Gracie Girl, Gracie Girl, Gracie Girl.
What can I say about Gracie Girl?
For the first two months of Gracie’s little life, feeding her was a complete nightmare. Without going into too much detail (because it hasn’t been long enough yet and I might start twitching and/or crying if I think about it…), we knew almost right away that Gracie had reflux. Bean had it and so we recognized the symptoms right away. Pulling away from the bottle while she was eating, screaming through her feedings, screaming for an hour or more after her feedings… She was just miserable. We worked with our pediatrician and tried just about every kind of formula out there. Which, of course, was traumatic to her sensitive little digestive system in itself. After a few weeks, we ended up putting her on a medication for the reflux. It really helped with the spitting up, but Gracie was still pulling away and screaming through just about every bottle.
We tried every kind of bottle. We tried warming the formula. We tried giving it to her at room temperature. We tried giving it to her cold. We tried feeding her at an angle. We tried feeding her sitting up. We tried feeding her while we rocked. We tried feeding her while we stood completely still. We even tried feeding her outside (not sure where we got that idea?). Nothing seemed to help.
Finally, after over a month of trying to get the feeding and screaming situation under control, we went back to the doctor and begged for more help.
“She’s broken. Ours is broken. We broke her,” I studdered.
After going over everything for the one thousandth time with the pediatrician, she said she wondered if maybe Gracie had a milk allergy. So, once again, we switched her formula. Now she’s on a soy formula and things are so much better! After the first few soy bottles, I swear Gracie turned to me and said, “It’s about damn time, woman!”
With her feeding on track again, Chris and I did a happy dance and prepared to have our (somewhat) peaceful house back.
“Oh, you poor, dumb, hopeful people,” Gracie seemed to say.
Even with the eating thing under control, there is still much protesting from Gracie Girl. And by much, I mean A LOT. Like, a LOT, a lot. Only now, there’s not much of a rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes, she has a complete meltdown because she’s tired. Sometimes there’s a complete meltdown because we change her diaper. Sometimes there’s a complete meltdown because something is touching her. And sometimes there’s a complete meltdown for no detectable reason whatsoever.
Yes, our sweet wittle Gwaciekins is a tiny hot head.
I thought for a while that it might be colic. But I’m not so sure. Maybe it is. But it’s more likely that my Itty Bitty has a hardcore temper. And, I can’t really blame her. In the past two weeks, my own temper has managed to cause epic World Wars with my entire family AND my husband, so at least she gets it honest.
Now that we know she’s healthy and nothing is physically wrong with her, Chris and I are trying to get a handle on our pint sized firecracker. Basically what we’ve learned is that when Gracie gets pissed, everyone should freeze.
Freeze and be vewry, vewry quiet.
Then, once she begins to settle down on her own, you vewry, vewry swowly slip her binky into her mouth, being especially careful not to let your skin touch hers or else she’ll know you are moving. The point is to make her think the binky JUMPED back into her mouth on its own.
If the redheaded dragon takes the binky and becomes quiet, she may begin to open her eyes and look around the room. IT IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT THAT YOU NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT WITH THE REDHEADED DRAGON DURING THIS PERIOD! Look away! Look away!
After a few minutes of pretending like you didn’t see anything, it is permissible to attempt eye contact. But MOVE SLOWLY and look for signs of rapid breathing from the sweet beast. If you notice any increase in her breathing that might indicate she is becoming angry again, LOOK AWAY AND FREEZE! If, however, you see none of these signs, attempt a small smile. Even if your offering is accepted by the tiny titan, proceed cautiously. Aftershocks are common.
(By the way, I know you think I’m joking with all of this, but these are the ACTUAL steps we have to take with her. Seriously. Feel bad for us, please.)
I think fussy babies have a bad rap. Are they high maintenance? Yes. Do they make you want to pull your hair out and gnash your teeth? Of course. Do you think once or twice in a moment of weakness about sitting them out on the street with a sign around their neck that says, “Free to a good home?” Absolutely. But does that make them any less of a perfect baby than a happier baby? Not in my book. Not for my kids. Gracie is way more temperamental than Bean was as a baby, but I don’t love her any less or think of her as a “bad baby.”
She’s just fussy. And we wub her fwom her head to her wittle toes anyway.