Whew, that little illness was a rough one. Somehow, my kid can be happy as a clam with pneumonia or on the verge of a 105 degree fever, but this particular “head cold plus molars” thing really got him down. Oh, the whining, crying, demands to be held. The pain he feels on the inside has been expressed via pinching, biting, smacking and violently throwing himself on the ground (hence, the biting incident, which, in retrospect, makes a lot more sense). I know the poor thing is not feeling great and I’m trying to be sympathetic and give him the snuggles he needs, but MAN, it is challenging when he’s being so emotionally volatile.
Shake it off, buddy. Shake it off. I’d like my sweet little go-with-the-flow guy back, please!
Owen’s daycare teachers have reported that he has been a bit “feistier” than normal at school, too. Pushing boundaries and reacting emotionally when little things upset him. I think we’re just going through a rough few days over here.
To be honest, I guess this is what other parents with more sensitive children go through all the time. I get it now. In general, I am spoiled by Owen’s good nature. I often think back to the part in “Happiest Baby on the Block” (my favorite parenting/baby book) where Dr. Karp describes temperament and how a baby’s future temperament is often evident even when they are newborns. When Owen was tiny, friends and family (and even complete strangers) would often comment on how “chill” he was. How smiley and social and laid back. How easy it was to make him laugh and how he seemed content to just “be”. (Believe me, as any of you will remember who were reading my blog back then, he wasn’t always perfect, but that was the general way about him when he wasn’t hungry, tired or screaming because of reflux and breastfeeding issues). He’s a textbook example of Karp’s “easy child”.
The Easy Child: About half of kids are easygoing — waking up on the “right side of the bed,” cheerful and ready for a new day, Karp says. They’re active, tolerate change, and basically like new people and situations. They don’t anger easily but aren’t pushovers, experts say. Parents need to just use common sense if this is their toddler’s personality.
- Happiest Baby on the Block
You know, the type who makes you want to have another baby immediately.
As Owen gets older (and especially these last few days of pain and illness), I see a little more of Karp’s “spirited child” temperament.
The Spirited (Wild) Child: About one in 10 toddlers is a strong-willed, challenging kid, experts say. “These roller-coaster kids have high highs and low lows,” Karp says. “Parents usually know they have a spirited child because they’re the ‘more’ kids.” More active. More impatient. More impulsive. More defiant. More intense. More sensitive. More rigid. The No. 1 recommendation to parents with this toddler personality type: Keep them active. Get them outside to play — a lot. These kids need to burn off their energy and work through their moods, experts say. They also need firm structure to keep them safe and stable — and lots of patience.
- Happiest Baby on the Block
In general I put Owen firmly in the “easy” camp. But I’m getting a taste of the wild child right now!
Did you have an easy, spirited or shy baby? Do you think they inherited that personality from you or your partner? Nature or nurture?