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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Is She a Good Baby?

We've been asked many times since J was born, "Is she a good baby?" Actually, every time we have a new baby we are asked that question multiple times. You would think I would know how to answer it by now, but I don't! Every single time, it gives me pause. Sometimes I answer the question with a question, "what do you mean by 'good baby'?"

Both my pause and my question always surprise the person asking. But seriously, what is the definition of a good baby? Some have said a "good baby" is one who doesn't cry much and lets us sleep at night. Well, baby J doesn't fit that definition, so does that mean she is by default a "bad baby"? I should say not!

So most often, when asked this question, I respond with, "She's a normal baby. She eats, poops, cries, and likes to be held a lot." Babies are a gift from God, even if they are colicky, spit up all over the place, and get up several times a night. Having a newborn isn't easy, but it's a precious season of life that won't last long.

(One time I was sick of hearing this question--maybe it was the sleep deprivation--so I really surprised someone by saying she was born with a sinful nature like the rest of us, so no, she's not good, just like none of us is good. True, but probably not the answer they were looking for! But maybe they'll think twice before asking that question again!)


Anonymous said...

Jessica, I loved both your answers to the question. I think people ask that question because it's one of those questions that is a 'no brainer' question. They want to talk to the mom about their baby but don't really know what to say. Mostly I think they want to know if said baby sleeps thru the night, like you said. But I agree with you, it should be asked straight out,'does your baby cry, does your baby sleep thru-out the night, ect.'
You can always throw out that quick answer, "Yes, she is a good baby", then they can talk about how cute she is....
By the way, she is adorable!
Lisa Knapp

Anonymous said...

This post made me laugh out loud unlike anything in a long time. I guess I relate a lot right now!

I have the same reaction as you do to that question. Some of ours have been more difficult than others, but we would never refer to them as 'bad'.


Maria said...

That question always made me pause too. I loved reading the last answer. lol

Ambervanness5 said...

Jessica, geez, I didn't really know I offended you when I asked that question. I'm guessing you were talking about me in this post since you were very crabby with me when I was simply just wanting to know how things were going with you and your newborn. It was totally not my intention to upset you. I guess it's just a simple, easy, friendly way of asking "how are you doing? Is she keeping you up a lot? Does she cry a lot? Is she even tempered?" Of course, I wouldn't ever expect you to say "no, she's a bad baby", and of course they are a gift from God, but since all babies are just a little bit different, I guess it's more of just a generic way to ask how the baby is doing or if there was anything you were struggling with...or perhaps how she acts as a baby, compared to your other's a figure of speech, really. Not something to get so upset about. I was asked that question a lot too, and though I didn't always know exactly how to answer it, I did welcome the question because it simply means the person asking it cares how you are doing and how you are adjusting to life with a new baby. As I said, it's just a figure of speech...nobody really thinks your baby is "bad" and yes, I already knew that we are all born sinners but thanks for the reminder. Also, do you get mad about the question "how's life?" You could argue that life is great because God made life and get all upset when someone asked you that question too. Another figure of speech.

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