Lessons Learned with Baby #2, a year later...

Baby Tickle is about to turn one this week. ONE! Uno! The big 0-1! I can't believe it. I really can't.

Here is the t-shirt I made for Tickle's first birthday (my design, my mom sewed it all together):

Here's a list of some reflections on having a second child versus being a new mommy with the first:
* Having the second is like a nice friendly warm and tingly big huge slap in the face. It's a reality check that wipes the smug first-time mom grin off your smug little "I'm such a good mom!" face, because you realize that everything you did the first time around was a ridiculous waste of time.
* You do take as many photos with the second child. They just might not make it into the albums alphabetized, categorized by events, or even thrown into the albums at all. But they exist and that deserves a round of applause.
* Sleep training is a bunch of crap devised by "authors" who have no idea what it is like to actually try any of those stupid "get baby to sleep while drowsy" methods within this decades. It's normal for babies to wake several times throughout the night (heck, we do too!) and now I would like all of that wasted time I spent trying to institute schedules with the first back now, please.
*Babies schedules change. All the time. It's the only constant.
* Don't wake a sleeping baby, no matter what. If you do, and this is your second child, you are an idiot who did not learn this lesson the first time around.
* Who has time to wash that spoon that just fell on the ground? A good wiping on my napkin or a lick by the dog works just fine.
* Milestones are for suckers and yet another tool to keep mothers overwrought with fear that their child (and themselves as mothers) are not "normal."
* Babies cry. You do not need to spend two hours trying to decipher whether your baby is doing the hungry, tired, too hot, too cold, uncomfortable, or gassy cry. Your child will be even more mad at you for wasting this time, and thus, cry harder.
* There is no time to worry with the second child. You know they will fall, they will cry, they will eventually sleep, and they will learn to smile, walk, talk, point, giggle, play games in their own due time. Babies are smart like that.
*The love between siblings is so much more incredible to witness than anyone ever could have prepared us for.
* There is so much more love with two. It's a different kind of love for each, but a massive, bellowing, embracing, giddy mad, mad love nonetheless. And it's breathtaking to look at the subjects of said love and realize that they are yours, and you are theirs, and nothing else matters.

Also, I have learned that the second time around more so than the first, I have ZERO tolerance for unsolicited advice. My kids were born somehow smarter than the books: the bribes and trickery and silly games don't work, so don't try to Nanny 9-1-1 my ass anytime I even
so much as breathe a sliver of a complaint. I'm going to complain. I have two very active, very loud, very sassy and brilliant little kids who are adorable and fun and also very, very tiring. Their goal each day is to see which one can wear me out the most, and on most days, they tie. So I'm going to complain. But this time around, it's not to get tips. I know the tips, and I know what works and what doesn't. I don't care if you use your mindgames on your kids, just don't try them on mine without expecting the "Oh, puh-leaze, woman! How dumb do you think I am?" looks. Really, my kids have perfected that look.

Tickle will get a super warm and fuzzy post in our private family letters to the kids, don't worry. This post is just from me, as a mom to two, to any of you moms out there who may be reading this. It really is a million times harder having two. I have heard that the jump from two to three kids isn't as hard. Well, that's great. I think I will take other people's word for that and not test it out on my own.


Out of his shell

Baby Boo is no longer a baby. He'll be FOUR this summer! Damn. I remember being out at a playdate with him last year when he just turned three. He was still very hesitant for the first, oh, hour or sometimes hour and a half, of being anyplace new or anyplace with lots of people or anyplace after a nap. He clung to me. He whined. He threw magnificent tantrums that made me want to stand up and clap with a hearty "Bravo!" after he was done. The tantrums were truly acts worthy of Oscars. A mama friend with two boys stood by my side at this specific playdate and said to me kindly, "You know, my son was the same way and he didn't really come out of his shell until he turned four. Then it was like a switch was flipped and he is now this outgoing, cheerful child."

Hmph. I am a skeptic. Especially of fellow mamas' advice because I've learned that I breed the kids that like to throw all common advice that works for every other kid out the window with a defiant "HA! Take that, stupid advice! You won't work with ME!"

But then, something happened. In the last few months, a switch was flipped, and the son that my husband and I have known since he was born has finally started to come out and play with the rest of the world outside of our house. Boo has always been loud, hyper, cheerful, imaginative, super playful and hella funny at home and with us. Now he is this way everywhere we go. It has been amazing to watch, and it almost makes me tear up now as I write this. Almost. The caffeine shooting through the IV right now to get me going in the morning is drying out any tears. But I digress. Having others now see the amazing little boy that we have always known is such a treat. Watching him go about his entire day with such confidence now -- it's the best high I could ask for right now.

I'm so proud of you Boo. You've really come into your own. And it's like my mama friend said, right around your 4th birthday. Except like the rebel you are, you came out of your shell a little earlier. Good for you, my man.


anniversaries and the great weaning challenge

Today is our 7th wedding anniversary, although this year we will have been together for 15 years. Holy cow that's nuts. I feel old. I don't know who that is in our wedding photos. Having kids definitely ages you! :)

In other family news, I'm trying to start to wean our baby girl but she's not stopping without a fight. She is fine during the day: nurses in the morning and then again at night and that's it, but she still wants to nurse during the night. I'm tired. My back hurts. I just want the magic wand to wave and presto! She's instantly weaned and sleeps through the night with no problem!

Yeah. If any mama out there has a baby/toddler/kid under age 3 who honestly sleeps 12 hours a night without waking up once at all, then either
a) you're lying
b) you have a robot child
c) my mama friends and I all hate you and don't want to hear it