Erich and I are very much the parents of one child. Fortunately, we know it and are pretty self-conscious about it. As such, we take absolutely no credit for Lily's many wonderful traits. Conveniently, this frees us from taking credit for her many less-than-desirable traits.
Lily is what many would call a "good" baby. She only cries if she is physically hurt, she loves people, she plays with toys the way they're meant to be played with, and she generally has a very even temperament. Our mothers tell us that Erich and I were the same way as babies, so it's not very shocking that we have such an agreeable child.
Tonight, because Erich is out of town, I took my overtired baby to an election party because I needed a break. She was a complete doll. I could tell she was extremely tired: The staring eyes, the yawns, they give her away. Yet people expect a baby to turn fussy and become a terror when she's getting close to bedtime. So when they know she's super tired and THIS is what she's like when she's sleep deficient, people start laying on the compliments. I acknowledge my luck and move on.
Absolutely nothing I do as a mother makes her this way. And you know what? She challenges me. I struggle. The reason she was so overtired in the first place was that she only napped for one hour this morning and utterly refused an afternoon nap. She did act super tired for about three hours, but for whatever reason, she never would sleep. And I confess I lost my temper.
So no matter how "good" my baby is, I don't have the easiest time in the world. And that makes us normal! If I survive till she's two, she'll probably be quite terrible by then. And I will not be surprised. And I will not accept any blame!