Sunday, August 11, 2013
Raising a Red Head
Obviously I haven't met all the reds in the world; I'm sure there are some mild mannered, easy going, calm and collected red heads out there. Somewhere. Maybe. But I do know that my precious little ball of fire is none of those things and I also seem to hear likewise from other parents of these red haired little mischief makers.
I'm sure you've heard (or know first hand if you've spawned one) that red heads have a 'firey temper'. Well I'm here to assure you that this is in fact correct. Some days I think it would be easier to control a literal raging fire in the middle of my living room. I can also assure you that throwing water on a red head does not help the situation as it would with a blazing Barcalounger (for instance). In fact it would be best if you just took my word for that and refrained from trying it yourself.
My little toddler torch can be the most amazingly bright (no pun intended) child you've ever met. She's witty, smart, and sharp as a tack. She can size you up and figure you out before you can say "Oh what a cutie pie", which is what most people say when she pretends to be shy.
But I'll tell you some secrets about what it's really like to raise a red head.
From day one (birth, that is) they don't stop crying. Well, occasionally. But it's not your typical baby crying! A baby will cry when their hungry, or tired, or poopy, or upset. But a red headed baby will cry even when they're satisfied and content. You see it's not really crying. Because they're still helpless little invalids, they can't talk yet and so crying is the only option. Other than screaming and they do a fair amount of that as well. I realize this only now that my daughter is three years old and never stops talking. It dawned on me one day that all that screaming and crying she did when she should have otherwise been completely content was just her way of talking to us.
You know how most babies love car rides? My second daughter is this way and I feel so unbelievably, amazingly blessed to have a normal baby to balance out my day. But my red head? No. Every single time without fail when I put her in her carseat she would cry. Loudly. You could tell this wasn't actual crying because there were no tears and her sobs had a distinct melody to them. She would change it up too; for thirty minutes I'd hear cry, sob, cry, sob, cry, sob, cry. And then she'd switch over to sob-sob, cry, sob-sob, cry/ sob, cry, sob, cry/ sob-sob, cry. She'd be staring out the window bobbing her head to her obnoxious screeching. She would cry until she fell asleep from exhaustion and that didn't happen quickly either. No siree.
This child of mine wakes up screaming and goes to bed screaming every day. Not the kind of screaming like shes had a bad dream or is frightened, no no. Just bossy screaming. In the morning she usually wakes up with 'Mommy! Mommy fill my sippy cup, mommy fill my sippy cup, mommy fill my sippy cup, mommy fill. it. up'. If I'm not on top of this it changes into "Pleeeeese mommy, pleeeese mommy, pleeeeese mommy!'. After about 30 minutes of being awake she gets all the whines out and becomes the most charming intelligent child you could ever wish to meet. No kidding! From about 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM she's the sweetest most beautiful creature on the face of the earth.
But did I mention that red heads don't nap? At least mine doesn't. Never really has. She's three now and I'm assuming she would be getting out of the napping phase if she was ever in one. Which she wasn't. But just because she wont nap doesn't mean she doesn't need to. She always did and she still does need a nap. I would have to strap this kid to her bed and let her scream until she passed out to get her to nap. No, I never did that. So by the time 4:00 PM rolls around she starts to wear herself down. The whining sets in. Oh boy. I honestly can't even begin to describe the various whining tactics that she uses from around 4PM to bedtime, so we'll just skip to bedtime. 'I don't want to sleep'. Of course not. 'I'm not sleepy, I'm not sleepy, I'm not sleepy'. 'I'm gonna stay up!' You would not believe the cuteness she is able to muster with that one. If you've read my post titled "Things my kids have said" then you probably saw this one: "You go ahead and watch your movie and I'll just be here..Sitting behind your chair." This was one of her 'I'm not going to sleep' tactics. 'Don't worry, its ok..its ok. Really, it is.' is another favorite.
Raising a red head is one word: exhausting. But it's also rewarding (as everyone will tell you). She astounds people daily with her super ginger intelligence. People tell me how 'remarkable' she is. But of course, I already know this. I'm still learning how to deal with her 'firey' personality. Funny thing is I'm a ginger too. But my husband tells me I'm a day walker which is like a half ginger. So I think I'm easier to handle. Plus I'm a Pisces. My kiddo is a Capricorn, nuff said.
FYI: She may not look like a red head in the picture up there; trust me it's the sun. She's ginger.