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Little Miss Momma: Doctor's Orders

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Doctor's Orders

Baby W had his 10 month check up the other day.

That day, I went through my usual pre-doctor routine: give Lil W an extra long bath, q-tip his ears, brush his teeth, apply smell-good baby lotion to every surface of his body, put fresh baby powder around his bummy and pick out the most adorable outfit--all to prove to his pediatrician that I am the best mommy out of all his patients.

Pathetic, I know.

At every appointment, I half-expect the doctor to walk in the room, hand me a trophy and say, "On behalf of Pediatricians across America, we want to award YOU with this Momma-of-the-Year trophy--because your baby has the cleanest ears we've ever seen".

Because for some reason, it's as if the doctor's opinion of my mothering skills serves as a confirmation that I am not messing up at this whole parenting business, a confirmation that I am learning to be the best momma my little guy could hope for.

As if a 20 minute doc appointment can illustrate the immeasurable love, pride, anxiety, worry and hope I have for Baby W.

That being said...This day's trip to the doctor would be a bit different than past visits, and I found that I was a bit anxious.  You see, this was the longest gap we had ever had between visits {2.5 months}, and I knew my calm little infant had turned into a bouncing-off-the-walls baby...

and I feared what my doctor would think.

So the hubby, baby and I headed off to our appointment with our fingers crossed.  Imagine our excitement when Baby W was on his absolute BEST behavior throughout the whole appointment.  As we were putting his cute little outfit back on him, I was smiling to myself.

 "See Ashley, he's not that out of control", I told myself.

And then, just as I was about to give myself a literal pat on the back, Dr. B broke the news to us as gently as he could:

"You have a very difficult baby".

I was stunned.  But why? I knew this already. In fact, these were the exact words I had been telling everyone and their mother.  Yet, for some reason, it stung hearing the words from someone else's mouth {and a doctor nonetheless}.

The hubby and I exchanged concerned glances and then proceeded to take mental notes of all the advice he began giving us about how to regain control of our child.  And this coming from Dr. B's opinion of Baby W on his BEST behavior {which I decided not to mention to him}.

A bit disheartened, but armed with a plethora of doctor tips to give us hope, we left the doc's office and headed home to put those tips into action.

Most important, our pediatrician told us, was to allow Baby W to learn to be content in his play pen while I worked around the house.

  Past experience setting Lil W in his play pen has resulted in severe back arching, tearless crying, and a momma frantically scooping up her baby to give our home some peace and quiet.

This time, I was told not to pick him up.

As hard as it was to endure his screeching cries, eventually Baby W realized that I would not be succumbing to his tantrum--and so he became
his own version of content in his play pen.

You mean you're not going to pick me up and get me outta here?

Well then, maybe if I push really hard I can get out myself.

I guess I will just have to climb my way out with my teeth.

I don't imagine this was the kind of "content in his play pen" the doc was referring to, but its as good as we're going to get.

And that's kinda become my motto with this whole "difficult baby" situation. Yes, I realize that much of his behavior is in my control, but sometimes, just sometimes, this is really just as good as its gonna get.

And I'm okay with that.

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At May 31, 2010 at 4:53 AM , Blogger Missie Krissie said...

This made me giggle. I have 2 boys as you might have seen and they are both quite 'excitable' lol. The only advice I can give you is remember that you are the boss. What you say goes and if it's not hurting them, they'll be fine. Soon he'll understand what it is to play by himself and that he can have fun without Mom :) Don't stress too much though. The main thing to remember with kids is that EVERYTHING is a phase. They go through so many and soon you wont even remember this one! Good luck, your baby isn't difficult, he's just a baby! :)

At May 31, 2010 at 5:36 AM , Blogger luv4jack said...

My now 2 year old had gone through very similar stages throughout his development. As a new mother, it was always so hard to "let" him cry it out. It mentally and physically pained me to do this. He was learning to "test" the waters, and I was learning how to be comfortable in setting limits. He taught me that my responses were indeed directly related to his behaviors. Through trials and tribulations, chin up!

At May 31, 2010 at 10:30 AM , Blogger Kristyn said...

From one mother of a difficult baby to another, I feel your pain! Although my pediatrician was never bold enough to say it to my face. Oh to have a difficult child, I would tell you that it gets better but that would just give you false hope, lets just say that it gets different. But it is worth it, they are still so sweet and so cute it makes up for it all!

At May 31, 2010 at 12:33 PM , Blogger brandy said...

This post made me laugh out loud! Dang those doctors and their honesty :)

I know it's hard to let your baby "cry it out" but it will be the best thing you can do. He'll get it eventually and life will seem a lot easier.

BTW, he is the cutest little thing!

At May 31, 2010 at 7:15 PM , Blogger Goodnight moon said...

Hello lovely! Your so stinkin adorable in real life! I'm so glad I got to meet you at the CBC! I have a 9mth old....and I can't believe how much he changed in the 4days I was at the CBC away from him.

Your blog is super cute! And of course I'm your newest follower!

~Goodnight moon

At May 31, 2010 at 9:46 PM , Blogger Mrs Anne said...

hi there :)

i'm new to your blog, but this post cracked me up.. it was almost like i was reading into the future (i'm due in august)... i can only anticipate what kinds of observations the dr will have on my parenting :)

no doubt you're a great mom! i hope to learn a thing or two from you!


At May 31, 2010 at 10:19 PM , Blogger Delia said...

You sound like a great mom to me. Letting them be uncomfortable for a short time so they can learn a new skill is sometimes the best thing you can do for them. know best. I hope you never doubt that.

At June 1, 2010 at 6:29 AM , Blogger Natalie said...

My son was very difficult, and one of our 9 month old twins is EXTREMELY difficult! I have been trying to just let her cry instead of picking her up, but it's so hard...I agree with what you are saying 100%. In my case, it's easier said than done ;)

At June 3, 2010 at 10:39 AM , Blogger Sarah said...

Hi, I just found your blog (SUPER CUTE, btw!) and this post really struck me. My daughter was "difficult", people told me it was a phase, that it was colic, and at 5 months I was at my whits end. I didn't know anyone with a baby like mine and I was beyond exhausted. Then I found this article by Dr. Sears on high-needs/fussy babies: I cried, it was like he had written it about us. He described her behavior to a "T". I finally knew I wasn't alone and realized that I hadn't done anything wrong, and I gained some tools to help us both cope with her temperament. I just wondered if it might describe your son as well. Some of the "features" of a high-needs baby is that they are not self-soothers and want to be held all the time. Anyway, hope you get a break. I know just how exhausting it is.

Happy to chat any time if you need more info:

At December 29, 2010 at 4:16 PM , Blogger Amanda Brantley said...

As a mom to a dear girl that DID NOT sleep thru the night at 6 weeks old, or 8, or 12, or 6 months. That had TERRIBLE reflux and colic, and now, at almost 18 months is a precious girl with stitch-like destroying capabilities, THANK YOU for sharing! ; ) Some friends I know just go on & on about how wonderful and amazing and easy being a mom is. And while it is wonderful and amazing, it has never been easy for us.

-momma to a 'difficult' baby


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