Tessa was born in early January, meaning she got here just in time to avoid the nightmares of labor and delivery during COVID, but also just in time to spend most of her infancy in quarantine at home. I know every baby is different so I’m trying not to fall into the trap of comparing her to the boys. But there are some serious differences between the boys (who were very similar as babies) and Tessa that really make me wonder if this is just your typical girl baby or if these are legitimate symptoms of being a quarantine baby. Call to action for all the girl moms and/or quarantine baby moms out there: Curious to hear your thoughts on this stuff so be sure to take my poll at the end!
The bottle. The freaking dreaded bottle. I never experienced this nightmare with the boys, but now that I have, I have complete and utter respect and empathy for anyone who has also experienced this. She wouldn’t take a bottle when we started trying around 3 or 4 weeks after we established breastfeeding. I worked my tush off daily for a good 6-8 weeks by trying one bottle a day for 2 hours at a time so that she’d be ready to transition to my mom’s care once I went back to work for the end of the school year. For those two hours that we’d try each day, she’d fight it with every ounce in her body, and let me tell you, seeing that little teeny body with all that fight in it was both heart wrenching and impressive at the same time. We tried every bottle imaginable, from Dr. Brown’s to Comotomo to Olababy to Brezza. I’d go to Target and pull any brand bottle off the end cap displays to try. We tried all different temperatures from room temp to warm to hot to cold. LOL, cold. Finally after two months she just took to it one day with Nuk Natural Flow bottles (thanks Target end cap!). And she took it like a champ…for like two weeks. And just as spontaneously as she started, she decided she had enough and just plain stopped. She’s smart too, rather than wasting energy and fighting it, she’d just play with it in her mouth, spit it out, or blow raspberries with it, or just go to sleep to get out of having to take it. And because by this point daycares were closed and schools were closed, I didn’t have to send her to my mom. Flash forward to today; now school’s out for summer and we are still unsuccessfully trying (every other day because I just don’t have the energy to try every day). So, quarantine baby or diva baby?
The attachment to mommy/fear of others. I know, I know. This one is nothing to complain about. I actually love everything about this one. But Luca and Dominic were such independent infants, I wasn’t used to having my little bow need me, and only me (ok, sometimes dad too) 24/7. In fact, I remember two summers ago, I’d find a shady spot in the grass at the splash pad and lay Dominic down on a towel while I went towards the water to keep an eye on Luca, and I would literally watch him from 20 yards away (bad mom?!) and he’d be totally content for hours. Tessa not so much. Once we started to come out of house arrest softly (aka quarantine) and start to socialize (practicing social distancing, of course) with immediate family like grandparents and siblings, I was blindsided. My happy, cuddly, relaxed baby girl was now uncomfortable in new places. If it wasn’t our house or our yard, she’d tear up and panic. And I’m the type that needs to make it out of the house and stay busy to maintain my sanity, so I was so used to just toting the boys around with me as we did things when I was on maternity leave with them. And now, as we have furthered our social circle to close friends and family, anytime someone else is holding Tessa, and I’m in sight, she whines and cries. The one time I went to finally get a haircut and color (alone time!!!!) and left all the kids, including Tessa, with Gammy, she screamed and cried unless my mom showed her to her brothers to remind her she was with people she knew. Another time I left her with Nana so Mike and I could run to the grocery store, and she apparently screamed her lungs out once she realized I was gone. With that being said, I’ve had no problem being selfish and keeping her all to myself, but I am a little worried for if and when she ever starts daycare…no bottle AND stranger danger?! Poor Miss Darcy (shout out to our most amazing childcare provider!!)!! So, quarantine baby or diva baby?