The other day I was chatting to a friend and my Mum about Emma and we joked that Emma doesn’t do things by half measures. She concentrates completely. She focuses on how to get the bottle cap on until she’s cracked it. She masters a word and then says it over and over. I love this about her and funnily enough this trait makes her very similar to her brother – she gives everything 110% (or more) always. But whilst there are so many positives to this, I’ve also noticed that the other side of the coin…it means she is a little bit sensitive too.
I noticed it when she was 4 months old and I went to a swimming class with her and some of the NCT girls. There were spotlights on the ceiling and she stared at the lights for 20 minutes straight, until she eventually got overtired and screamed til she was red in the face. As she got older, I noticed it more and more in situations where there were lots of other children around – Emma would find it quite overwhelming and got upset.
The fact is that some babies are calm and cool as a breeze, whereas others would cry a bit more. Some wouldn’t sleep at night, whereas others were sleeping through from 4 months. The list goes on, as we all know. But as parents we accept our babies how they are, we help them become amazing little people. And every child is totally different. With Emma, she’s always been a more serious baby so I try and let her enjoy the lighter side of life – smiling, laughing, having fun. Her personality is wonderful and as she becomes older, I am loving hearing her babble away and laugh at things out of the blue.
There was a time a year ago where I would have said that I felt judged in these situations, where Emma cried and we had to leave the cafe immediately. Or when she suddenly got overtired and I had absolutely misjudged her stamina that day. Sometimes I think back to how I felt then and know now that it was my insecurities coming to the surface, that would make those comments about how she always cries in groups of kids or how much she likes to play alone, hurt that much more. Now I feel at more at ease with it for sure.
But although I might not feel judged, it doesn’t mean that I don’t think about them. It doesn’t mean that I, like every Mum, desperately wants their daughter to be happy. That when she has a tantrum after a lovely day, it makes my heart sink. I know though that this is the make up of her personality and she thrives on positivity. So I find myself trying to be positive whatever the weather. I find myself using the carrot rather than the stick, because I want Emma to be confident, secure and outgoing. I don’t know whether I’m doing the right thing, and some days it is just so challenging but I want her to know she can be herself, without holding back. I just want her to keep hold of that determination forever and never let it go.