Define: Normal

02.02.10

They tell you that every child is different. This couldn’t be more true for my two kids. I’m not sure I would believe they were related based on personality alone, except for the fact that I personally birthed both of them and everyone tells me how much they both look like my husband. Like I didn’t already know THAT.

My son was a screamer, or a “spirited baby” as they call it. He was either asleep or screaming the first 4 months of his life. Unless, of course, he was around other people, and then he was a perfect angel. You had to spend about 4 hours with him to fully understand what he put us through. So, naturally, when we took him for his doctor’s appointments, they always marveled at how happy he was. We never knew when he was getting teeth or sick. But, as soon as we got in the car and a fire engine drove by with its sirens on, the screaming started. Or we’d go to a restaurant and someone at the table on the other side of the place was being serenaded with the birthday song du jour and the screaming would commence. I think calling him a sensitive baby was an understatement.

Now that he is older, he’s either hot or cold. He loves strangers or he’s scared to death of them. He’s cautious at the doctor’s office, but still apparently happy compared to other toddlers they encounter. He has a flirtatious smile and a contagious laugh. He’s still sensitive to the point that the pouty lip comes out when he gets embarrassed or reprimanded, but he is well worth those first few months of baby hell.

It's a good thing she's cute. Just sayin'.

Our daughter, on the other hand, was a sleeper. She was either eating or sleeping as a newborn. We had no idea that this was what “normal” babies did. It was amazing to say the least. Now that’s she’s a year old, she’s incredibly social everywhere we go. We still get comments about how happy and well-behaved she is. Every time we go to a restaurant, she wiggles out of the seat belt so she can turn around and face the tables around us. We’re obviously too boring for her.

And then I took her for her one-year well-check. As soon as we got in the exam room and the nurse looked at her, the screaming began. You can imagine what happened when the nurse tried to measure her (giant) head and when, god forbid, the doctor tried to listen to her heart and lungs (I guess they train them to be able to even with all the screaming?). I finally got it . This is the kind of baby they’d been comparing our son to for the past 2 years. This was “normal”.

I took her back to the doctor last week because she started getting up at night for hours at a time and had become more clingy than usual (which I didn’t even think was possible). I was sure we had an ear infection on our hands (you know, because that’s what Dr. Google told me it was). Wouldn’t you know, she’s just teething and reacting in a completely “normal” way.

I’m starting to like abnormal.

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