Can you spoil a baby? Google this question and you will get a resounding no. In fact, Babycenter.com’s article on the topic goes so far as to state, “Young babies are completely spoil-proof.” My response to this is, are you sure? Because just a couple of hours ago I washed some bottles, fed the dogs, put in a load of laundry, took the garbage out to the garage and wheeled the big can out to the curb all with one hand because the other hand was busy holding a 24 pound baby. Now I could be way off base here, but that seems kind of spoiled to me. Emmalee likes to be held. A lot. And even if she does agree to play on the floor, she pretty much insists that I be on the floor with her. The only time I can really get things done around the house without holding her is if she is napping (but then I can only do things that can be done very quietly) or if I put her in her highchair or exersaucer with Gerber Puffs. Those things are a life saver.
For a long time Emmalee wouldn’t let anyone hold her, or touch her for that matter, except for me and her Grammy. She is slowly getting a little better about this and has ever so slightly begun to include more people in her exclusive circle… however she still rarely lets others hold her without screaming her head off and if Mommy or Grammy are nearby then forget it. Again, I could be wrong, but this seems spoiled to me. I can understand and even at times appreciate her avoidance of strangers. But you would think she’d give the people she sees regularly a little more love. This is especially troublesome at the doctor’s office where she won’t let anyone get within ten feet of her without losing it. On Friday she went in to see her pediatrician because her nose had been running for ten days without showing any signs of stopping. The doctor approached her to have a look in her ears, while her Grammy was holding her, and she screamed like she was being branded. She is ten months old and literally had to be held down and restrained just so that the doctor could look into her ears. I can’t wait to take her in for her shots in a few weeks…
At about 7 months old Emmalee decided that she no longer preferred being in her car seat (maybe she was worried about decapitation?). She let me know that she’d made this decision by arching her back, screaming, and shaking her head vehemently “no.” This was my first glimpse of a tantrum. Now Emmalee no longer reserves this behavior for being strapped into the car. Stop her from grabbing something that she wants, or take something she shouldn’t have away from her, and you will get a show… arm flailing, back arching, leg kicking, and intense wailing. All in the name of protest. I don’t know where this penchant for drama comes from, but she sure didn’t get it from me. At the moment I actually find these tantrums sort of funny. It amuses me that she gets so upset over something so simple. But I worry that these baby tantrums are just a preview of things to come, and when she throws herself onto the ground and has one of these fits in public I might not be quite so entertained. Are tantrums a sign of a spoiled baby? I kind of think they might be.
Emmalee has a beautiful nursery. I spent a great deal of time painting, decorating and getting it just right. She also has a play room. She hasn’t even been alive a year yet and she already has two entire rooms of our home devoted to just her. Her closet and dresser are full of clothes. There are 3 large storage bins full of the clothes she’s outgrown. She has more blankets than we know what to do with, and we live in Florida. Her play room is full of stuff. Thanks to Mommy’s, and Grammy’s, love for shopping (see previous blog), Emmalee has managed to accumulate an impressive collection of toys and stuffed animals in her short life. She has two entire shelves full of books that she can’t yet read. It is almost embarrassing how much stuff she has, and her first birthday is still six weeks away, meaning there is more “stuff” to come. (Her already purchased presents are stored in a third room of the house!)
Not to mention the suspected laziness. She didn't crawl until ten months. She still lays on her back like a helpless, overturned turtle at times until someone comes along and helps her sit up. And though she will feed herself Puffs, she won't even consider holding her own bottle.
So can you spoil a baby? Experts tend to think no. But it seems that I’m working hard at proving them wrong.
(And for the record, Emmalee is totally okay with that.)