Do you know what I do on my children’s birthdays? I spend the entire day (in Joey’s case, TWO DAYS) remembering what stage I was in at this time on that day, however many years ago. Kimberly celebrated her fourth birthday this week, and I marked each hour from about 10am till about 7pm, loudly declaring “At this time, four years ago, I was taking a dose of castor oil!” (Yuck, by the way) or “At this time, four years ago, our midwives got here.”
Thinking about Kimmie’s labor and delivery for a day made me consider Joey’s, as well. And then I started considering how each of my girls’ labors and deliveries were pretty much exact opposites. And then I started considering that the girls’ personalities are also, pretty much the exact opposite.
From there, I drew a correlation between their labors and their dispositions. Specifically, I realized that when my kids’ good is all used up, their meltdowns play out much like their labors.
Stay with me, here.
Joey’s labor was long. Not just long, but looooooooong. I started contractions on Saturday evening, and she wasn’t born till Monday morning. No, I’m not kidding. Yes, I should wear a cape and have a big “S” emblazoned on my chest.
Similarly, when Joey gets started with a meltdown... well, let’s just say it takes a while to get her to calm down. Not only is it long and drawn out, it’s also very whiney. So it’s looooooooooong.
Now Kimmie also took her time coming out, but in a different way. My water broke on Sunday night, but I was contraction free all night and into the next morning. Hence, the necessity of the castor oil to augment labor a bit. (Did I mention it’s nasty? It’s nasty.) So it took a little bit to get labor going, but once it hit, it was like a freight train, with no build up, no warning, just a sudden breath-stealing contraction. Three hours later, I was holding her in my arms. That labor was fast and furious.
Like her meltdowns.
Kimmie will be having a perfectly happy day, with absolutely no issues, no problems, no complaints. Suddenly one thing will happen that sends her screaming, angry, and vengeful. I refer to that thing as her “castor oil.” Her meltdown is fast and furious, and then all the sunshine, rainbows and unicorns come back. The girl goes from lying on the floor screaming at her sister to sitting in my lap, smiling at me and telling me “I love you, Mommy. I love you because you’re so pretty. Everyone loves you. How could I not love you?”
No, I don’t pay her for these words. She just naturally knows that the way to Mommy’s heart is through my ego.
Now that I’m thinking about all this, I’m wondering if any of this is indicative of how my children will handle stress as they get older. Will Joey wallow in it, consumed with worry about whatever stressful event is looming on the horizon? Will Kimmie jump in with both feet, get it over and done with and return to life as it previously was?
From what I remember about my childhood, I was a lot like Joey. I wallowed in drama, whining and crying and generally making a pain of myself till I was exhausted. As I grew, I did, indeed, find myself consumed by stressful situations. I remember many times nearly making myself sick, thinking about something that hadn’t even happened yet, and sometimes even worrying about things that were never actually going to happen. My labor? Loooooong and drawn out.
I find all this intensely interesting, and now I want to do a completely unscientific poll. Do you find any correlation between the type of labor you had with your child and their meltdowns? Do you see one between how they melted down as children and how they handle stress as they get older?
This could be world changing, folks! Imagine if we could figure out what our children’s dispositions will be just by looking at how they came into the world? And, oh my goodness, what if we could determine their dispositions by taking charge of our birthing situation?!
Do you see where I’m going with this? World changing.