This pretty much sums up the first year of Ginger’s life.
After my daughter, Ginger, was born, I began noticing that other new moms were often quick to describe their babies as “good.” For example, if their baby was fussing they’d say, “Oh, he’s just tired right now, usually he’s a really good baby.”
Perhaps you’ve even said something similar yourself. But as a mother of the opposite of a “good” baby, a baby who cried non-stop, a baby who hated when I cuddled her too much, a baby who screamed through nap times and fussed for no reason, I was pretty sensitive to the fact that if those OTHER babies were the good babies, I obviously had a bad one.
Of course I didn’t think my sweet little angel was “BAD,” but it felt like everyone else did, even though, logically I knew, there’s no such thing as a bad baby.
To rectify the problem in my mind, I began choosing my words very carefully when I described Ginger, or any other baby. I’d also kindly reword questions when answering them. If asked, “Is Ginger a good baby?” I’d say, “Well of course she’s GOOD, she’s not good at napping or refraining from crying, but she’s still good.”
I’d try not to use words like, “easy” or “hard” or “good” or “bad” but words like, “mild” or “particular.” Ginger was and still is very VERY particular. Ha.
However, now that Ginger is 3 and my second baby, Rad, is 5 months old, I find myself having a hard time not droning on and on about what a GOOD baby he is. He hardly ever cries, he smiles if you just look at him, and he started sleeping long stretches through the night at about 6 weeks.
So yes, Rad is good, but so is Ginger. Rad is also very content in his own skin, and it’s hard to ruffle his feathers. He’s NOTHING like his sister, but you know what? He’s also nothing like his mama. And that doesn’t make me, or his sister “bad.”
Basically all I’m saying is, I think it’s important we choose our words carefully when it comes down to how we talk about children. Not just our children, but children in general.
And if you happen to be the mother of a particular, persnickety, or easily perturbed baby, hang in there. They make the sassiest most adorable toddlers.
Love and Diet Dr. Pepper,