Sunday, March 26, 2006

No. 139 - Eggshells

There are these moments - sometimes they flicker through my head like lightning bugs; other times they can last all weekend weighing me down like lead socks - where I worry about X and how his future will play out because of his disposition.

He was a great baby. Sure there was the colic during weeks 3-8 that would "inspire" me to call Mr. DD who was on a pool league during that time and demand that he play all his games and COME HOME AT ONCE! I cringe when I think how the other guys must have thought how terribly henpecked Mr. DD was as I'm sure he didn't give them the impression he was pussywhipped. Other than those few weeks, X was mellow, calm, observant - a perfect foil for two high-strung and worrisome first-time parents. I attributed this blooming personality to his father.

But as X went through his third year and most recently his 4th birthday, I began to worry. He is of "delicate nature," which is how I describe his particularly foul moods. We find ourselves tiptoeing around him when he is noticeably on edge, tired, crabby...I believe the technical term to describe this particular personality is "A Pill." For example, getting him a glass of milk is not as simple as getting a glass and pouring in milk. It has to be THE Glass. And, THE Glass may not be THE Glass that it was yesterday. Plus, there may be more than one of the same exact glass and so it became a crap shoot in which we must either guess which one is THE Glass or to not let X see where the glass was pulled from.

Now we have THE Glass. It's time to get out the milk. If for some reason we had purchased 1/2 gallon cartons of milk because of a sale, instead of selecting from only 2 1-gallon milk cartons, there may be 4 1/2-gallons in the fridge. Gd forbid you pick the wrong one. Again, the key was to not let him see which one he is getting.

Ok, now we have 1 glass? Check.
We have milk? Check.
We fill up the glass, right? Nope. There is a certain level that the milk must reach in THE Glass before it meets muster. And let's not even talk about what color or how many straws there must be for that particular glass of milk.

I think I have made my point.

I tell Mr. DD that this display is normal. It's part of being a 4 year old. It's him wanting to establish his autonomy, but in my heart I silently worry. It's exhausting. It's frustrating. I wonder what I did, what we did, to find our mellow baby replaced with a high-strung, high-maintenance preschooler. My initial assessment that he had acquired his father's temperament has been replaced by the concern he has taken after mine.

Personal factoid: My maternal Grandmother died of ether poisoning when my Mom was 3 years old.

7 Punches:

At 4:49 PM, Blogger Cricket said...

I had an easy baby and a difficult toddler/preschooler. The age of 5 was bliss. It's been on and off since.

Look up the terms Highly Sensitive Person and do the test for a child. I've thought of buying her book, too.

At 5:32 AM, Anonymous Kath said...

Oh, DD. That sounds very tiring! Reminds me of the son of a friend of mine, who once refused to eat a breakfast that his mother cooked while (gasp) wearing a bathrobe. He insisted that she put on regular clothes first. She informs me this was not out of the ordinary for him...

At 6:42 AM, Blogger One Mother's Journey said...

I totally believe it's the age - I'm sure he'll outgrow the phase and move on to bigger and better ways to worry you. My son once refused to go to the bathroom because the toilet paper was turned around on the holder and wasn't facing the direction I normally put it on. He kept screaming it wasn't right and I was literally in tears trying to figure out what it was that wasn't right while he danced and screamed and stomped his feet. I can (almost) laugh about it now but at the time I seriously thought there was no way he was normal.

At 8:05 AM, Blogger Catizhere said...

I have learned to simply open the cabinet & let Maggie pick out her cup doo joor. Then she has to hold the aforementioned cup AND help pour the apple/grape/orange/whatever juice "allaway to da TOP" then stick her finger in & taste it before I can put the lid on.

Her new thing is "pink milk" She doesn't much care for milk in a glass, unless it has Nestles Strawberry syrup in it. This requires the cup to be placed on her "special cooking" chair and the syrup sqeezed in first (by HER of course) then the milk is added, then she and ONLY she is allowed to swirl the milk in the cup to make it the perfect pink pinkiness of pink milk.

So there. It IS the age. X is simply being 4.

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Erin said...

P, who was one of the world's easiest babies (as told to me by everyone who's ever had a baby), is currently laying on his bed kicking the wall. Mind you, he's quiet other than the kicking, so I can't tell him that "quiet time means quiet".

He constantly pushes the limits. And he's only 2. I shudder to think what's going to happen when he's had twice as long to develop his personality.

This morning, the red cup of milk was not good--he wanted a blue cup with a yellow top. A straw top, not a sippy top. And a green straw, not a purple one.

I feel your pain.

At 12:37 PM, Blogger Nico said...

ether poisoning, huh? May I ask how that happened?

At 6:23 PM, Blogger Spanglish said...

My great grandmother died of ether poisoning as well, leaving my grandmother orphaned when she was seven. Her father had died a few years earlier, but I don't remember that story. She was having surgery on her sinus... it puts the risk of anesthesia into perspective, doesn't it?


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