Let me introduce you to our little monster, Lachlan Jack, 19 months old with 19 years worth of attitude. This kid is 210 per cent. all. the. time. Perhaps the in utero gymnastics at early hours of the morning should have given us some indication but we were naive first-time parents still stuck in the mentality of “nothing in our life will change/ we will have the perfect compliant child”. HA.
For the first week of Lachie’s life we floated around in a bubble of contented smugness, had friends round for 3 course dinners, went to gallery exhibitions, slept a lot (albeit in short segments) and ate well. Then The Monster woke up. And our smug smiles quickly turned to sleep-deprived delusional laughter and/or crying. All totally normal for parents of a newborn I now know, but back in the thick of dirty nappies and spew covered clothes it was a total shock. In those early days I truly felt like a cross between a milk cow and a washing machine.
Even as a newborn Lachie just needed to MOVE. He rolled over at 8 weeks and almost fell of the kitchen bench where I was drying him after his bath, bad mummy moment number one (of many!). When he was awake, which was often, his arms and legs were always going, involved in some invisible baby karate.The sling became my best friend, cocooned next to my heart, with the warmth of my body he would eventually calm and sleep. It became apparent that he just wasn’t one of those ‘easygoing’ children (if they even exist). He needed more, of everything, all the time. More attention, more closeness, just more.
What this means has become increasingly clear as time goes on. At nineteen months old he is an absolute terror and a wonderful little person. He needs constant stimulation. He needs to be able to climb, jump (usually off things), bang things together, make noise, run and most importantly have the attention of those who care about him. He takes a butt load of energy to parent but also gives a tonne of love back. He makes us want to cry and laugh at the same time. The kid has so much spunk and even though every night when I close his door I breathe a sigh of relief, I wouldn’t swap him for one of the ‘easygoing’ babies for anything.