“A toddler believes that if you love a person, you stay with that person 100 percent of the time.” – Lawrence Balter
Caleb was never a social baby. He didn’t go to any and everyone. He wouldn’t coo and smile at strangers. He had this observant aura about him. If he didn’t cry when you held him that means you were ok. Nicknamed “baby Kanye” by some family we kind of expected that this would be his personality. After all every thing else was normal, this was just baby Caleb. When it was baby, mama and Gemma(my mom) he was as happy as can be. Who else did he need but his girls?! I work from home and Gemma watches baby in the house…was this really Caleb or had we made Caleb this way?? Are these only child traits? (the questions wouldn’t come to my mind until later)
When I was pregnant I had a list of “things my baby will do”. My baby will take music classes, my baby will take swimming at 6 months, my baby will have mommy and me mornings out, we will take a sign language class, etc…….Somebody should’ve reminded me that I work full-time AND that my maternity leave was only 8 weeks. What somebody wouldn’t have known is that I could barely get my baby in the car without him screaming his head off. Doctors visit and grocery runs were a necessities that now came with great anxiety for us all. How the heck would I get this child to social gatherings? Oh and did I mention he wasn’t very social??
A month before his first birthday Caleb and I took a trip to see friends in Atlanta. My girlfriend’s son was turning one! We had our whole pregnancy adventure together and this was the first time the boys would meet. We had surprisingly survived two other first birthday parties before this, Caleb was naturally in-phased but they went off without incident. Anyway, we fly all the way to ATL we spend a few days with Caleb’s godmother, and we even attended one of those mommy and me mornings at a local baby gym. My non social child was doing pretty damn good and I was proud. The day of the party comes and I’m so excited to see my girlfriends and spend the afternoon with them. It was a 1st birthday party but as you could imagine I don’t get out much so this was mama’s afternoon out too! OR NOT!! Caleb would spend 3 minutes in this place (a chuck E cheese type set up) before he completely lost it!! It was too much excitement and noise….but was it? Was he too young for this kind of thing? There were tons of other babies not phased by what was going on. Maybe he was tired? Even after he had his nap. Was he still hungry? WTF was going on with my baby?? His godmother quickly took him outside so I could say hi to people I hadn’t seen in years, hoping he would be calmed. And he was! YAY! Let’s’ get this party started right? NO!! Back inside and before we could get in the door the screaming began, his little heart was racing and he was holding on for dear life. This party was not happening…..not for Caleb and not for mama.
On Caleb’s first birthday I wrote him a note and part of it said “May you remain selective because your energy isn’t for everyone. Your energy and your spirit/intuition/gut is what connects You to God.” I wrote this at the time because its something I believe..it’s something I believe for me as an adult. But for a child, my child, I’d soon learn that maybe this wasn’t what was best. I wanted him to be social. I wanted him to be friendly. I wanted him to play with classmates. I’d soon learn that non social children start to get labeled…and it broke my heart.