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Adventures in Parenthood // The Guessing Game

Baby and Mama

My mom has always said about babies that it gets so much easier when they can just tell you what they want. Obviously that makes sense in my brain but I’ve been feeling it much more acutely lately, as Henry is getting older and starting to have stronger opinions. And when you’ve got a little one who’s clearly trying to tell you something but you have no idea what, parenting starts to feel like one majestically long, magnificently orchestrated guessing game.

Take Hank this week, for example. I submit to you Exhibit A: A 5-month-old, slightly fussy (which is unusual), with suddenly short naps, putting everything in his mouth, drooling all over the joint, grabbing only his left ear, a stuffy nose, and only interested in nursing on one side. Ready, guess, go! Teething? Head cold? Ready for more solids? Reflux meds not working any more? Developmental leaps getting him all cranky? Bad reaction to me trying to add cheese back into my diet?

See what I mean? It’s like being a detective! How in the world are you supposed to know if he’s grabbing his ear because his teeth hurt, or his ear hurts, or he’s sleepy, or he just happened to find his ear and liked how it felt? You’ve got to make this extensive flow chart inside of your brain that cross references all the other symptoms and puts it all together and spits out the right answer to try to help your tiny person. All while little dude is looking into your eyes and just begging for help. Ouchie, my heart.

Truth be told, Henry is a peach. An absolute peach. He’s a chill, happy little sweetie and the challenges we have had with him most likely pale in comparison to what some parents go through with their kiddos. We’re just in a tiny little bumpy patch and I recognize that. But none of that makes it any easier when we’re all just trying to do right by our own tiny people. And if, as a parent, you’re having an off day, the guessing game can really get to you! It’s times like those that I’m so thankful that Ryan is on my team — because where one of us stumbles, the other one picks up and carries on.

Any mamas (or dads!) out there feelin’ me? Have you been playing the guessing game with your little people? Someone with older kids please tell me how wonderful it is when they can use words to communicate! (And by the way, any baby whisperers out there know how to tell when your kid is teething?) xoxo

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10 thoughts on “Adventures in Parenthood // The Guessing Game

  1. Oh my goodness yes! Lincoln is amazing in every way, laughs and smiles but most of our days this past week has been filled with screaming crying. One heck of a guessing game happening over here. The doctor said he’s a difficult baby or better termed highly needy baby. What we discovered is that he’s overtired too often with some extreme sleep regression and easily over stimulated. I thought it was my milk (diet), simple colic issues, reflux and on and on. He’s head strong for sure and some days are great and some days I just can’t seem to get it right. Either way I’m blessed to have this handsome man, but can relate to you in so many ways.
    Hugs to you and H.

  2. Your tiny Hank is probably teething. It is the right age for teeth and a sleep regression. My 5 month old is in full teething! My favorite teething trick- cut a baby washcloth into strips, tie each one in a knot in the middle (like a tiny dog toy) wet throughly and place on a plate in the freezer. Pull out when frozen and give to the little man. Best part is you can wash them in the laundry and reuse as needed. If he goes wild and can’t get enough you know you have a teether. Good luck! It only lasts another 2 years!! ?

  3. I am right there with ya sister! My little Charlie is 4 months old and having the exact same symptoms. Motherhood really is such a guessing game. I feel like I am learning something every single day. It is nice to know that there is a sisterhood out there!

  4. In a way in gets easier when they can tell you what’s up but on the other hand, it can be a little challenging deciphering two-year old language as well. And Heaven forbid you only tuck them in three times instead of four, then it can get a little ugly.

    Thankfully, along with the challenges, there is enjoyment in every stage of parenting. I still haven’t experienced a boy toddler (yet.. we’ll be there in a year) but I hear they are a whole new ballgame. 😀

  5. Ah yes, it gets easier but… new challenges arise. As with all things! My two year old, doll of a gal, is also a bit of a boss. She also picks and chooses when to use her words and when not to. I do distinctly remember feeling the way you are right now. In fact, we were traveling once and a women obviously saw my concern when my 5 month old was have a bit of a flip in the elevator and she immediately said I needed to head to whole foods and get teething tablets. Was she right? Maybe! But really she was just trying to let me know she had been where I was and help me feel like there was a solution just around the bend 🙂 Wishing you the best of luck!

  6. Completely there with you! In fact, just last night we had a screaming baby and nothing would console him! It’s like, what is it?! Tell me?! Tummy hurt, over tired, hungry, not hungry? We tried everything and thankfully he just fell asleep. Our little man is 3 months old and he’s pretty good but last night we’re not sure what happened! I always tell my husband, I cannot wait until Christian (our son) is old enough to tell us what he wants. But you now that once he’s that age all we’re going to want is for him to be little again. So hang in there, this family here is dealing with the same thing!

  7. oh gosh, can you hear me screaming AMEN?! My 5 month old twins were awake every hour last night! Big giant guessing game. Just the fact that you worry about it all makes you a kick ass mama. Everyone is just faking it and doing their best.

  8. Thank you for writing this post, I needed it! My daughter is 4 months old and is doing the same thing! My easy going girl who used to sleep so easily is now a fussy, drooling sleep hater…but I wouldn’t trade in those late nights for the world!

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