Monday, August 24, 2009


When I worked as a Family Support Worker, visiting teen moms in their homes and talking and teaching them about parenting, one thing that always bothered us FSWs (as we were called) was that moms would often give a child/baby a title that was so not true. Telling us their 1 week old was greedy because he liked to eat, or seemed to gulp down his food; a one month old was nosy because he watched where you were going all the time. By far the most common thing we heard was that babies were "spoiled". Mainly they were spoiled because they cried, and the moms saw this as crying just to be picked up. Whenever we would hear something like this, we were trained to either explain what the baby's action really meant or rephrase it. So instead of "my baby is greedy" I would say back "Oh, your baby likes his milk, huh?" When I was told "my baby is nosy" I would say "Watching you is his way of learning. Isn't that great your baby is so smart?"

Now that I am a parent, I can see how easily it would be to say and think these things. Today was one of those days. Jamie was definitely what my teen moms would say was "spoiled". I truly think now, at 5 months, 28 days he has figured out how exactly to cry so I will pick him up. A few examples, I put him in his exersaucer and within a few minutes he started crying. There was something very definitely different about this cry. It wasn't a heartfelt fussy cry of a baby trying to tell me he didn't want to be in there. It was...different. I, of course, picked him up and held him and when I did he immediately stopped. That's when it hit me-his cry was different because he was doing it on purpose! The little bugger put it together that when he cries, I pick him up! Smart kid. Then during his nap, he woke up early and started to cry. Depending on how early he wakes up sometimes I leave him in there, hoping he'll go back to sleep. After 20 minutes or so it was clear he wasn't going to go back to sleep. I was going to go get him when all of a sudden his cry turned high pitched and painful. Normally, whenever he cries like this it means he has stuck his arm or leg through the bars and is actually in pain. So I went to go get him, expecting to see him with an appendage through the bars, and instead found him laying on his tummy, smack in the middle of the crib, pain free. Now I'm not as sure on this one as I was the other, but I think he figured out when he cries like that we always go to him, because in the past he's always been in pain.... it too early to tell him the story of the boy who cried wolf??

1 comment:

Nicole said...

The two labels that annoyed me the most was "flirt" and "nosy". I like that you labeled J smart. As a former FSW, I can live with that one!