I know I complain a lot about my kid, but mostly I'm just kidding. The truth is, she's nothing more and nothing less than herself. She needs to be picked up more often than other babies. She has an unpredictable sleep schedule. She may or may not eat when food is placed in front of her. Sometimes she nurses 3 or 4 times at night.
She also does a lot of really cool stuff. She usually asks for the potty (even at restaurants) when she has to pinch one off. I can count on one hand the dirty diapers I change in a month. She says a lot of words, always knows when it's her dad on the phone, recognizes pictures of her grandparents, and always knows to say "Bop" (pop) right after she says Nan. When her Baby Einstein video says the word "friend", she looks at me and says "Mai?" because Mai is the little girl next door, her best friend.
So, high needs, low needs, mad skills, no skills, she just is what she is. The hard part of my job is having the patience to deal with the times when her "flaws" seem the greatest. That gets me to thinking about labels again (click), and how we tend to label benign traits according to how convenient or inconvenient they are for us. For example, Myriam needs a great deal of attention and physical contact. Some people call it needy, clingy, or say she's too dependant. But you could also see this trait as securly attatched, bonded, or loving. Another example is when we go out places, or have new people visit our home; she takes a while to relax and be at ease. She's really "sensitive". Or shy. Or a scaredy-cat. Or, as I would rather see it, she's very perceptive, and aware of her surroundings. She's not a wimp, she has an analytical mind, and needs to figure things out before she's fully comfortable.
See what I'm getting at here? None of these traits are either negative or positive, but the words we attach to the traits give them a good or a bad value. It's a classic glass half full, glass half empty scenario. Personally, when describing my daughter, and life in general, I'd much rather be going around with my glass half full. And when there's only a drop left in the bottom, I want to exclaim "Sweet! There's still a drop left in here!".