Sunday, March 19, 2017

Two Whole Hands

"She won't stop crying," I told the doctor, frazzled. I was on maybe two hours sleep, my hair was sticking up all over, and I imagine my eyes were crazed.


The pediatrician smiled. I'm sure she had seen many parents like me. "All the tests came out fine." She placed a hand on my arm. "This is just her personality."

I stared at my daughter Natalie. She was about a month old, and she cried. All the time. She also spit up. All the time. At that moment, she was busy staring at the overhead florescent lights. She seemed like a sweet baby, but I knew the truth: as soon as we returned home, she'd screech and spit up all over me.

"Is it too late to exchange her?" I asked weakly.


The pediatrician chuckled politely. I'm sure she's heard the joke many times too.

My first baby, Tommy, was easy. He only cried when he needed something and as soon as he got it, he was quiet. He would eat and sleep for a solid 3-4 hours when he was born. Natalie? Well, she'd eat, and if you dared to set her down, she'd scream down the house.

She constantly gave me looks like this, looks that told me, "Hey lady, you're doing a sucky job":



For the first two months of her life, someone had to be holding her if you wanted any sleep. Then she graduated to her swing and finally, at around five or six months, she took to her crib. Finally.

Natalie kept me on my toes. She was never afraid to let me know if she was unhappy. One of her first sentences was "I don't YIKE this!" She was two.



She'd climb the baby gates that I'd put up to protect her. I'd find her in the kitchen and she'd smile sweetly at me and go, "Hi."



She'd color on the walls:



She tolerated me, and adored her Daddy:



However, there was something we bonded over. Shopping. She allowed me to dress her in whatever I wanted. While most kids would instantly pull off their hats, we had an understanding.











Today my little girl turns ten. "Two whole hands!" she told me triumphantly. She still doesn't hesitate to let me know when she's annoyed. While she picks out a lot of her clothes these days, she'll still humor me and put on things I pick out:



She still sits in my lap. She still reaches for my hand. She still shouts, "You won't believe what happened in school!" if something big has happened. (Big in the fourth grade is if someone was sent to the office for cursing or if someone farted in class.)

She still prefers her Daddy. She'll shout, "Daddy, my Daddy, my Daddy!" when she spots him during military events. She'll whisper to him, "Don't even leave us again," because we've gone through several deployments, and she doesn't much like being left with me.





It's been an adventure raising her. I'd like to say the frequent crying will be gone, but she's emotional, and I have a feeling the middle and high school years might be hectic.





But at least there won't be spit up.



54 comments:

  1. Ten is such a milestone birthday! Hope she has a wonderful one.

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  2. Oh wow! Happy two hands birthday! Special milestone :). My teen was always a quiet baby too. But now? OMG, can I exchange for the baby version? lol. You're doing good mama! ((HUGS))

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  3. Wow! Loved reading this article. Very encouraging to moms

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  4. Happy Birthday pretty girl!!
    I hope her Disney trip was a blast. Can't wait to see pics/read all about it!!!

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  5. Happy Birthday, Natalie!!!! :) I hope Disney was amazing!

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  6. awwww i love this and she is such a beauty Happy bday to her . LOL my story is very similar with my son and daughter its like the trick you that it will be perfect then boom the next one comes and they cry a lot lol

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  7. I wish there were audio comments. I laughed through this whole post! Oh our little girls. They battle us and love us so hard that it makes everything so worth it! What a blessing you have :)

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  8. Happy Birthday Natalie!! My daughter was an easy baby and child. It's now that she's an adult (21) that she thinks she knows it all.

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  9. Wow! I can't believe she's 10!!! Happy birthday, Natalie!!

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  10. This post made me realized that, babies who keeps on crying makes a giggly kid when grows up.
    She's an adorable lil lady :)

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  11. She certainly looks happy and healthy! Happy Tenth Birthday!

    Beth || www.TheStyleBouquet.com

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  12. Happy Birthday to her! She looks so sweet and adorable. She loves fashion too! It is nice that she is honest about her feelings to you.
    Iza Abao, Two Monkeys Travel Group Writer

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  13. She is so cute. Love the way you dress her as well. I have a nephew who was equally the same. Cried over everything. Now he's 14 and such a happy child.

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  14. Time goes so quick!! I know that I apparently cried a lot too as a child. She looks so happy now though!

    Ellie

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  15. She is just so cute. Happy Birthday! (sorry for copy and paste) :)

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  16. Happy birthday! Your daughter's smile is so beautuful, she is so pretty!

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  17. Your daughter has a beautiful name (like mine) and an adorable smile. Tell welcome to the double digit

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  18. This is so sweet - I had no idea what to expect from the title! Your girls are beautiful, happy birthday!

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  19. Happy Birthday Natalie. I remember one of your older posts when you mentioned Natalie saying "I don't YIKE this! She's a firecracker for sure full of emotional and dramatic explosions but I am sure she's a good kid. Your doing a good job raising her. Happy Birthday Natalie

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  20. Wow what a beautiful girl. It seems like it has been a rollercoaster but despite the ups and downs, at least you bonded over 'shopping'. x

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  21. Such a wonderful mommy story. Daughter is a cutey .Very pretty and confident.Definitely her mamma's influence. Stay blessed and chest wishes for her birthday

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  22. Such a wonderful mommy story. Daughter is a cutey .Very pretty and confident.Definitely her mamma's influence. Stay blessed and chest wishes for her birthday

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  23. Happy birthday to your lovely daughter, she is precious! Although a Daddy's girl now (I too was growing up), she'll appreciate you and everything you do for her when she's older. I now have a greater appreciation for my mom, there's no substitute for it :)

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  24. Awww.. I worry about the teen years because Scarlet already pulls 'tude at seven! And she always used to prefer Cassidy. I think it's gotten better but I console myself by saying it's because I'm always there for her. He's not. So when she's really sick or hurt, she'll reach for me.

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  25. This a such a sweet post about your daughter. I have a 10 year old too, and boy O boy does time go by fast. Happy Parenting! <3

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  26. she looks just as beautiful either way!

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  27. This was such a cute blog post to read about your daughter! Happy 10th birthday to her! What a milestone you reached as a parent! So cheers to you as well!

    ~Crissy
    www.whimsicalfawn.com

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  28. I loved this piece! It just goes to show that kids go in and out of phases and we just have to grin and bear it.

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  29. Awww this takes me back to my sensitive girl... she's in her teens now, and yes, you are right the drama doesn't quit, but suddenly I'm the expert on many topics, so that part is nice. ;)

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  30. How sweet! My 4 year old daughter is the one who is my wild child. She pushes her limits and for sure prefers daddy, she is a mess but I love her.

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  31. These stories are so important to tell. Things might start out bad, and may never be "perfect," but it is all worth it. Natalie grew into a wonderful girl!

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  32. My kids didn't spit up, but both slept on me and had to be held 24/6 for the first three and six months respectively per kids. It's exhausting! I can't believe she is all grown up though, I guess that will be me soon with my 2 and 4 year old. And my two year old still sleeps with me, he still wont' sleep alone lol!

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  33. I love your perspective on motherhood. Sometimes, some thing about motherhood are ... well. Suckish. But you take it and make it something that's passing, something fleeting. Something to be appreciated and soaked up, because so many of these moments are temporary.

    I've got a daughter who just tolerates me, too. But she's also strong and smart and beautiful, and so many other things that simply demand appreciation. So I'm with you. Solidarity.

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  34. Awww, this is such a heartwarming post. We can see your motherhood and daughter's journey. I am smiling looking at her pictures and reading your story. Indeed its a milestone and surely you'll have more awesome experience to share in the coming years. Watch-out for her teenager years soon! - ANOSA

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  35. She sounds just like my twins! They're a crazy bunch to handle as well. Time really flies and this post makes me think of them too when they turn 10! Oh my!

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  36. You're daughter is so adorable! Happiest 10th birthday to her! It's really nice that try as much as you can to connect with your daughter. There's nothing like a good mother and daughter bond.

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  37. She is beautiful! I am glad that you haven't given up for her. Happy birthday to her! :)

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  38. Awww, she is gorgeous. Happy Birthday to her! My son was exactly like your Tommy, such a good baby.

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  39. I loved reading this. I can totally relate to you. best wishes to your sweet daughter.

    www.learn2livefully.com

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  40. Oh bless. You have such a young lady on your hands! Happy belated birthday!

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  41. She us definitely a cutie! It's been so long with my kids in their 20's that I can remember those sleepless nights. Although I think my eyes do have the glass over look from staring at the computer screen to much having me look crazed and messy wild hair :)

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  42. This is so funny! Not many people talk about raising kids like this, so it's a nice change haha. Happy 10th birthday to her!

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  43. TEN is a BIG one! Happy Birthday young lady:) My little girl turned 13 on the 13th of this month. They grow up so fast; looks like you are enjoying every minute

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  44. Hope Natalie had her wonderful 10th birthday at Orlando and she enjoyed being at Walt Disney World and Universal Studios to celebrate her birthday week. I wish her good luck and a wonderful year ahead! She is so adorable. I saw your Instagram pictures and loved it!

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  45. Happy 10th Birthday little Miss Natalie. My middle child sounds exactly like Natalie. I couldn't leave her alone for a second and she cried for hours when she was an infant.

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  46. WOW! 10 years old! Happy Birthday! My daughter was crying for at least a month straight after we left the hospital. Blessings to Natalie, wishing her many more!

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  47. Time flies so fast.. Next time you have this similar post, she's already 15! Happy sweet birthday for her :)

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  48. Happy birthday to your daughter! Loved the photos and stories through the years!

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  49. Happy decade of memories that's for sure! I did find your post quite funny as we are planning this year. Thanks for the giggles!

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  50. She is growing up beautifully and you are doing a fantastic job! Must have been nostalgic looking back.

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  51. Happy birthday!! She reminds me a lot of my daughter... we have an adventure ahead ;)

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  52. Oh my she is adorable and has grown so fast, have a happy birthday celebration!

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