prince hal

It's thunderstorming right now which feels pretty wonderful.  Clark says guess what, the plants are taking a shower.  They are.  Good for them.  I think it would feel physically nice to be a plant, probably thin and flexible and dancery. It would get pretty boring though.

I have posted on twitter a few times about Hal and all of his needs.  High needs.  I think he is technically a high needs baby (he is everything on that list), but I feel like I have to clarify that he isn't nonstop fussy or unhappy or driving me crazy.  If I had to describe him, I'd say he just seems annoyed that he is a baby.  He wants to be big.  He wants to walk and talk.  He wants to feed himself.  He is happy and smart and he has great motor skills and he waves and tries to say "hi" and smiles a ton and is so, so ticklish.  But his emotions are Big and he lets you know how he feels.  He is intense and energetic.  He never stops moving.  Trying to co-sleep with him is like trying to sleep with a raccoon.  And he wakes up every morning somewhere around 4am and stays awake yelling and wiggling and doing the raccoon thing for hours, until the big kids wake and it is a new day.  And he KEEPS ME UP all of that time.  UP and AWAKE, most of the night! So I am very very tired and grouchy until about 11 every morning.  I have to drink my coffee and put my makeup on and get dressed and stare myself in the mirror and repeat that I Can Do Stuff before I start feeling like a normal human being.  I'm not dying or miserable or anything with all of this.  I am mostly perplexed, slightly amused, slightly frustrated, and tired.  But whatever, whenever I look at him, greet him, or talk to him, I smile.  And talk babytalk.  And pinch his little cheeks and he always smiles back and laughs, even if then he goes right back to yelling at me like he's in charge of my life, which I guess he kind of is right now.


Do or did you have a high needs baby?  Did they stay kind of fussy or get a little easier as they learned to talk and walk?  My theory is that Hal will sleep better when he can do the things he wants to do and be independent, but my belief is rooted mostly in hope. Clark was/is a spirited toddler and preschooler but a pretty average sweet baby.  Alice was a very mellow baby, really as easy as can be, and is kind of a pill nowadays though still very cuddly.  Ahhhh, these unique complicated baby kids!  It's like they're little PEOPLE or something!

Edited to add!  I almost forgot to include the fact that Hal is eight months old today.  He is.  Eight months.  Also wanted to include this video because Luke and I looked right at each other when we saw it and said, "THAT IS SO HAL" to each other  This is so Hal.  Ha.


  1. Just posted about this sorta thing... G is definitely high needs, at bed time especially. Things get difficult when anyone else is putting her to bed. I'm trying to get over a few hurdles, but mostly she wants me and I'm ok with that. I figure she's only so small for so long <3

  2. Faith was most definitely absolutely a high needs baby.
    In retrospect I think she probably had reflux and still screamed non-stop even though I cut out dairy.
    I was such a clueless new mom, not knowing what the hell was wrong.
    It was beyond stressful. But I was rewarded because Elliott and Otto were the easiest babies ever.

  3. High needs? Ah, so that's the label I was missing when Punkin was a babe? Yes, yes, I would say so. And that is also why he is an only child. And I'm not even kidding. I felt overwhelmed and stressed out all of the time. He did have some health things to go along with it (allergies, ee, and who knows what else), but it was enough to make me put off having another baby for a really, really long time.

    Anyway, hang in there... it does get better the older they get! It sounds like you're handling it much better than I did!

  4. oh gosh. i think if people were around us for very long, they would think lucy is high needs.

    i would definitely say she is needy, but i don't consider her "high needs" -- i mean, i lay her down in her bed awake and she goes right to sleep. and sleeps crappy during the day but great at night.

    but when she's awake? she is very very very needy.

    i, also, think a lot of it is that she wants to be mobile, but she won't be put down long enough to figure out exactly how to do that.

    today, she layed on her belly, arms flailing out like the ground was burning hot or something ... and screamed for 10 minutes, because i had to make lunch for emma and go to the bathroom and just not have a baby on me for 10 minutes.

    and she also doesn't whine or fuss a little bit. she screams. bloody. murder.

    but also, the first three months were so hellacious that i honestly feel like right now? this is a cakewalk. even if i have to hold her about 6 hours more a day than i had to hold emma, i think that's good!

    and hal is so much more advanced than lucy, i think he is just crazy about life and ready to go!

  5. Nine months? Isn't he eight months old? What a smart little sweetheart. He's a go-getter. He wants to be like his cool big siblings so badly. That is understandable. They are pretty cute. I think my first baby is high needs, so I have no clue what to compare it to, but he is forceful about his needs, and he wants to do stuff and throws tantrums like people talk about toddlers throwing tantrums, and he doesn't forget when we try to redirect him, and he is amazingly vigorous. Sounds a lot like Hal.

    Cute baby Hal. I wish I was there to see him laugh wildly when you tickle him. I can hardly want to see that little wild man.

  6. I used to say that my son was "a baby with a to do list" He always had something going on. Luckily, he slept well and was generally good but active. My 2nd child had colic for 6 months. Now that was something I still can't find the words for so I get high needs vs. colic. Once he was able to really direct himself I got a little break from it. Of course, that was around 2.5 Good luck!

  7. That video is hilarious. I cannot WAIT to get my hands on that boy. Though I suspect he won't ever actually let me hold him. But I can still give up a mean tickle. I feel the pain of your lack of sleep, but I do have to say that you are clearly the perfect mama for this kid. The way you appreciate each of your kids for who they are is awesome.

  8. lennon was a needier baby than noel, for sure. he wanted to be held, by me, all. the. time. he was also very high functioning in motor skills early and i think it was frustrating. he started walking around 10 months, and we also stopped co-sleeping with him around then, and he got much, much easier (in some respects). i think some babies are better co-sleepers than others. lennon was raccoon-like too, and after 10 months of no sleep, i had to decide-sanity or no more co-sleeping. anyway, he is now a very funny, spirited, still feisty 3 year old, and it will continue to get easier as he continues to learn and grow (i hope!!).

  9. had to come back and say ... that penguin video is HYSTERICAL. oh my goodness.

  10. When Evie was about a month old, I googled "grumpy baby." I kid you not. lol She was soo annoyed about being a baby, it was insane.

    Today my mom and I crack up about it because she has turned into the happiest (and craziest) little girl ever.

    Now watch little Logan come out all smiles and sunshine and then torture me later. Only time will tell.

  11. "he just seems annoyed that is a baby" This is the best description I've ever heard about high-needs kids. I wouldn't say my son was high needs, but he definitely had his moments from about 1-2. Looking back, I think if we lived in a warmer climate we wouldn't have had any issues. His natural state was just "in motion" and that gets pretty tough in a tiny house in a midwestern winter.

  12. I typed a huge comment but then it got eaten, so I'll just say, yes, I feel you. I have an almost 12-month-old and am pretty sure he's high-needs. He will not go to sleep at night unless he has a bottle and rocked. I have never successfully gotten him to go to sleep by just laying him down drowsy. Nope, he throws a tantrum like a 2yo with flailing arms and legs. And if he's not dead-to-the-world asleep when I put him in his bed, I've just ruined all the progress I've made and we have to start all over. Ugh. He thinks he's a big boy. He can't walk yet but doesn't care...he takes risks. I foresee broken limbs in my future. He'll only play nicely by himself if he's in the mood and he'll definitely let you know when he's not in the mood. He never liked babywearing (would only stay in for 30 minutes max and then wanted out), so I never got anything done when he was smaller. He wants to eat off your plate, not his own (he begs like a dog). He's just sooooooo demanding. But he's so much fun too. He loves big and smiles constantly and makes funny faces. I'm tired but happy. And he's a lot easier now than he was when he was smaller. It gets easier every day.

    Okay, so that was still long.

  13. I haven't read the comments but Hal sounds exactly like... a THIRD child. IF my third child (Gray) is typical. Hard to say. But, I think no matter what the personality he was born with, those two older siblings play a big role/ in the attention he gets from them, wants from them, you , and just figuring out this world where his body isn't catching up to his mind (I always say Gray is that little dog that thinks he's a big dog).

    Just my experience. I wore gray a lot- even in the night/morning. Whatever I could do to just get by. He's still got his quirks but he is awesome. I'm tired. I have no idea if any of this makes sense.

  14. My Sammy was just like that! I tried co-sleeping but it felt like he was 'possessed' -flipping, wiggling, turning non-stop, and then he would get up at 5 am and ready to start the day, while i was ready for a 12 hour nap. Sleep - he never cared for it. It got easier when he started walking and then easier yet when he started to talk. we couldn't wait, seriously. Now he is always on the go, loud, creative and bursting with energy, and sleeps better too, but still gets up earlier that anybody. He is almost 5. I wouldn't change a thing (except for getting up at 5 am perhaps) :) wishing you some restful nights!

  15. Did you ever see that Family Guy episode where Stewie is all, "...LOIS LOIS LOIS LOIS LOIS MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA MUMMY MUMMY MUMMY MUMMY MUMMY MUMMY..."? That's Viola.

    I'm coming your way, cupcake. I think it's time our high-needs babies meet. Third week in May?

  16. First, I want to say I love your blog, and your open honesty. I'm not sure how I even stumbled upon your blog but I instantly added you to my Google Reader :)

    Hal sounds much like my 2nd born, Jack. I always called Jack a cranky baby, but now in retrospect I think he was bored. When he learned to crawl at 10 months things got a little better. Once he learned to walk at 12 months HE WAS THE HAPPIEST TODDLER EVER! He could entertain himself for hours. He is a very kind, gentled hearted, high energy 2 1/2 year old now. The best I could do to suffice him during that rough time was move from room to room throughout the house as soon as he got cranky, lots of time in a sling, and about 3 walks a day. He loved going on walks and riding in the car!

    He was also never a cuddler, he was Mr. Independant. So he slept much better on his own in the crib.

    If Hal is a restless sleeper or seems uncomfortable, have you ever tried a chiropractor? It has worked wonders on my children!! I started talking all 3 of my kiddos at infancy whenever they seemed extra fussy and it fixed them right up!

    Just try to savor the positive moments as they all fly by so quickly!

  17. Your theory is pretty correct in our case. Tommy is totally high needs. Once he began walking (okay, running), he started sleeping through the night. He is still awake by six am at the LATEST and is ready to go the moment he springs out of bed, but at least he doesn't wake up at night anymore!

  18. When it comes to parenting, I am 10 months ahead of you, I suspect. My kid? It's Nola, my middle.

    High needs. Nothing bad of course, just more needs than the other 2.

  19. so that's what it's called! ezra is also every single thing on that list. he eats all the time. and when this baby cries? it's more like blood-curtling screams that signal to my neighbors that i must be shaking him violently. and that hypertonic thing is SO EZRA. at first, i was worried he had some muscular issue, but he's just got some serious energy and wants to GO GO GO. hal and ezra are so alike, it's crazy. henry wasn't like this. this is all new territory for me, but it's so good to know it's normal and i am not alone.

  20. Hi, I've been reading for a while and I've never commented but this post struck a chord with me! I once said something along the lines of my first son Tristan being pissed off about being a baby, that he was like a little man trapped in a baby's body, so I get what you mean! He was DEFINITELY "high needs"!

    As soon as he started walking, at around 11 months, he changed dramatically. The more he was able to DO the easier he was to deal with. He was definitely more satisfied with himself, the little rascal! :) I hope your little guy gets easier, and he's lucky to have such a patient Mama!

  21. My first was high needs. And even though he is 5 1/2 he is still pretty darn demanding! I thought the exact thing about my son not wanting to or liking being a baby! He just wanted to get on with his life! And really, that's still the case, expect instead of walking and talking, it's reading and writing. It's not like he was super-fussy, but just easily frustrated. Like any mom, I just try to help him the best way I can. But it was and still can be absolutely maddening!

  22. i was talking with a friend this morning becuase his baby started teething and he didn't get any sleep last night. i just looked at him. finn JUST started sleeping through the night a few months ago. she's three. i spent three years not sleeping more than a few hours a night. so, yeah, i understand the high needs.
    the transition to high needs toddler is much harder for me to deal with. because we're now at the point where she has to learn that the world doesn't revolve around every tiny emotion she feels and that screaming is not always the best response to a situation. but she's three.
    i'm probably not making sense. three is so hard.
    hal, however, is so damn cute.
    as are you.

  23. i remember that list of traits in a high needs baby ... yep. that was my stella. my NOW FINALLY seven year old stella.
    she didn't sleep through the night until age 3. yes. you heard me right. she finally slept through the night for the first time when i was pregnant and almost due with her baby sister.
    and now?
    she is the most precocious girl. she's smart beyond years. she's a wise old soul. she gets things that many adults don't see. and yet ... she will probably always be a black and white personality. hot and cold. full and empty. she just is. it's so hard. and yet ... so amazing ... though most days right now it just feels hard.
    i get this. i understand. xoxo, friend.