Let me reassure all new mothers out there - do not despair if you have a not-so-easy baby, because sometimes not-so-easy babies turn out to be the sweetest, most kind-hearted souls.
And those mothers who have easy, compliant, low maintenance babies - do not be too smug, because you never know what type of pre-schoolers / children they turn out to be. See exhibit B and exhibit C of my brood. Both were easy, compliant babies. Both who have become rather challenging in different ways! No names mentioned.
And then we have Exhibit A - my 'difficult' baby. The one that made me think parenting is damn hard work. That I was failing miserably as a mother. The one who has turned out to be the sweetest, kindest child. Such a pleaser - the teachers love him, his friends love him. He is always getting awards for good behaviour, he works hard, he does well academically, he does well at sport. But most of all, he is such a kind-hearted child. He really does care about everyone. I actually think he might need to guard his heart a bit more because otherwise life is going to hurt more than it should.
Moral of the story: Do not think that just because you have a not-so-easy baby that you are (a) doing a bad job or (b) you are doomed to have a difficult toddler / preschooler / child. You might just be pleasantly surprised. And the same holds true for those of you who have easy babies: it might not always be plain-sailing. (Exhibit B and C)
About once or twice a week I send a little note in the children's (and husband's) lunchboxes. A little love letter to remind them that I love them.
I did some for Valentine's day:
I did some a week later (the addendum to Marko's note was because he gave his lunch to the cleaner on Valentine's day and now she thinks that he is in love with her):
I asked Adam the other day whether his teacher saw his notes and he said no, because he ate his lunch on the mat with a group of his friends.
"Oh" I said, "what do they say about your notes that I send?"
"They laugh and tease me" he replied.
"Oh no my boy, I am so sorry! Sometimes children can be a little mean. I am sorry that that they laughed at you. Would you prefer that I don't send the notes?"
"No!" he urgently replied, "Don't stop sending the notes, I love them. It's ok, I know they don't mean to laugh at me. They are just teasing me. I love the notes."
Such a sweet, sweet child.
I must admit my heart broke a little when he said the other boys laughed at him. My sweet-hearted little big boy.
So today I tried to tone down the notes, to make it less 'tease-worthy':
I asked Adam whether he liked his note today and he said yes, he did. I asked him whether the boys teased him and he said that he didn't show them the note. He just read it to himself.
Sweet boy. Wish I could wrap all of them up forever to protect them from hurt and disappointment. I know I can't though. In the meantime, I will carry on sending love notes for as long as they will let me.