Dear Copperhead,

If we look up the word defiant in a dictionary I’m fairly certain your photo would be alongside it. Or at least, that’s what I would have said last week. I won’t lie, we’ve been a bit exasperated with your antagonistic behaviour of late. The only way we have recently described you is as strong willed, with Hubby asking me where you could possibly have gotten that quality from.

Your big brother didn’t provoke me in a confrontational way. He didn’t deliberately do the opposite of what I asked, or seem to have an obvious dislike for positive encouragement. He never lashed out by hitting and that’s something I’ve struggled with the most. Your little sister is like him and so I’m feeling challenged in more ways than one.


It’s not nice when a parent sees one of their children hit their sibling but I understand it is also a natural part of growing up. What I’ve really took issue with is when you have tried to slap me. Mainly because your eyes seem to flash with pure hostility and you’re momentarily a force to be reckoned with. It comes out of nowhere and to be honest, it’s pretty menacing.

I started using my voice to try and control such times. I even developed a finger point in order to get what I was saying across. Using a loud tone always worked with Little Man but you didn’t even flinch, and when you did this back to me the other night I realised that I was dealing with it all wrong. When anger meets anger nobody wins. I had to take the evening to decide my next strategy.

During my night of thinking I recalled how my good friend once confided in me how his daughter, who had spent a similar time as you in NICU, was just so angry as a child. I remember how we discussed if it was perhaps because she wasn’t touched and held by her parents, that early medical intervention, although necessary, isn’t exactly natural.

You can’t communicate with us by talking and while I can appreciate that your temperament could simply be on the hot headed side, maybe your entry into this world does have something to do with it. I can’t help but think that maybe my Post Natal Depression has had some influence too. Whatever the reason, I refuse to continue to butt heads with you in this way.


The past few days I’ve reacted with a soft voice. When you went to strike me I just held you and gently said that we don’t hit. Within seconds you had melted into my arms. This seemed to work and as I continue to treat you with calmness your frustration seems to have eased. If anything you’ve been going out of your way to be with me. I’d describe you as clingy, at least more than usual.

You’ve not purposely thrown your food on the floor and the mood swings have noticeably lessened. You’ve been more affectionate and an absolute pleasure. I can’t help but wonder if you’ve just been mimicking what you’ve seen from me, this past year or so. I guess time will tell as I continue to get better and resume my normal actions AND reactions.



You are undoubtedly headstrong, like me, but being spirited is far from a bad thing. In fact, it’s one of the things I love about you. You beat to the sound of your own drum and I hope you never lose that quality.

I never want to be at odds with you, even though I suppose it will inevitably happen at times. I love you, I want the best for you and trust me when I say, being able to control your temper is invaluable. Let’s manage our responses together sweetie, and bring that patient tranquility back into our home.

K x




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