Sunday, April 24, 2005

High Needs

I had a great birthday on Friday. We went out to dinner, Old Navy (to buy me something to wear back to work) and Barnes and Nobles. Then we went back to our hotel room and watched "National Treasure" (decent movie, but too long and too much yak.) Unfortunately, I discovered that Mommy Brain does not turn off very quickly, and I had a horrible night's sleep. Not worrying per se, just thinking and tossing and turning. Upon returning home Saturday, I was informed that Anna had slept from 10pm to 6am. The longest ever. Oh well.

While at B&N, I bought two books- The Highly Sensitive Child (by some chick names Arons) and The Fussy Baby Book (by Dr. Sears! I actually bought a book by the man! I told you that motherhood changes you.) I've been perusing the books for the past couple of days, and it is not only ringing true, it is "The Gong Show."

I've decided not to refer to Anna as "fussy" or "difficult" anymore. She is "high needs" or "highly sensitive." The truth about her is that, if her needs are being met the way that she likes, she is a joy. She is alert, smiley and content. I do think that we battled colic for those first two months, but her underlying personality is demanding. "High needs" children need to be held constantly, fed a lot and are overstimulated easily. They also rarely nap and wake often. They require a whole different level of parenting apparently.

Anna and I went to a birthday party for a one year-old little boy yesterday. The boy's father is loud and boisterous, as is his extended family. The minute I walked in the house, I knew there would be trouble. I took Anna back to the quiet nursery to nurse and she was fine. As soon as we rejoined the party, it began to overwhelm her. I guess I am getting better at reading her cues. I saw the storm coming, so we went to the backyard and walked around for a bit. She quieted down. We rejoined the party and that was that. I knew it was time to go. It was a good thing we left when we did, because as soon as we started down the road, scream city.

I guess that I am going to need to come to terms with the fact that I wasn't given the baby that I expected. Thankfully, the book said that for every frustration, I will receive an equal amount of delight because "high needs" babies tend to become highly creative, sensitive and kind-hearted kids. I just have to wait for it.


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