiful beautiful post, MODG. You are a good mother, and I think you just need to work on not beating yourself up so much! I bet even the perfect angel baby’s parents are sometimes disappointed in their child, or parenthood in general.

Sara March 12, 2012 at 8:07 pm

Would you consider revisiting the GAPS diet? I know it’s a pain in the ass, but it supposedly helps with stuff like digestion issues and ADHD. I actually learned about it on your site, and have my own babe on a modified version.

Big hugs and thank you for your honesty too. I always visit your site when I am having a particularly trying day and your openess and humor always make me feel better.

Mary March 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Dr. Phil is always saying that kids are diagnosed too soon with ADD and ADHD and that they can’t really know that for sure until the kid is like 3 or 4 or something, and only with the proper workup. Just keep that in mind. Doctors are quick to dole out pills, but make sure you’re speaking with an expert on the subject. And there’s this: http://drphil.com/articles/article/150/

Hang in there!

Kate March 12, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Good god! They are trying to diagnose a 15 month old with ADHD? Then I fear-FEAR-for my 18 month old visit which should happen soon. My son? Runs around until he is drenched in sweat at Gymboree. While the other little boys are sitting nicely in their mama’s laps, mine is screaming his head off running around. I thought that was what Gymboree was for? The other mothers laugh, and I am sure they go home and lavish their calm child with gratitude. But my kid? Makes me laugh, he is nuts. What else can I do? He has never ever sat in my lap during lap time. Never. Not even when he wasn’t mobile. He is affectionate, when he wants to be. Thought that was normal. As adults, we are not told to dish out hugs. If we were, I’m sure we’d give the old side eye as well. They are toddlers. Not adults. They have no impulse control- they are all Id. At least that is what I tell myself. But given how many people are in the same boat? I’d say it is pretty normal. Hang in there. They are “spirited” but they are sweet. I doubt my son will grow up to harm baby animals. At least I’ll leave that worry for another day.

Heather March 12, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I can’t tell you how this blog touched my heart. Thanks! Thanks so much for not only being honest about your child and your feelings about your child but for being brave enough to write it. I don’t have an “angel baby”, actually my baby sounds a lot like yours and I have felt and expressed the exact same feelings that you have. It’s so damn great to know that I am not the only one. Thanks for the reminder to love him for exactly who he is because he is exactly what I need!

Chin up! Your child is exactly what you need, too!

Mary March 12, 2012 at 8:36 pm

It baffles me that a doctor would mention ADHD and a 15-month old in the same breath. Thank you for sharing this post.

Kelly @ SFTC March 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm

whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute, stop. First of all, don’t go listening to these whack jobs who are diagnosing your baby as ADHD when he is four minutes old. Stop it already. I remember VIVIDLY the first kiss my son gave me… why? Because he NEVER hugged or kissed. He wasn’t a huggy, touchy, feely kid either. He was a crazy wild boy, full of piss and vinegar, ready to explore the world, and figure everything out, and God help you if he couldn’t. He didn’t have time for love crap or sissy stuff. AND… he was an EFFING NIGHTMARE. He is 9 1/2 years old and JUST STARTED SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT. Yes. I thought many, many, many times that I would not survive his toddler years, and that he would grow up to be a mild-mannered serial killer AT BEST, but you know what? I did survive. And so will you. My son has morphed from that complete effing nightmare, into a wonderful, affectionate, mindful, terrific kid. If someone told me that my son, as a youngster, was a complete effing nightmare, I would tell them they were crazy. You see him now, and he is such a great kid, you would never believe how truly horrible he was. HORRIBLE. Many tears were shed. MANY. So, please, do not let these aholes get into your head. G is going to change SO MUCH (obviously) and someday the kid he is right now will be a faded memory, and you will shake your head at your own idiocy for being so worked up about how he was acting. He’s being a toddler, he’s being a boy, he’s being himself. He’ll be okay.

PS The ‘good’ babies will grow up to be borefest nobodies anyhow.

SA March 12, 2012 at 8:52 pm

Have you read raising your spirited child? http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Your-Spirited-Child-Perceptive/dp/0060923288

I didn’t make it all the way through, but if anything it may help you feel less alone in your struggle and give you a different perspective on how to view some of these things.

My spirited one is nearing 5 and it has been a rocky road, but I always try to think about the positives of some of the traits that are so difficult to deal with now. If anything, I know he will be a determined individual who will always stand up for himself and what he believes in.

Marjorie March 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I highly, highly, highly recommend this book! It has really helped change the way I perceive my own “spirited” 5 year old and it reinforces the idea that you aren’t alone. LOVED IT!

M March 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm

*Tears*

I can relate- appreciated this post so much.

Kristen March 12, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Thanks for posting, so honest! I needed to read this. I was just having rough night last night, reading blogs with parents of babies my age and thier kids are rolling, sitting, etc and my little guy isn’t yet. First there was the guilt that I had done something wrong and should have him on his tummy more, then the guilt of comparing him to other babies. He is his own person, he is happy and healthy and will do these things when he is ready. I am the one with the problem!

You are so right with every part of this post, thanks!

Mallory March 12, 2012 at 9:44 pm

When I first found your blog a few months ago, I went back and read every single post throughout your first year with G. Your writing and willingness to share about the not so easy parts of motherhood has helped me to feel like a “normal” mom, but this post especially resonated with me, and I wanted to thank you so much for sharing this. My son is 3 months older than yours, and some days are not as high needs as others as we reach 18 months, but I still struggle with the really difficult days when he is screaming at everything and anything, and I just want to yell “get out of my face!” for one second. Sometimes I do have to walk away and when I do, I cry because I’m mad at myself for losing patience, mad at myself for wishing he acted differently. Guilt is tough, especially when it involves the little person you love the most in life. . So really…. THANK YOU.

Erin March 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm

This was a beautifully written post. I’m wishing your family all the best.

When I worked in pediatric epilepsy, this was framed and hanging by the nurses station: http://www.our-kids.org/Archives/Holland.html

Your son’s future is just as unwritten as all the angel baby’s futures are unwritten – easy babies can grow up to be easy children who then grow up to be meth addicts or assholes or teenage moms.

xxoo

JustJenny March 12, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Get this book and read it. Now. Why Gender Matters by Leonard Sax. http://www.amazon.com/Why-Gender-Matters-Teachers-Differences/dp/0767916255/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1331604384&sr=1-1 Before you consider a diagnosis of ADHD or anything else, please, read this book. And hang in there.

Hannah March 12, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Try and keep this in mind. Children that express their emotions typically go through the teenage years better than their counter parts that don’t express themselves. Children that are people pleasers are tough because they typically suppress their feelings in an effort to please. These children can be very hard to read and can have a hard time expressing themselves during difficult teenage years. So maybe you will be cruising through puberty when some of us are pulling our hair out. Little comfort now, I know.
We use the techniques in ‘The Happiest Toddler on the Block’ and that’s made a big difference in dealing with toddler drama.

Jill March 12, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Totally understand you… my son (now 29 months) went through this same thing about 12-18 months… we would be at our play group (with all sweet, perfect little girls) and T would throw the most dramatic, ridiculous, crazed tantrums. He wouldn’t eat a thing… not one thing…. except for Larabars and goldfish crackers. The other moms would sort of look at him like “wow… wtf” and I was like “you mean your kid doesn’t do this??” and then we would get in the car and I would cry to my husband because something MUST be wrong. And then I would call my mom crying and say “WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?? OR (worse) HIM??!” She assured me that when he started to gain the language to communicate with us – or at the very least, understand us more – it would get better…. and she was RIGHT. It is a really tough age that you are at. I mean, all the ages are tough in their own way, but they are wonderful too. And I can assure you, the “strong-willed” & “spirited” kids are the best and most brilliant in the end. And that is a fact. Being a full time mom is truly the hardest job in the world, and we do obsess over every action, fit, tantrum, etc because we see it all, all day long, and that IS our job…. to raise “perfect” kids. I assure you, it will get easier. The development of their language skills is a BEAUTIFUL thing…. on so many levels. You are doing great, because you love your child and you are raising him in a wonderful home with a great husband. You will get through this, but in the mean time, an extra glass of wine helps. :)

Ashley March 12, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Beautiful post! I love that you are real and I have recently followed your blog and love it!

Jill L-G March 12, 2012 at 11:01 pm

Thank you, from me, and from my 15 month-old twin, high-needs/highly tantrum-prone/highly trying, little boys.

ejack March 12, 2012 at 11:55 pm

Our kids are the same age. I’ve been following your blog. Really insightful and hilarious. It’s like our children are the same. I WISH my son would just hug and kiss me…but instead he will hug and kiss his stuffed animal on command. OR a truck. OR a little toy pig. Mommy? No way. He is also obsessed with his father. Again, Mommy 0; Everyone(thing) else 32413445. Keep your chin up. It means they are going to be really cool adults.

Jen @ Caved In March 12, 2012 at 11:56 pm

Sullivan is 14 months old and while physically developing fine, the kid does not talk. Other than “uh oh”, nada. Our ped told us to be on the lookout for signs of Austism and I just sighed and said “next”. It’s way too early for that talk. Some kids just develop differently and at their own pace. G may slow down or he may go 110mph his whole life. He knows you love him and would do anything to help him and that’s the most important thing to do. And it seems like you’re not alone. Lots of good advice in the comments here, for sure.

But I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard to think of them as their own little people. I keep trying to box my kid in as being a perfect split between me and my husband and while I see similarities, he truly is his own little person. And I freaking created him. It’s humbling.

Krista March 13, 2012 at 12:21 am

My son, who is my second child (first is a girl), is so high needs. Like whine and cry to be held and then get picked up just to throw his head back and scream. He is also very snuggly, which I love and appreciate and almost makes up for the crazy. I read this post literally three minutes after leaving my 20 week ultrasound for my third and just finding out that it was another boy. I admit I was disappointed and I felt guilty for that. I wanted another girl to give my daughter the sister I never had and because I am now prejudiced against boys. Their neediness and energy is EXHAUSTING. But, each child is different and this one could be the chill one that sleeps through the night at three weeks old rather than acting like a maniac as soon as the sun goes down for the first three months+ of his life. Here’s to optimism.

Olivia March 13, 2012 at 12:45 am

My son’s the same way. I read that high needs babies with good parenting end up being the really clever, interesting people. Middle of the road babies stay middle of the road, which is fine too. There was a study on it. I can’t find it now, of course.

Anyway, my son is 18 months and he’s the same way. Always busy, always doing something, pushing the boundaries. Wonderful little boy, but a challenge to his mama! Personally, I’d get a second opinion if your doctor is throwing out scary words like that and then offering homeopathy as a solution. Seriously.

K March 13, 2012 at 2:19 am

You are wonderful. You express yourself so very beautifully and I can only wish I had your wisdom. Your baby has the best mother he could possibly have, and I honor your effort and your caring and your honesty. I wonder if you would find support in the blog “A little pregnant.” A recent post (“Expert” from 2/22) is about the author wishing she knew better how to support and understand her little boy. http://www.alittlepregnant.com/ We are behind you, Amanda. You are doing a wonderful job.

Vodka Logic [Laura] March 13, 2012 at 3:23 am

Great and honest post..I never really felt like you do now when my kids were little, but now that my 17 yo is having depression/anxiety problems I have had those feelings.. How did I fail, why is she the way she is, couldn”t she be easy like her sister…. therapy works wonders for everyone.

Good luck..having a spirted kid is great. Passionate and creative. xx

kristy franske March 13, 2012 at 4:43 am

I gotta second the gluten/dairy connection. My drama baby grew into a drama toddler. We landed in Hippie Heaven, Oregon and discovered homeopathic pediatricians and naturopaths. Turns out she has food allergies…and also is channeling Joan Crawford.

The punk rock toddler lifestyle ain’t easy….

colleen March 13, 2012 at 7:20 am

this really was a beautiful post. especially when he came up to give you a hug. you can’t teach sympathy. you can fake it, but you can’t teach it. and he clearly innately feels that. and that’s something. hope your day today is a little easier.

Elizabeth March 13, 2012 at 8:00 am

This post really hit home for me. My son was born 6 weeks early but 2 weeks after he was born my niece had her little girl. This child is like amazon 2 year old. I swear she looks like a damn 5 year old and talks like one too. My son is still jibbering and hers is all “Do you have any Grey Poupon”. Ok, not really but you get my point. As mothers we are all jealous of other mothers kids. But at the end of the day you look at your little “monster” and wouldn’t have it any other way. Much internet love to ya!

Penny March 13, 2012 at 9:20 am

I just wanted to say that as someone who’s been reading your blog for almost 2 years, I think this is the greatest thing I’ve ever read on here. For the first time, I really feel like I understand G and what you are going through. You are an awesome mom!

Cheryl S. March 13, 2012 at 9:35 am

I have a 6 y/o girl. She is NONSTOP from the moment she wakes up until her head hits the pillow. I can’t even tell you how often I’ve heard “Is she like this all.The.Time?” Yes. Yes she is. And I wouldn’t trade her for the world. Believe me, there are many days where I have to tell myself that being stubbon and demanding what you want is a GOOD trait that will serve her well as an adult.

Funnily enough, she is NOT ADD. Not in the least. She’s just high energy and wants what she wants. She does great in school, follows directions, etc., but as her teacher says “She’s easily distracted”.

I agree with the poster that said that if your doc is already talking ADD you need to get a new one. G is a baby. Most docs won’t even bring up ADD until after the kid is in school. Also, once he learns to talk, the crying will get better. They still get frustrated, but they can at least express themselves!!

I’m going to steal that quote about the child you have and send it to my husband. While I seem to have been able to do this with my daughter (she is who she is) he has not. He is constantly trying to make her something she isn’t.

Thank you for this post. Thank you for being honest. And know that whether you get hugs and kisses or not, G loves you to pieces. And also know that you are SO not alone.

tricia March 13, 2012 at 9:36 am

Sensory Processing is what I found out to late for my oldest and my middle child was not affected how ever I noticed the signs in my munchkin a just the right time please look it up. You are a great mom and as moms we hurt for our children and ask why…

Wendy March 13, 2012 at 9:59 am

The only change you need to make in your parenting is to fire your pediatrician. Bringing up ADHD when discussing a 15 month old is just plain ridiculous. This is what you need to do…gather up your backpack of guilt, worry and a can of real shit, drive to your Dr’s office, find him, and smack him over the head with said backpack. Make sure you wear old clothes that you hate (maybe something in the Lilly P. line), just in case some of that real shit gets on you. I hope he smells all day long and can’t drive home to change. He needs to consider a new job….like as a trash man (no offense to the many good trash men out there)!

Amber March 13, 2012 at 10:00 am

Thank you so much for sharing this and your honesty. I’m constantly examining the contents of my own backpack of guilt to figure out what the heck I put in there to create a drama baby and this post just completely let me empty some of the contents & feel lighter.

Tracy March 13, 2012 at 10:50 am

OMG, MODG — I have never wanted to talk to you so badly after reading a post than I do today. I just heard myself in your stories and can so truly understand what you’re feeling. I am mom to two kids. My oldest, who is 10, was put on the autism spectrum when he was 3. I know how you feel when you compare your child to other “perfect” kids and wonder why your kid has to be such a headcase. I know the guilt of resisting to accept who your child is and trying to make him who you think he should be. I tried to tell myself that we were chosen to be his parents because we can handle it, but sometimes that rationalization fails. That quote you shared is perfect and I am putting it somewhere I can see it everyday. A lot of parenthood is about letting go of what you thought raising a child would be like. Our son has come so far and things get better. It sounds corny, but he has taught me so many things. He thinks entirely different than I do which is challenging, but so fascinating at the same time. Hang in there with G. The things that drive you to drink today, may be what makes him so successful in the future. Things get better, but in the meantime, that was wine is for.

Amber March 13, 2012 at 11:01 am

Ok 1. You are not a bad mom. 2. Every parent feels this way at some point. You are always so honest about your parenting ups and downs, and I personally think its awesome. This is what makes you so relate-able! You just say what a lot of us are thinking, and are too afraid to say out loud. G is too cute btw :)

Heather March 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

First of all, damn you for making me weepy at work.

Second, ever hear the saying that goes something like “Crazy people never think they’re crazy, so if you worry about being crazy, you’re sane”? Well, I think something similar can be said for Mamas: the ones who are all I’m-the-sheeit-everything-I-do-is-perfect? they are the Mamas I worry about. The ones that worry about their kids? Those are the good ones. The ones with Mommy guilt? Those are the GREAT ones. G is and will be wonderful, in large part because he has YOU for a Mama. And my mother always said that 6-year-old boys are her favorite creatures on this earth, so we both have something to look forward to:)

Kelley March 13, 2012 at 11:11 am

Beautiful post, so honest. And I love the quote. Thank you for sharing your life, I know it helps me daily, and by all of the comments, obviously many many others.

Margo March 13, 2012 at 11:13 am

A beautiful and heartfelt post. I too, have a temperamental little man. At nine months, the doctor has asked me on two separate visits if he offers me food yet. I just laughed. No, but he’s happy to take it! Although our days are filled with lots of ups and downs, we have those moments that make my heart melt as well. The contagious and maniacal laughter, if anyone sneezes or farts, and the pure joy in finding something other than a toy that mom will let him explore. Like pots and pans, and lids to things. The only thing I can say, as a mom of 14 years, is that it will never get easier, but your parenting journey will constantly be evolving and changing – and your love and your heart for your children will only grow and grow.

Anne March 13, 2012 at 11:13 am

Just remember that he is always the same little boy that you love, regardless of any future labels or diagnosis. If it does come to that, think of it as a way to help him and that’s it. No child is perfect, and as parents we all have our crosses to bear. I have been bitch slapped into reality more times than I care to remember, ESPECIALLY with my first born (who is all of 3 1/2). Think of G as your experimental child; have a couple more, and if 2 out of 3 go on to be contributing members of society, consider yourselves successful parents.

Oh, and sometimes you won’t like you kid. You will ALWAYS love him, no doubt, but you are human. As is he. Hang in there, it will get better :)

Kelly March 13, 2012 at 11:22 am

This is a lovely post. My parents went through this with having my brother first, a difficult child with learning disabilities, then me (I was/am very laid back and apparently easy) then another very difficult boy with more learning disabilities. I admit, I’m expecting my first and this scares me to death. Thank you for your honesty.

sara March 13, 2012 at 11:43 am

this made me tear up. you are an amazing woman and i thank you for being so honest. people dont tell you about this stuff…i appreciate it. thanks for keepin it real modg. <3

Court March 13, 2012 at 11:56 am

Written perfectly. I am about to take my kids swimming at a friends.
I’m not concerned about my 4 year olds behavior. At all.
What I am concerned about is my 6 year olds. He is a loose cannon. Always has been. Today can go two ways 1) he is an angel. 2) He flips a table over b/c the pool temperature isn’t just so.
Everyday is different and you learn. It’s a fun ride.

Maria March 13, 2012 at 11:56 am

First. Thank you for yor honesty. Second, you wrote a post about GAPS was that just a phase to pretend to be a hippie? If you truly believed in the healing powers of gaps you would know that it heals and prevents things such as ADHD and that a picky eater is a sign of gut dybiosis.

MODG March 13, 2012 at 3:45 pm

Maria,
I’m sure you didn’t mean harm by this comment, but if you read, I had to quit GAPS due to a hypoglycemic incident. I did the diet to help G’s tummy while he was breastfeeding. It didn’t go well. I am not 100% sold on GAPS either. I did all the research and bought all of the (VERY expensive) foods and supplements. I see where they are coming from, but I don’t know if I’m willing to experiment on my 15 month old. I also pray that he eats his meals. I’m not sure how things would go if I just gave him soup and sauerkraut.

Pamela March 13, 2012 at 10:43 pm

The soup would be fine, but man, baby sauerkraut farts are the worst.
And the diapers? No thanks!
:)

Holly March 13, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Amanda, I’ve read your blog since you started it but have never commented. Today I am going to partly because I could have written this post myself 8-10 years ago if I’d have known what a blog was back then, and also because I’m supposed to be studying for a CLU test and I will take any sort of distraction I can find. When my son was about 1 or 1.5, he lost his damn mind. For about 2 years. He went from this sweet affectionate little bug that I seriously wanted to eat he was so cute, to being straight from hell. People said it was a phase at first, but after a couple years people stop talking about phases and start giving you the side eye. He wouldn’t do anything I told him to, he threw violent fits over every little thing, he hit, he kicked, he punched, and the kid could and would cuss you out like a grown man. I was a mess because first of all I naturally assumed this was all my fault (clearly all the anger must be a reaction to something I’ve done or am not doing, and a mouth like that had to have come from SOMEWHERE), and as he got older and stronger, I was actually afraid of what this was going to look like in a few more years. He was beating the crap out of me at three years old and I could barely restrain him at that point – what was I going to do when he was big enough to do some real damage? Fast forward to today and I have a ten year old who gives me very little trouble at all, beyond normal 10 year old stuff. I honestly don’t know where the turning point was, but he came out of it somewhere along the line and started acting like a normal human being. Which is good because I had gotten to the point where I was threatening to friends that I was going to put him on the curb with a sign around his neck that said “Free”. Not “Free to a good home” because I didn’t even care if it was a good home, just as long as it wasn’t mine. My point in all this rambling is that I’m sure G is just fine. Yes, your days will be more hectic than those people who have even tempered kids, but that’s OK and in the end you’ll have better war stories. My son and I now laugh about the story from when he was two and I was football carrying him kicking and screaming out of an IHOP and he cursed out the whole restaurant on the way out and called a bunch of old ladies jackasses. Horrifying at the time, hilarious now. So hang in there, stick to your guns with him (it can be VERY tempting to throw your hands up and just let them run the show when they’re wearing you down day in and day out….don’t do it), and keep letting him know he’s loved. I can almost guarantee the drama will take care of its self sooner or later. In the meantime, keep taking pictures of his tantrums. They’ll be fun to show to him later when he’s 10 :)

Stephanie March 13, 2012 at 12:35 pm

Wow! Thank you for such an honest post. Not too many moms would do what you just did.

I have a beautiful little boy who 10.5 years old. He’s quiet, obsessed with Legos, says he’s going to marry his cat, and acts like a cat for at least 30 minutes a day. Full on hissing, meowing and all that other cat crap. Sometimes I get frustrated with him and ask myself stupid questions. Why doesn’t he act like other 10.5 yr olds? What is with this animal obsession? Why can’t he just act normal? WHY doesn’t he want to play sports like other children??? Then I sit back and think…I have an amazing son. He is not afraid to be who he is. He is passionate. He is beautiful. He is OK with being called weird. I hope and pray that he does not conform to anyone’s standards. That he continues to be himself always. He is and will be an amazing human being. Change the world type human being. Now that is something to proud of!

Also, my kiddo was diagnosed with ADHD in 2009. It was apparent from the time he was a lil dude. Heartbreaking? yes. Makes life not cookie cutter? yes, but I don’t want a cookie cutter life. It wouldn’t hurt for him to sleep more though.

G is going to be a world changer too. Don’t sweat it. Just keep breathing and wear the backpack of guilt like it doesn’t weigh 7 billion tons. It gives you amazing back muscles…I know this. You are an amazing person! Keep on doing what you’re doing.

Oh, I think those angel babies/kids are up to something. Just sayin’.

april March 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm

What a beautiful, lovely, honest post. You are such a wonderful mother to G and he is very lucky to have you. And always remember, he is yours, and loves you just as much as you do him. I truly believe our children teach us what we need to be taught, and that is how parents and children both grow and learn. My son is a very shy, sensitive kid, who has a hard time being around other children at times. For a long time I would always comment and wonder why he just couldn’t play with other kids the way some of my friend’s children do. I have learned, and am still learning, that he is who is meant to be. As parents, our most important job is to love them unconditionally. You are doing a great job and G is an amazing boy!

Tori March 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm

MODG, thank you for sharing your story. You are a great mom and a great person (and one hell of a talented and hilarious writer). Please don’t beat yourself up for being human. No matter how completely we love someone– our kid, our spouse, our sister, our Mom, our self etc– there are always things that a tiny part of your mind wishes would change. It is natural to observe behavior and traits and other things in others that we wish we have for ourselves.

As a side note, apparently my boyfriend was a total terror baby when he was little. Drove his Mom to distraction. And then he learned to walk, and became as pleasant as can be. His personality is not, and apparently has never been, to just sit around and hang out. He gets antsy. But what that means is that he is outgoing, adventurous, and just loves going places and meeting people and doing things. These are among my favorite qualities of his. So, it seems that sometimes things that are challenging and frustrating in a baby can portend wonderful personality traits in the adult they’ll become.

Wishing you peace.

Jalyn March 13, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Beautiful honesty in what you wrote! But don’t be too envious of that “perfect child”, things are not always as they seem. My kids are grown now and the child that was the “happy baby” now tells me I “neglected” her, “didn’t meet her needs” and gave preferential treatment to her siblings??! Ouch!! I know I made mistakes, but I thought my kids were equally loved, provided for, given opportunities, etc…

And as food for thought – I have recently heard a couple of parents say their “good” child is the one that now has the most hang-ups as an adult.

Cortnie March 13, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Thank you for voicing what every single mother on this earth has thought of at least once – you are not alone! I appreciate this post and I really love the quote you shared, sap and all!

xoxo
cortnie

Bailey@peppermintbliss March 13, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I don’t write about the tough times with our baby on the internet, because after everything we went through to have her and all of the readers that prayed for her and sent us kind words, I just feel like it would sound ungrateful for me to complain.
After reading this I am second guessing that decision because your honesty is so incredibly brave and makes my mom heart feel much lighter.
From what I can tell, we all have moments of guilt and sadness. When my husband was gone for 5 days last week baby girl would not stop crying and I just went into the other room and screamed and cursed and then cried because how could I let myself get so frustrated by a 7 month old baby girl? Who is the cutest, sweetest thing and who I FOUGHT like hell to bring into this world.
It’s just hard. It is. And you are doing an amazing job, and you are helping all of us other mommas out there with your brave honesty.

Alycia Torres March 13, 2012 at 3:56 pm

This was so perfect for me to read today. I am crying at my desk while I’m supposed to be working. My son turns one next week and its been such a hard year and I’m trying so hard to come to terms with him being a “high needs” baby. I love him so much but I certainly did not expect to have a baby that cried all the time or got sick all the time. And like you said there are so many people out there that have it worse but it is still hard and it sucks hearing people like my mom constantly saying “you’re a saint!”. Thanks so much for this!

Liz March 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm

i mean, this is clearly why we really should get a drink together. i love the way you love your baby – i really find your honesty, and the work that you put into being a good mom, inspirational

amy March 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm

My daughter was a LOT like that growing up in her toddler years. Now, at 15 years old she is a leader. She is on the high honors, plays first chair for her band out of the whole high school (as a freshman!), she organizes cancer walks, fundraisers for special olympics, she is in forensics, FFA (no we are not farmers), she has a 4 year high school plan and so much more. The point is…..she is in control. In elementary school I was told that she is “bossy” but you know what, I would take that any day over the kids that sit in the corner and are total followers. This attitude is short term in the big scheme of things. Keep that in mind. Think of what he can be when he’s outspoken, not how you feel about his strong will now. Keep your head up :) Amy

Sara March 13, 2012 at 4:33 pm

I have been babysitting the most angelriffic 16 month old little guy for a few months, including the entirety of my pregnancy so far. I am very frequently visited by a little voice in my head that tells me “I am probably not even going to like my own kids, this baby has set the bar too high.” Then I have enormous pre-mama guilt and put another beer in the fridge for 5 months down the road.

ADHD I think sounds scarier than it is. I’ve got ADD, and my sisters both have ADHD. ADD/ADHD kids just need structure and they function way better. Having lists of stuff we had to do, even the simple crap like
-wake up
-brush teeth
-wash face
-put on clothes
-put away pajamas
Stuff that had to be done before we could come downstairs in the morning. It made things a lot easier for everyone. Medicine made all three of us enormous jerks who could focus on what jerky things we were going to do, so we survived on lists. To this day, I am a list junkie. Don’t be too worried. Lists are fun.

Huge hugs.

Sayward March 13, 2012 at 4:51 pm

This post was wonderful and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your willingness to be candid and honest in a mommy-blog-niche that’s dominated by twee Anthropology babies who have rainbow blow-outs and never ever tantrum (unless it’s adorable!)

I really relate to this, though instead of not accepting my son for who he is, I turn it on myself and refuse to accept my mothering as good enough. I just feel like it’s my fault he’s this way and a better mother would be able to laugh it all off, stay happy and upbeat all the time, and have infinite patience.

The other day my bubs was feeling a bit sick with a cold. This just-turned-two year old who NEVER sits still, never stops moving, never stops testing boundaries – he crawled up into bed, pulled the covers over him, and said “mamma cuddle”. I crawled into bed next to him and we laid there, cheek to cheek, looking at the ceiling fan and talking for almost 20 minutes. Then we read a book, THE WHOLE BOOK, then we did a board puzzle. In bed. Together. Calmly and without screaming/yelling/throwing/running.

I’m not going to lie, I was teary eyed the whole time. I was completely in heaven, it was one of the greatest moment I’ve had with my son because it was one of the few times when I felt like we were *really* able to connect for a sustained period and just *be* together. It was bliss.

I also couldn’t help but feel incredibly jealous, of other mothers, of my friends, who have moment like this literally all the time. Who complain “My toddler made me read her the same book 20 times today.” I understand we all have different perspectives and their associated problems, but man . . . I would kill to have my son sit in my lap and be read to. To share a quiet, caring moment like that.

I also caught myself thinking “This is great, I wish he was sick more often!” which of course caused the guilt to come immediately crashing down on me. Am I totally twisted??!

Reading your post helps, and reading through all these comments helps as well. I know that things have gotten so much better for us just in the past few months, as he has become more independent and more able to communicate. I can imagine that they will get easier for you, too, and that they will continue to get easier for me. Please please please oh god-I-don’t-believe-in PLEASE

Keely March 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm

Dear A and B,

Coming from a 24 year old daughter who was the black sheep of my family, I will tell you that it doesn’t matter that it’s frustrating or confusing for you – do not feel guilty for that. All that a child wants is to be loved unconditionally and for you to try to understand and accept them. I am a stand up comedian and writer – far from what my NHL scout dad and double degree holding mom envisioned for their daughter. I come from a very diplomatic, socially acceptable family who values education and athletic achievement and so in many regards, I wasn’t what they imagined they would produce.

I am aware of how difficult raising me was for my parents. My dad struggled through many a ballet recital and my parents had to watch me leave my business degree behind as I moved away from them to pursue comedy writing and television hosting. Kids surprise you – they become this whole person that you had a hand in creating and you see so much of yourself and what you’ve instilled in them but they’re miraculous because their personalities are their own. It is evident that you adore G and the struggle is not important, it’s the continuous effort to understanding and accepting him that will make him the happiest, most loved child.

Keep it up, I read every post :)

Amy March 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm

A friend of mine had this article on her FB today so I thought I’d share: Difficult Babies Turn into Super Kids: http://blogs.babycenter.com/mom_stories/7-22-2011-difficult-babies-turn-into-super-kids/

lauren March 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

maybe time to find a different pediatrician. not liking that attitude. he’s 15 months. he’s not a wallflower baby – he’s smart and spirited! either way, all of your readers can attest to the awesome job you’re doing.

Mallory March 13, 2012 at 7:25 pm

My oldest was the same way. High needs, high energy, impulsive, and very strong willed. He (Grant) is now almost 4, and he still is emotional (at times), still has lots of energy (but has significantly calmed down), and strong willed – but in a good way (well sometimes :) ). I have always had a hard time comparing him to other “easy” kids, and I always had guilt not participating in the activities other parents did with their kids because I was so embarrassed of him not listening and not being able to sit still for any amount of time. It’s hard, every kid is different. Multiple people had asked me about ADHD when he was 2-3 years old. I was hurt and angry and thought it wasn’t fair that I had a child that was so difficult, and that no one really understood when I shared my struggles. But now he is almost 4, and so different than he was even a year ago! He is amazing, smart, fun, energetic, funny, and a true leader wherever we go! It’s fun to watch him interact and rally other kids into playing some game he invented or make friends with just about any kid he meets. He also started preschool recently, which I kinda thought wouldn’t have gone well, but the structure has done wonders for him! He still is more active than some other kids I know, and more strong willed, but now I see those as good qualities not bad. I still sometimes have a hard time trying not to compare, but God gave my husband and I Grant for a reason. We wouldn’t be the parents we are today without all the struggles we have faced with him, and I feel like we have grown as well, fine tuning aspects of our personalities. I now have 3 kids, and I can definitely say that not one kid is the same as the other, so don’t feel like you are doing anything wrong! My other two have just gotten more and more relaxed and I don’t feel like I have done anything differently :)
And I agree with other commenters that 15 months is too early to diagnose anything, toddlers go through so many phases, really you just have to ride it out! When Grant was 3 I thought people were right, maybe he did have ADHD, but now there is no doubt in my mind that even though he is more active than most boys his age, he has calmed way down – not impulsive like he used to be, and just overall a different kid than he was! It takes a lot of consistency and patience, but you’ll make it – you guys are good parents!

Mali March 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm

That was so honest and brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for sharing….

Kara March 13, 2012 at 8:33 pm

I can’t offer anything in terms of advice but first and for most I want to say thank you for this post. It is a beautifully written reminder that things are not always great or easy but in the end we love our sons and only want what is best for them. Unfortunately this want is often accompanied by stress and a feeling of our own insecurity as mothers.

I want to let you know that even though I don’t know you I think you are an amazing mother. My son is younger than G so whenever I am trying to figure out this mom stuff your blog is one of my go to sites. You helped me through some colic and breastfeeding issues (oversupply = overly gassy baby). And overall you’ve helped me be less stressed and have fun with this whole baby boy raising thing. Keep up the great work because G is lucky to have you as his mama (and because I might need to reference your blog when my own overly spirited baby hits 15 months!)

PS – I came across this article and it made me think of your post. Because we can’t be perfect. http://www.pbs.org/parents/special/article-expectations-goodmother.html

Janet March 13, 2012 at 8:49 pm

After I read this I was thinking about it a lot, and I even talked to my husband about it. So well written, and I think you’re doing a great job. Being a mom is so hard, both harder and also more awesome than I ever thought it would be. Things change so quickly, too, so G could literally grow out of this stage any day. Anyway, this isn’t making much sense because I’m exhausted (see: baby who was up from 11:30-1 am last night, even though she’s slept through the night for like four months straight). I just wanted to say, great post, and you’re obviously a great (if imperfect, like all of us) mom.

Malea March 13, 2012 at 11:40 pm

You’re an awesome mom and we all have our guilt moments. My daughter is practically perfect at daycare most of the time and loves it. She is extremely excited to see me when I pick her up, and then she turns into a clingy crying 15 month old for a big portion of the time after 5pm when I have her home. She fusses easily and cries when I get up or leave the room for half a second. I feel guilty sometimes, like I’m doing something wrong, or that she’s in daycare too much and that’s why she clings to me when I pick her up. Then I feel even more guilty because I’m going to miss her wanting to cling to me so I feel I should enjoy every second of it, which isn’t possible every second when you’re trying to get things done lol. Also, don’t get me started on the fact that we still co sleep AT LEAST 50% of the night because I’m too lazy to put her back to sleep when I know I have to get up for work early and I will get way more sleep if I just lay with her. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if I wasn’t pregnant, but I HAVE to break her of it before the other baby comes. Speaking of…I feel huge guilt about that too. I’m excited, but also got pregnant unexpectedly and worry about her not getting all of my attention anymore. We all know that mothers feel guilt, but it’s nice to read it and relate sometimes too. I think the fact that we have guilt and worry, is what shows how good of moms we really are :)

The Reset March 14, 2012 at 12:12 am

I don’t wanna be all… oooh, I do child behavioral therapy… but I do. As a mommy of a 23 month old AND a therapist who works with kids with behavioral problems, that doctor is an idiot for saying that. If ANYTHING, I’d say maybe he just has some sensory issues (which are waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay easier to address). Like, one kid I know has weights in his blankets because the pressure is soothing. He screamed from birth to age three, they figured out it was a sensory issue, and bam! Problems were solved with little things like the weighted blankets. I’m not gonna even be all detaily, because G is FINE. I just had to say that G is super awesome and you are doing super awesome and I hate when pediatricians go throwing around acronyms they just shouldn’t. You rock. G rocks. B rocks. Yay MODG family.

Mrs. Pretty March 14, 2012 at 8:52 am

Standing & clapping for this post. Been there, worried about that.

(Also, you have 164 comments on this post. 164! You’re kind of a big deal, girl. I’d congratulate you on your much deserved success except that I’m way too jealous.)

Leanne March 14, 2012 at 11:52 am

I needed this post today. I know you wrote it a few days ago and I am slow to get to it, but I left my 2 month old sweet little boy in the capable hands of our nanny for the first time on Monday to go back to work. I needed to hear that mommy guilt is universal. I feel guilt over leaving him. I feel guilt over loving my job. I feel guilt over someone else caring for him. I feel guilt over leaving my job an hour early because I just cannot take being away from him any more. I’m sorry that you’re carrying around the guilt too, but I take comfort in knowing that I’m not alone.

Ginger March 14, 2012 at 3:33 pm

You know what makes you a great mother? That these thoughts and feelings bother you. That you try mightily, everyday, to love your son even when he’s not “dreamy” and to be the best mother you can be!
A lesser mother would never be as introspective, nor would she try so hard.

To Leanne above ——– I’m a working mother, too, and the guilt is unbelievable. Your baby will be ok, though! It’s so, so much harder on us than them. Hugs.

Lindsay March 14, 2012 at 4:43 pm

MODG, you have the most amazing way of bringing people together and helping others know they are not alone and bringing relief to your following. I don’t have children yet so I don’t know about many of the topics, but I take it all in for when I do. It’s so amazing to be able to read someone who can make your stomach hurt from laughing and then turn around and bring you to tears. Thank you for all you do!

Clarissa March 14, 2012 at 5:18 pm

MODG, have you ever read the blog alittlepregnant? It’s written by a very witty and thoughtful woman whose oldest son has ADHD and some behavioral issues. Her reflections on parenthood and really wonderful: http://www.alittlepregnant.com/

I have no kids of my own yet, but I know that I was a really difficult child – my mother didn’t sleep a full night for like three years after I was born and all throughout my early school years I had crippling OCD and anxiety problems. I turned out okay, and I credit it entirely to my wonderful and supportive parents. Reading your blog, I have no doubt that G will feel the same way about you and B when he gets older, no matter what. You’re doing this whole parenting thing right.

Alyze March 14, 2012 at 6:08 pm

I am fairly new-ish reader, and love this blog probably about 65% as much as I love ABC Family (you don’t know me, but that’s high praise) mostly because you are hilarious, but also because you are just honest. I’m a pretty sarcastic person (also weepy, I cry at Dance Moms) who is also very nosey and therefore I love to read blogs, namely Mommy blogs these days now that I have a 1 year old…but sometimes those Mommy blogs are hard to take when they just make you feel like you are a giant slacker loser Mom who doesn’t hand roll drinking straws for snack day in your play group. ANYWAYS, this kind of post just adds to my <3's for you because it couldn't have been an easy thing to write or share those kind of feelings with the 'net, but they are very real feelings and probably a lot more common than you think. Now GTG, my 12 month old just threw up on the dog.

SusieQ March 14, 2012 at 7:14 pm

One more thing from me….I think it is esp. hard (or it was for me) when your own personality is so opposite from your baby’s. That is that way I see you and G. I just really didn’t know how to deal with my dramababy, because that was so opposite of my own nature. But…..time moves on…and either I figured it out…or she changed (she is 31 now). Btw….not being braggy….but she has 2 college degrees and has worked in Sudan, London, NYC, and DC….in other words…..I just “hung on” with all my might and did all I could to help her become “more herself”. Even as adults, we rarely see things the same way…because we are STILL different…..it is how God made us. But…having her made me a better person….and isn’t having children an opportunity for US to grow. And, again, if you read the “reply” post I interspersed earlier….SHOP DOCS!!!! You will NEVER feel supported…and that is really important with a dramababy…..hugs to you.

Erin March 14, 2012 at 8:23 pm

I HAD THIS BABY. And felt guilty for a long time because I actually hated other people for having easy babies, then had myself for wishing it was different and even hated him sometimes at 3 am when he just wouldn’t sleep and nothing was ever right EVER. And you know what? My son had celiac disease. We had no idea…he had bad poops sometimes and they would tell me it was too much juice or not enough juice or what have you. He didn’t talk much. He wasn’t cuddly. He never ever ever slept. At 3, his brother was born and it was like the heavens opened and it was EASY. Those stories of angelic sleeping babies finally happened to me. It made me look harder to figure out why C was the way he was…I even had him looked at for autism. His brother gave me the key…I gave him a noodle to play with while I made dinner when he was six months old and an hour later, he was his brother. Screaming uncontrollably, crying, never sleeping, in pain. I rushed him to the hospital and it turns out him intestine had turned inside out from spasm. I took C in immediately and had him tested and it turns out he was absorbing almost nothing he ate…he was malnourished and a wreck. And I never knew.

Don’t discount a possible medical cause. After three years, he is the happiest cuddliest little guy, who loves to snuggle and read and has lots of energy without being relentless.

And no kidding, if I hadn’t been so damned embarrassed, I could have filmed C’s haircuts. God almighty, we paid triple the price just so they wouldnt try to kill him with blunt scissors. It was BAD. It always gets better, dear, truly.

Maria March 14, 2012 at 8:32 pm

I love this. have a daughter & two sons. While none are “easy” my daughter is beyond explanation. I honestly still mourn the daughter/mom relationship I know I will never have. I won’t write a book, so I will leave it at that.

Halley March 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Cried. Cried cried cried…. Still Dealing with a little tear action.
Didn’t read the comments, too lazy. Omg you’re a good mom. The beat thin you can do is own your feelings. Identify what is going on, make the mind -heart connection & own it. I believe you’re doing a great thing. You are doing great! He is lucky to have parents like you, instead of some Ignorant jackass who may abuse or neglect him because he is high needs.
Just call him your snowflake, he is 100% individual.

Brooke March 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Amazing. Truly. This is exactly what I needed to remember today. Thank you.

Halley March 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Cried. Cried cried cried…. Still Dealing with a little tear action.
Didn’t read the comments, too lazy. Omg you’re a good mom. The best thing you can do is own your feelings. Identify what is going on, make the mind -heart connection & own it. I believe you’re doing a great thing. You are doing a wonderful job parenting because of it. He is lucky to have parents like you, instead of some Ignorant jackass who may abuse or neglect him because he is high needs.
Just call him your snowflake, he is 100% individual.

Sherrie March 16, 2012 at 12:34 am

Parenting is hard, hard, hard, sucky, fantastic work. Thinking that your own kid doesn’t/isn’t going to be the kid you want him/her to be is sucky too. I know. I’ve thought it. More than once. My son was high maintenance from the get go…took seven days for us to figure out how to nurse properly, poor sleeper, constant trouble at daycare between 2-4, speed dial with the principal in kindergarten (people think I’m kidding, but I’m not), teacher-parent conferences multiple times a year, 5000 different positive reinforcement techniques since he didn’t respond to discipline and negative reinforcement (even when I took every single toy out of his room once…coulda cared less), and teachers by second grade urging me to get him “tested”.

I agreed because I didn’t know what to do. I put it off for a LONG time because I was afraid of what I would find out. Turns out he is OFF THE CHARTS smart, bored out of his gourd, high kinesthetic learner (prefers movement for learning) with some social skill development needed which will come with maturity. Many people told me over and over again that as he matured it would get better. They have been right. Every year, we deal with fewer issues at school (always social skill issues: too competitive, not patient enough with others, unkind friend, etc.) and see marked improvements. This didn’t begin to build steam until third grade and after I put him in an intensive summer program for maximizing his own learning styles.

Some days, I think I’m not going to survive. You know how you hate I’ll Love You Forever? I love that book, in part, because I felt like that mother of that toddler and that nine year old who felt like she lived in the zoo. I see regularly how there are so many kids in his classroom that have a lot worse issues to deal with and then I think I’m lucky, but then I feel like it is all right to feel like you are struggling with your kids own set of issues. It is all right.

Getting long, I’ll wrap it up. Nine years later, had baby #2 (because, really, I’m not built to raise multiple little kids at once unless you want them all to go around saying F*ck this and whatnot), and she is completely different in so many ways, but shares so many of the same traits.

As so many others said, you never know what you have because they aren’t “done” yet! Take it one day at a time, joke about the bad mother tattoo you’ll need for your worst offenses (there will be many because there always are), revel in the minutes, hours, and days that you feel everything is perfect, and don’t beat yourself up too much. Welcome to motherhood! The people that romanticize this are full of shit. I just think they’ll get their comeuppance.

G will be fine regardless, but so will you. And I totally agree that any doctor who even mentioned ADHD, even to say out loud to a mother of a toddler that it was too early to think about it, is already typecasting your child. Find a new doctor.

Also, a lot of the behaviors you talked about, particularly lots of crying, scream allergy (especially food) to me. He is probably too young to get tested, but you may want to tinker. It took me two years of working to convince a doctor that some of it was food related, and sure enough, some of the behavior was food related. Traditional doctors don’t like to talk behavior as it relates to allergies. Sounds crazy and hippie-vegan, but removing dairy and wheat from a person’s diet almost always benefits the person, allergy or not. Good luck! I admire your ability to lay it all out there. You write what I think.

Kate March 16, 2012 at 11:57 pm

This post has me thinking that you probably worry either way. My beautiful boy is 12 months old and a dream. He is super affectionate, laughs all the time, almost never cries, and even then it is so easy to get him to stop. I worried constantly, and if I’m being honest still do sometimes, that something might be wrong. I make sure he is making eye contact, that he is copying our words, that he isn’t antisocial. Even I think “really Kate, how in the world can you tell if a 12 month old baby is antisocial?”. G will grow up to be a lively creative ambitious man who you will marvel at, I’m sure. My son I will marvel at too, but it will probably just be for different things. He will be saving kittens and writing poems or something. I think we need to see that we are all so dang unique, we all offer so much, and thank the Lord for that.

Landry March 17, 2012 at 10:15 am

I’m not one to cry, like, ever, but as a mom of a seemingly normal boy with special needs, this hit home. I’m glad we had him first so our expectations for our second kid were much more broad. But I can’t help but wish and hope that some day my boy will be less of a wild, uncontrollable little man. But he’s really made me into such a different person since we’ve met.

April March 19, 2012 at 12:28 am

My “demon child” turns 1 in 4 weeks. He came out screaming and won’t let me out of his sight. But he loves us for sure. I just have to remember all of the good things – he knows the word no, he signs 3 things, he eats wonderfully, he made two plane rides and a
whole day of traveling with only a few screams, he is very aware of the world and is beautiful. He really only fights sleep. It is just do hard to remember those things when his cousin who is 3 months younger will go to other people and chills quietly. When he doesn’t nap like other babies. But I love him and he really can be a perfect baby. I think I needed a baby who needs me and truly loves me. We cosleep now and I really enjoy it. But I do sometimes mourn the loss of that ideal. I think that is normal.

Jen March 19, 2012 at 1:13 am

I have a book that might really help you out. It’s called: The Difficult Child by Stanley Turecki, M.D. It gets better I promise.

Heidi March 19, 2012 at 2:44 pm

At G’s age I’m not sure ADD is even likely. Although, I would consider reading up on aspergers. Children who are not affectionate, or often get very upset when their routine is broken/get very frustrated when things don’t go their way could be exhibiting early signs of aspergers. The good news with that is that G is not a “drama baby” but instead, doesn’t have certain receptors even at such a young age to let him express how certain things disrupt his routine and makes him upset. The bad news is aspergers can be very difficult socially for children.

Kelly March 19, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Just catching up on the last couple posts and had to comment on this — I loved reading this. It came at such a perfect time for me. My darling 23-month-old daughter, Ruby was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes last month. It was such a hard thing to swallow– I was one of those hippee mamas who breast-fed until 18-months, ate only organic fruits and veggies etc. I couldn’t help but question everything and feel like that backpack was weighing me down. Like you said, all us mamas want is to see our kiddos happy. To have to start hurting (insulin shots and blood glucose checks) my little girl many times a day –I felt awful!! However, as the month has gone on things have become brighter and life is getting back to a “new normal” (did I mention 2 weeks after her diagnosis I had my 2nd daughter –4 weeks early–omg what a month February was!!!). Anyhow, I appreciated reading this post –it really mirrored some of the emotions I’ve been feeling. Thanks for sharing!

Joan March 21, 2012 at 10:09 pm

I have a 12 month old who has a similar personality to G and what you wrote– I just feel so allied with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for this writing. Please keep it coming.

Danielle Vincent March 22, 2012 at 1:20 pm

Wow! I LOVE this post! Thank you so much for sharing! I am a new follower, a friend introduced meto your blog nd wow! This is awesome! I can absolutely relate to you! My child is a very high needs child as well and I can relate to your every word! Alot of times I pity myself ‘why me?!’ then feel guilty and see her sweet face! Thank you for posting this! I look forward to becoming a loyal here.

Annsley March 23, 2012 at 8:23 pm

Thank you for sharing such a refreshingly honest post. All I can say is that I get it. I always call those kids “door knobs”; not in a mean way, but in the way that they just sit and smile and act happy like a door knob sits on a door. My child is NO door knob. My daughter is now almost 3 and I think those things all the time. It’s hard enough for me to accept her as who she is – resilient, unaffectionate (most of the time), willful, demanding, stubborn, quick tempered, feisty, constantly in motion, etc. She wants to call the shots and has a hard time off schedule and sleep is also difficult to come by in our house. I call her my “Whipper Snapper” or “Spirited One”. She is wiser than she knows, she understands things that I can’t even fathom, she tests me like no one else, and I always feel guilty. However, it’s much harder for me to accept that others do not always accept her for who she is – her teachers. When I pick her up and they tell me that she had a tantrum or refused to do what everyone else was doing, I just want to cry and tell them she’s the most amazing person; maybe their judgment has helped me accept her. How can I expect them to accept who she is when I am having a hard time doing the same thing? The truth is that she’s smart enough and cognitive enough that they could ask her why she’s doing what she’s doing. When I give her a voice, she has an amazing reason. I know your G is hard now and will always be, but I can now begin to see the beauty in my child (at age 3) – the spark in her eye, her own interests, her drive and motivation, her intuition, her reasoning skills, her will to be creative (on her own terms, in her own way, and on her own time), and her small ways of showing affection; (she actually thanks me with such meaning in her tone of voice). She’s brilliant and will be the most amazing person, but it’s hard to see the crystal ball when I feel like the ball keeps shattering. So again, thank you. I am sending you a hug, as I wished I’d had many of those for at least the first 18 months of life, if not till now.

sonya March 24, 2012 at 1:40 am

my kid was a wonder baby. until he hit 2.5 years. and then he was the most difficult child in the world. and then, at 6 years old, he changed back into a wonder baby. 8 now, still in wonder territory. it really is a crap shoot, and they really change their m.o. all the damn time.

you’re a really good mom. and g is a most perfect g.

Kallie March 25, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Aw, MODGy. I have a son who is 4 months older than G and is not very affectionate, but neither am I and, acc to every relative, I wasn’t as a kid, but what little loving’ he gives now has only happened in the last few months, so I think your window is coming. What made a big difference for us was for my husbo and I to hug each other in front of him more often (we’re not super physical at all, have conflicting schedules and an infant, etc). One time we were hugging and the little guy came running up and was fascinated and wrapped his arms around our legs to keep us together (I know, right?). So we started hugging more often in front of him and pulling him into the hugs and he has started to give his own loves more. It’s still bare bones, maybe just a few times a week, but it’s something and i tell myself they’re extra special bc they’re so rare.
I hope that helps. I’ve cried about the affectionlessness, then cried harder bc I knew it was allll my genes that made him thusly. And I’ve wanted to scream at times where he’s run up and given the HVAC man/total stranger a huge hug yet totally stiffens when I try, but I try to hold onto hope. He loves you to pieces, he just has to learn how to speak ‘love’ the same way he’s learning to speak English.

Melissa April 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Sniff, sniff. The fact you are so honest with yourself and others makes you a way better mom than most! Putting it all out there not only eases your burden, but it helps others who are struggling with the same thing. Thanks for sharing your ups and downs with us!

We are here for your MODG!

ps. This quote really hit home for me. I’m working on a design using it.

Amanda April 18, 2012 at 4:37 pm

your G baby seems to be my “A” baby, who is 2 1/2 now. He had colic as an infant… and I say infant loosely, honestly, I think it was part colic, part personality. He still cries at the drop of a hat. and everything is difficult with him. potty-training his sister “diva gymnast”, who is only 15 months older than him, a breeze. in fact, everything was always a breeze with her. she slept through the night, rarely cried, always smiled… etc. potty training wasn’t that difficult, though she waited to “want” it til her 3rd bday. but after that, it was done in a day… with A, everything is difficult, he’s an affectionate, moody mess. every day. but as I explain it to my SO “mechanic”, that he is an individual, to compare A to diva gymnast, is cruel and unfair. besides, she’s a diva. and a girl. no mother wants her little boy to take after his diva sister ;). I know eventually, he’s going to grow out of the crying. and since he takes after my little brother, I have a feeling that his sensitivity, is going to make him into a respectable, caring young man like “unky rynin”. (that and all the beatings I’m sure diva gymnast is going to dole out through the years, sibling rivalry, it’s a killer). have no fear, EVERY mother feels like you do, we struggle with it everyday, and any woman who says differently, is LYING… or in DENIAL. or both. but either way, she’s wrong, and well, those are her kids to fuck up. (just kidding) you’re little G, is going to be wonderfully fine.

Ashlee April 21, 2012 at 12:02 am

I have been reading your posts for like 5 hours now laughing hysterically but this one literally made me cry. thanks ass, no really though, you have a very sweet boy and he is beautiful and healthy. It could be worse. Carry on mama!

Emily April 26, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Great post- honest and true. Parents of “spirited kids” deserve an award…and then some. Hats off to you :)

Hillary June 15, 2012 at 9:37 am

Yes, yes, yes. I know EXACTLY what you’re going through. In fact, I believe I’ve posted things on my blog very similar to this.

Becky June 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Just found your blog from a post on Filing-Jointly and am going to make this a favorite. LOVE it!

Jen June 21, 2012 at 10:29 am

I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate this post.

My daughter is 11 years old now. She was an exceedingly difficult child from about three years onward. As if that isn’t trying enough, one of my closest friends had boy-girl twins, 11 months younger than my daughter, who were like perfect little robot children. I was constantly torn between envy and guilt. She truly seemed to believe that hers were good simply b/c they were good parents … and that left me where exactly? Then the boy began having extremely serious behavioral problems during the past two years … and I felt even more guilty for the moments when, I’ll admit, I took a little pleasure in that, coupled with more guilt b/c I would never wish that difficulty on him who is just a child.

Parenting his hard. I love my daughter with my whole heart and then some, just as you love your son. Cutting ourselves some slack is even harder than just the parenting part.

Heather June 25, 2012 at 6:04 am

I never post this but I am crying a little. Thank you for this one–so true! this describes me & first son. I also have 2nd son (highly emotional & loving & verbal) and third son (too soon to say angel baby but…) so now I realize it’s not me:) I LOVE I LOVE all of them so much! hang in there–we are all doing a great job. Thanks for writing.

Jessica August 21, 2012 at 9:43 pm

i know this is an old post…but i just wanted to let you know that i REALLY needed to read that. i feel like this every single day, every hour and every minute. my son just turned 5 months old and is NOT a happy baby. he cries atleast 80% of the day…the rest of the time he is sleeping. I am constantly comparing him to my hilarious,sweet and SO happy niece, who is now 9 months old. atleast i know im not alone!

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