Saturday, January 03, 2009

Our Spirited Child



I don't like labels. I never have. Don't label Me. Don't label my kid.

But I discovered a label I like : Spirited Child . Yes, I think this describes her best.

I'd heard of this book long before I ever had kids. I hoped I'd never need it, but it turns out I do.
I've only read the first chapter, but it describes Angelina perfectly:

More.

More intense, more sensitive, more perceptive, more persistent, more energetic. MORE. She is definitely more of everything.

She's amazing and wonderful and full of life. She has the power to light up a room with her smile and her charm. She walks around saying "Hi" to everyone. Random people want to be by her because she makes them smile. She dances around to music in her head. She is fascinated by all around her and explores everything

Her laugh is infectious.

Her screams are infectious too, at least for Maman who usually ends up screaming as well...

When I was pregnant and didn't know the sex, everyone, including random people on the street, told me I was having a boy. My very astute friend Kyle said I was having a girl. Why was he so sure? He said it was my karma to have a girl: a very strong willed, intense, independent girl. Damn he was right (he also won the betting pool for the day & time of birth and sex). But what he didn't tell me was that not only would she be like me, she'd also be like her Papa. Double whammy!

I think she has the best of both of us - those traits which make us happy successful adults. Alas, those traits are rather challenging in a child...

So I've asked my parents how they managed with me and they don't have many answers (I think being the 7th child meant there were enough other siblings to keep me occupied and mostly out of trouble, tar episode excluded). Same for Fredo's Dad. no suggestions. So we're on our own.

Furthermore, I was convinced it was just my bad parenting, because she is a perfect Angel for everyone else: Nana (her babysitter) has only had to scold her 2x in 1.5 years!; Nanny claims Angelina does everything she says with no fuss, including going to sleep; She listens to "Gela" (our neighbor) with no problem (though that may be changing...). But me? Noooooooo. It's like she sees me and she goes beserk. I'm now learning this is normal. She's smart enough to recognize there are some people she has to be 'good' with, and that she can test her limits and push with Maman (and to some extent Papa) because we love her unconditionally.

Or something.

Even though I'm an avid reader, devoured a ton of pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding books, I haven't rushed to the parenting books so much. I wanted to use my own instincts and not be tempted by "it says in the book..." I have a few, which I turned to in desperation (The Happiest Baby on the Block, The No Cry Sleep Solution), though I haven't found them that useful. Whether this book will be truly useful remains to be seen. At the very least I can go to sleep tonight knowing I'm not alone.

And hope that my angel manages to sleep until morning, for a change.



[tonight the persistence was Chocolate. %$#&@Swiss genes! We keep our(Fredo's) chocolate in the wine cabinet. Locked. Before bed she ran to it, turning the light on, saying "Chocolate! Chocolate!" which turned into shouts and whines and cries. No. No. No. No. I would love to just put it somewhere else. Hide it. It's like dangling a bone in front of a dog. I regret she was ever exposed to the evil stuff. I can happily live without it, but I'm not Swiss.]

1 comment:

Trudi said...

Spirited is a great word to describe Angelina! Full of life. And maybe she's a bit of a free spirit, too -- a nonconformist, yes? I haven't had a chance to hear her laugh yet, but just the smile alone is infectious! Definitely more of everything.

 
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