Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Water Baby

Regular readers will be well aware that Rory was something of an...um... 'special' baby.  He emerged as 7lbs 8oz of spring loaded trouble and set to work tormenting us with his own brand of evil genius.

Have you read the Baby Whisperer?  If so, you'll know what I mean when I say that completing 'what temperament does your baby have?' quiz revealed him to be a Spirited Baby.  It turns out that this is a polite way of telling you that you have drawn the short straw of all babies, because yours is not going to sleep, will disagree with feeding, will crawl and walk early and is going to take malevolent delight in eating your degree certificate and poking all your worldly goods up the chimney.  As I read the advice for parents of Spirited Babies, I could practically hear the noise of a sad trumpet going "WAH WAH WAH WAAAH" in the background while an imaginary parade of parents with much more promisingly named Angel Babies skipped past our house with their middle fingers up.  At 3 months old, our health visitor took one look at him escaping from his Bumbo by rocking backwards and forwards at speed and ricocheting under the sofa and said "yeah, you won't sleep for the next two years, you're going to tear your hair out and he's going to drive you insane, but he'll be be a lovely toddler."  Not much comfort to two people who are existing on a measly couple of hours sleep per night and seriously considering re-naming their child Genghis.

He was beautiful though - all fluffy curls and huge blue eyes.  And I've never heard a baby laugh as much as Rory did or show as much enthusiasm and wonder at anything, which brings me to the picture below.

This is Rory at 11 months old experiencing the shower for the first time.  He was absolutely transfixed and so content watching the water trickling onto his hands that I had to take a photo.  This picture captures a moment of calm in the storm that was Hurricane Rory - a rare ten minutes in which my sparky little boy stood still and was happy to just 'be'.  I wondered what he was thinking about as he laughed at the water. He looks so innocent, and every time I look at this photograph I want to kiss his chubby baby cheeks again and snuggle him into a towel.  He may have been a difficult little blighter back then, but he was my difficult little blighter and I love him more than 30 angelic babies.

The next day, he stole the colander out of the kitchen cupboard and poured a full sippy cup of water through it onto the sofa, which explains what he was thinking about.  Like I say; spirited.



This blog post has been written as an entry into the Tots100 competition in association with Boots Mother and Baby



17 comments:

  1. Yup, my first was...erm...spirited.
    She still is, but now she's also old enough to argue her point *shudder*
    On the up side, you life will never be boring!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rory's brilliant now. He just hated being a baby. As soon as he turned into a toddler, he became delightful. He's still spirited though - it just shows through in how determined and mischievous he is.

      Delete
  2. Loved the bit about the angel babies parading past the house! Made me actually laugh out loud!
    Then again with the colander! Loved it :D

    ReplyDelete
  3. I think you're right and my R is like your R. Even down to ricocheting herself out of the Bumbo. She laughs like a drain, she has a fascination with paper and will try to eat any that she can reach. She pulled herself to standing today, at 7 months. Definitely spirited. And what you say about Rory 'hating being a baby' is exactly what we've said about Rhian since she was a week old.

    Isabel, on the other hand, was an Angel Baby. Seriously, she was amazing. Slept anywhere, went into a routine like a dream, barely fussed when teething. (I had PND, though, so couldn't really enjoy it.) And then she turned into a Spirited toddler and we did not know what hit us.

    Alex, bless his darling little heart, has been textbook since birth. One out of three isn't bad...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That demonstrates really well how different babies are even when they have the same parents. I was spirited like Rory, and when my mum had my brother 4 years later (a textbook type if there ever was one) she was convinced there was something wrong with him because he didn't 'do' anything. The health visitor had to reassure her that he was entirely normal and that this was what having a baby was supposed to be like, not the energy charged, bloody and miserable experience she'd had with me.

      Delete
  4. Lovely post. Reminds me of my own. He hated being a baby too. He was the worst baby I knew - and widely recognised so by my mum friends too but, once he reached toddlerdom, he really was the best. Payback for all the hell he put me through!

    That shower photo is fabulous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was the biggest smug moment of my life when all the babies who had been fairly easy while Rory was creating havoc suddenly started going through the terrible twos at the same time that he settled down and became a dream child. Ha.

      Delete
  5. My oldest wasn't "spirited" as a baby, but at 5 years old, she most certainly is! I think she may have classed as "spirited" aged two - the time she unravelled an entire toilet roll down the loo and spread a tube of toothpaste around every bathroom surface she could reach!!! :-)

    LOVE this post! x

    ReplyDelete
  6. I remember reading that book and being relieved I had a "textbook baby" and feeling briefly sorry for those with spirited babies! I feel like I'm getting my payback now though, easy babies = nightmare toddlers!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I read this post on my phone as I heaved myself out of bed for work at 4am. Normally at that time of day I want to kill someone, but that picture of your boy actually made me want to smile. So thank you for that. x

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love this...I thought I could well have been reading about my eldest as a baby... 8 years on, he still exists on virtually no sleep somehow and is non-stop throughout the day! (and i am crazy enough to homeschool him - so i don't ever even get a break from it). Loved the end bit about the cup of water through the colander - at least it showed he's a fast learner too. Fabulous post to read x

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love how intelligent kids are at such a young age! Amazing x

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have a Spirited Child too, and her twin who probably would have been an Angel Baby but got contaminated by her sister. We had awful sleep (all 4 of us) until the girls were 4. Good times.
    I love your phrase "the short straw of all babies" and descriptions of the trumpet in the background etc!
    And yeah, we love em to bits of course.

    Gorgeous photo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good God. You have lived my nightmare. Occasionally we used to imagine what it might have been like if Rory had been twins. I am pretty sure I miscarried a twin very early on in the pregnancy, so it might even have happened. Just the thought brings me out in a cold sweat. I bet it's lovely when they're a bit older though.

      Delete
  11. It really freaks me out when you meet those babies who don't "do" anything. I never know quite what to "do" with them. I know Ethan isn't quite in the same "spirited" league as Rory, but he's not shy and retiring and has never been easy. My mum always says "He's not an easy child, but who would want a quiet child anyway? At least he knows his own mind and sticks up for himself". My Dad says "he's a very determined little chap!". You always know when Ethan is about. He's a mischief maker. With a dangerous water obsession.. I arrived early to pick him up from preschool recently. Stood in the corridor I heard "Ethan Bridger! What are you doing now?!" Several times. He has also told me that when the staff ask him to sit down he says "no". I asked one of them if this was true and it is! He does things when he wants to... Obstinate he is!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Yeah, I read that book, and yeah I heard those trumpets. My boy hated being a baby, always seemed angry and frustrated that he couldn't do things quicker. At a week old he wasn't satisfied looking at me, he wanted to look at everything else, when he could crawl he seemed annoyed he couldn't walk, when he walked he was frustrated he couldn't run etc.... Sadly toddlerhood didn't come much easier. The fiery little devil got expelled from private nursery at 2 (that will be mentioned at his wedding), and then got kicked out by his childminder after 10 weeks. Cue 12 months of paranoia, embarrassment and conviction that my child must have some sort of learning difficulty. No, he's just a wrong'un maam. He's now 3 and still a little whirlwind, but at least we can have spirited conversations now and he hasn't been expelled from anywhere in 11 months. Phew. I've started a blog called doubtfulmum.blogspot.co.uk , feel free to give me a follow if you fancy it.

    ReplyDelete