Most websites, most apps, most old wives tales even, all brag about one thing. A mother’s ability to understand what her baby needs, wants or is trying to say.
It should be easy, intuitive and a no brainer now that A is almost 8 months old, for me to understand what she wants. I have been blessed with a child that I think (I think) has strong opinions and isnt shy of expressing them.
I get kicks if I try to change a diaper that isnt wet (cloth). I get some sort of warning when there is poop, it ranges from being pin drop silent and not moving a muscle while staring at me to bouncing like crazy to get my attention. If she is tired, there is a constant whine that has a musical tone to it. She may not sleep but she lets me know she is tired. Although the same constant whine exists when she is bored or just wants to do something different.
Heaven forbid I dont understand right away, her gentle suggestions usually turn into dramatic thuds, and pounding of legs and feet.
Rarely do I get tears, even if I leave her in her pack and play or crib to use the bathroom, I get loud bangs, angry thuds, and short grunts expressing her displeasure but rarely do I get tears.
Does CIO count if there is no crying just attempts at escaping or banging head on crib? (Not that I have done CIO yet – or think there is anything wrong with it, just not for me yet).
Yet I continue to be disheartened and consider myself a failure. I often feel miserable on a daily basis because I dont always understand what she wants or needs. I wish I knew right away, I wish I knew with certainty. I wished my child didnt often get frustrated because I didnt understand.
I do think it is frustration that builds when she continues and I try everything I can think of but maybe not understand what she needs still.
This is happening more and more during meal times. The Dr wants me to feed her 3 meals a day, the Dr wants me to give her oatmeal twice a day. Websites say I should give more veggies compared to fruits. With all her issues, BLW is out for us right now unless its just steamed fruit or veggies and with colitis, I cant even.
I have been trying, we went through phases where she chewed food and spit it out. We went through phases where she ate only purees so thin they were practically water. We even have days where she eats it all. Consistent throughout all this is my frustration at not being able to understand. I dont know what she wants when she closes her mouth tight one second but opens wide the next. I am not sure what she needs when she tries to stand up in her high chair or dive out (because there have been days she has happily eaten a minute after that). Is it the temperature of the food? the flavor? consistency? her appetite? Did I try to feed her too soon after breast feeding and she isnt hungry? Does she want to be fed from the adult bowl or eat what she sees me eat? I google and I try but I think I fail her because I dont know the answer.
Needless to say I am probably one of those few people that fail to understand what she needs or wants or is trying to say. I wish it were that easy that I could decipher her expression, her grunt, her kick, her thud and know instantly in my heart what she needs.
The websites dont account for people like me that fail at this. The apps dont tell you what to do if you are clueless. Everything and everyone says listen to your gut, they dont tell you how to decipher that gut on very little sleep though.
I do hope A continues to have strong opinions and I do hope I raise her strong enough to continue expressing them. One day, we will speak the same language, one day we will understand the words and hopefully each other.
Till then though poor A will just have to put up with her clueless mom. I will continue to sing my merry jingle of “Yummy Yummy Yummy in A’s Tummy” and hope it fools her enough to eat a little bit, not close to the amounts google says she should be eating but hopefully at least a little bit.