Thursday, October 9, 2014


For Nephy.

My gal Fern came last weekend with her two-month-old baby who was adopted at birth. He is a mellow little dude, easily soothed. Spending time with him, I was reminded of my babies when they were little babies, and both of how precious, intense and full-of-feelings that time is and of how very widely it can vary.

I was not reminded of my babies themselves, though, because I never had any baby like that.

Both of my babies were on the high, high needs end of the spectrum. Although we did not know it at the time, G was already experiencing the difficulties of sensory processing differences and cried relentlessly. He seemed genuinely uncomfortable much of the time. (Bonus, he hated feeling wet so much that he basically potty trained himself really, really early!)

We were similarly unaware of this at the time, but Z came to me in full-on attachment-disordered mode. I couldn’t put her down for TWO YEARS. She would scream in a way that set me on edge (this is called non-attachment-promoting crying, and sounds angry rather than helpless-babyesque) at the slightest threat of separation.

We were all snuggling together peacefully – baby, kids and I --- when Z asked, “Was I like Nephy [what we started called the baby pre-adoption, short for nephew] when I was a baby, Mama?”

“Um….Not really.” I had to think for a moment before speaking. “I loved you very much, just like Fern loves Nephy…But…you were not a mellow dude. You wanted to be held all the time and got very loud and angry if I wasn’t holding you.”

“Oh Mama, we must have been really connected!” she exclaimed.

Er…Not what I I’d’ve said…but…Yes!

“Yes, sweety.”

Full Spectrum Mama


  1. You know, I never considered the fact that my guy, Big C, was easy to potty train because he didn't like the feeling of being wet. I'm sure now that was likely it! That, and the fact that once he puts his mind to something, he simply must do it.

    I love the comment your daughter made that you must have been really connected. What a positive young lady! :)

    1. Thanks, Mommy C.
      Of course at the time with my son it was all a blur, but in retrospect I am positive that is what happened, especially since he'd scream every time he went...
      Ha- yes, very positive. Love that my daughter framed it thusly: a real eye-opener for me!


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