Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Confession

I have seriously neglected my blog. My apologies to those of you who enjoy reading it and have missed my posts.

A quick update: We're still farming and it's a lot of work but it's a great lifestyle. My business of sewing ring slings and various other baby related goods is taking off and I love having a creative outlet. Caleb is the most amazing 3 year old I could ever ask for and constantly keeps us entertained with his interesting use/timing of the question "why." Isaac is nearly 9 months old and makes the funniest yucky faces when I try to feed him anything other than breastmilk. He will sometimes feed himself a piece or two of puffed wheat but he's made it very clear that he's not ready for solids yet. He is ridiculously funny with the noises he makes and the reactions he has to certain situations.

Here is my confession:
For some reason this is very tough for me to say. I understand that I'm not to blame or anything but I still feel like I should be able to handle it:

Isaac is a high needs baby.

I used to think that Caleb maybe showed signs of being high need but read that if you're unsure as to whether your baby is "high need" or not, he probably isn't. With Isaac I am sure. I've been in denial for a long time about it (which really has not helped at all) but I'm (sort of) ready to admit it now. If you want more information on what exactly a high need baby is, Dr. Sears has a great article entitled: 12 Features of a High Need Baby
After I had Caleb I tried to stop judging other mothers by the behaviour of their children. I won't say that I never judged but I always tried to remind myself that I didn't know the mother or her situation or the baby's personality. I hope that other mothers I meet will now will extend me the same courtesy.

When you see me bouncing my baby in the sling during the church service, it's because nearly constant motion is one of his needs.
When you wonder why he has never had a bottle, it is because exclusively breastfeeding is one of his needs.
If you wonder why I pick him up the instant he even shows the slightest signs of fussing while playing on his own, it is because his slight fussing quickly escalates into full out screaming unless I meet his need.
If you are disappointed if I take him out of your arms when he starts making a certain noise, I'm sorry you didn't get to hold my cutie-pie as long as you would have liked, but I want to avoid the potential meltdown that he is setting himself up for.
If you are waiting for an invitation to visit or have a play date, I have not forgotten about you. Most days I'm so distracted by the things I actually remember and am able to find time to do that I think about calling you late a night or right when I'm about to start cooking supper. My house does not have a lot of phone call friendly moments. Plus there is the fact that I would rather stay home most days because it's much simpler for Isaac to get the combination of rest and stimulation he needs.
If I look like I haven't showered for a week, I probably haven't. It's not because I don't care about my appearance, It's most likely that I have forgotton. I think that most moms with little ones underfoot can relate to that. I also have the added bonus of knowing that most evenings Isaac is at his wits end so I know he will need me the whole time I'm in the shower so I choose the keep him content because I can always shower another time.

I tell you all of this because I want to make people aware of what my life (and that of any parent with a high need baby) is like. It's hard. I won't beat around the bush with saying it's not. Isaac is nearly 9 months old and we're still getting to know him. Just when I feel like we are starting to get things figured out, he changes. It helps a lot with accepting him for who he is by realizing that it's just his personality. It's not because I "spoil" him by carrying him to much or nursing on cue. I'm not overreacting when I respond to the first sign of him fussing.

Let me tell you some amazing things about my littlest one. Partially for you to see that I truly do love him like no other and partially for my own bebefit as we've added teething and a cold to our dealings with him.

I know that all moms think their kids are the cutest ever but Isaac is stinkin' adorable. He's got the perfect haistyle. Looks like a little buzz cut and it has the slightest tinge of red in it. His eyes really betray his emotions. Super bright when he's studying something and quick to tears when he's upset. When he laughs you know that it's coming from the deepest part of who he is and it ripples through his whole little body. He has the greatest thunder thighs and ghetto booty ever. If you've seen it you know exactly what I'm talking about. He has the softest, most perfect, pudgy baby feet and he knows how to use them. I'm not talking walking (though he's quickly learning that skill) but I'm talking about grabbing. He was probably about 3 months old when he learned that his toes can grab things.
I wrote this post about 2 months ago and never got around to finishing it. I decided to post this "as is" and finish up telling you how incredible Isaac is in my next post. For now, to those parents of HN babies: time is a wonderful thing!