My daughter isn’t an ‘easy’ baby. She’s 14 months and still doesn’t consistently sleep through the night. She fights her naps, even when she’s exhausted. She is picky with what food she’ll eat. She chucks her vegetables from her high chair and cries in the direction of the biscuit tin. She will crawl up to you and sink her teeth into any skin on show: your ankle, wrist, cheek..she’s not fussy. She cries for no apparent reason. She climbs up onto places she knows she’s not allowed. She destroys her brothers games. And did I mention she cries all the time for no reason? Please don’t let this extensive list concern you, I love my daughter. I think she is amazing and I could write a much longer list about all the wonderful things about her. It’s just, well, at the minute we are going through a difficult phase where every day with Tilly is a massive challenge. I just wanted to write this blog post so other parents currently having a challenging time with their baby know that they are not alone in their struggles.
I don’t have an ‘easy’ baby.
We all know by now that being a parent is a rollercoaster, one with absolutely massive mountains of track where the highs are exhilarating and make you feel like you are touching the clouds but the low points can quickly follow and you feel like you’ve been plunged into some strange of hell (one with way less fire but way more nappies and tantrums). I just feel like our days are filled with lots of low points at the moment, like our rollercoaster cart is struggling to get back to the peak of the hill.
Tilly just seems to be in a bad mood constantly. Her sleep is completely wrecked, some nights she’s awake for hours for no reason at all. She doesn’t want the boob, she’s not cold or poorly, she’s just awake and pissed off and wants to pull my hair and scream at me for 2 hours, just because. This would be just about bearable if she was more relaxed in the day. We normally manage a happy couple of hours after breakfast but then the day is just on a decline. She gets tired but doesn’t want to sleep. If she does nap it is never for long enough as she’s grumpy as soon as she wakes up. She will usually perk up after lunch but let’s not forget she’s thrown most of that on the floor. She never sits still for a cuddle, always on the go crawling and climbing (and now walking too). Then it hits about 4pm and something switches in her tiny head and the tears start. She gets upset over everything, wants to be held but doesn’t want to be held, wants the boob but doesn’t want the boob and just will cry and cry and cry until we attempt giving her some food before giving up and starting the bedtime routine.
It is relentless.
She is amazing though and although I’m not exaggerating here, I have failed to list the things she does that make us happy. Like dancing to Hey Duggee and taking wobbly steps with a big smile on her face, those big open mouth kisses and the cuddles where she wraps her arms around you tight and says ‘ahh’. Her laugh is like a little joyful screech and her smile is big and infectious. I adore her, I really really do.
At the moment though things are tough and I guess that’s ok, it will pass. She’ll learn to talk and be able to tell us what she needs. She will grow out of biting us and she will learn to play properly with her big brothers. She will one day get bored of climbing onto the back of the sofa and be happy running around and playing games instead. She won’t always refuse to sleep. She won’t always cry so much. These are not wistful hopes and dreams, these are facts.
Tilly is my third baby, I have done the baby and toddler days twice before and I know that this is just a stage that babies go through, I know it will get easier. And just knowing this, is all I can do.
When she’s bitten my leg for the third time today and is crying at me and I don’t know why and when I’m cleaning a thousand peas off the kitchen floor, all I can do is remind myself one day soon things will be easier. We will pass through this phase together, it will be hard at times but there will be happy times and good memories made along the way too. We can get through this together and we will continue to love each other even on the bad days. If you are going through a difficult period with your baby too, remind yourself that this too shall pass and stock up on coffee and chocolate – you’re going to need it!