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“Is she always this easy?”

During our vacation, we toted Bri around to see lots of family members, and she had a blast. She’s a very social little butterfly and she loves to check out the ceilings of new places. When we went to Cracker Barrel, she was in hog heaven. I’d never noticed how many strange contraptions were attached to the ceiling of their gift shops. But Bri loved looking at each and every floating item.

Now, Hubs and I have developed our routine for outings, and because Bri loves to examine new places, she has wonderful manners out in public. In short, we have our act together.

While we were dining with Hubster’s extended family, at a Mexican restaurant, one of his aunts asked, “Is she always this easy?” Her surprised tone seemed to indicate that we were missing out on the hardship of real parenting. She didn’t mean to offend me. In fact, I believe she was complimenting us for Bri’s remarkably good behavior.

At first, I didn’t know how to respond. We just smiled and kept on moving. But the question has haunted me. Mostly because, the theme of our vacation seemed to be this idea that “we are unusually blessed” to have such an “EASY baby.” Like, hello, am I missing something? Is there really any such thing as an easy baby? And why exactly do you think that my child, who screams if I leave the room, and goes into hysterics if I don’t feed her fast enough, is so much easier than yours?

Parenting is hard.

Period.

End of story.

Bri was indeed marvelously well-behaved for our entire vacation. She rarely cried and was easily entertained. We all had a great time. On Sunday, when we returned home, she had a fever and I spent the whole afternoon soothing her and holding her while she slept. Monday, she screamed all day and refused to even let me go to the bathroom without being by my side.

This clingy phase drains me and leaves me with piles of laundry to fold and dishes to wash after she’s gone to bed. My nerves are shot from listening to her cry. If this is the easy version of parenting, then I’m afraid to have more kids. Where I once felt needed, because she wanted her Mama, I now feel like a prisoner.

A prisoner with a chubby little “easy” baby for a ball and chain.

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4 Responses

  1. I’ve had similar comments made by my family who I see about twice a year. I guess having an “Easy” baby means we get off scott free. If mine is easy, then I am so screwed with my new one. haha

    I never take the comments as compliments either. But I do wonder, doesn’t my child’s behavior have ANYTHING to do with how I raise them? I think so. Others, not so much.

  2. People always said the same thing when my kids where babies and we were out and about. Now that they are in toddlerhood those comments are not as common. Now I get “the looks” when my daughter is throwing a fit because I won’t give into her demands. You can’t please ’em no matter how hard you try.

  3. I laughed reading this. My son, who is 10 1/2 months old, has been an “easy” baby from day one. My husband and I joke that he’s a Jekyll and Hyde. An angel is public and a terror at home. I too just have to hold my tongue when people say how wonderfully easy he is. I guess they weren’t around when he was cluster-feeding all day long for his first two months. And after sleeping through the night early on, he stopped at around 5 months and has had issues ever since. Plus, lately Mr. Independent wants nothing much to do with spoon feeding so mealtime is tons of fun! Oh and lets not forget his aversion to putting on clothing. Someone said to me the other day “Well, he’s so easy in every other way!” and I thought “Every other way but eating, dressing, and sleeping? Kind of a big deal, these things!” Ugh! But I guess I’d rather have someone say he’s easy than say how terrible he is. Cause I’m the only one who gets to say that, right? ;o)

    We’re taking a “vacation” next month and I’m hoping my easy baby lives up to his reputation. We’ll see!

  4. You know it’s kinda odd that you mentioned the ceiling of Cracker Barrel. J and I were in there a few weeks ago and we realized how incredibly dangerous their ceiling is! I mean have you ever thought about how bad it would be if those objects of old American life ever fell on you!!! Needless to say, we stood in the corner until our name was called. I don’t know … maybe we are just morbid like that, but I thought it was kinda freaky ya know!

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