There are things that I never knew to appreciate about a baby until I had a second one. A lot of it has to do with understanding the differences between a baby and a toddler, and while I have less time to sit and bask in the glory of my tiniest human, I gratefully recognize what I missed in my new mom fog two years ago.
1). I don’t have to work for a smile.
Most times I can just look at Madeleine and she smiles at me. One time I smiled at Charlotte and she simply shook her head and said, “No Mama.”
2). Babies can literally sleep anywhere through anything.
Getting a toddler to sleep requires more steps than assembling Ikea furniture.
3). Babies are a cheap date.
I simply pack up my boobs with me and go. Toddlers need snacks, a beverage, meals and more snacks.
4). I can eat or drink anything without having to share.
I am back to my pre-pregnancy weight thanks to a lot of hard work with #Fit4Mom but also because I'm on a strict toddler implemented diet plan called half portions or "my cracker".
5). Babies are low maintenance.
Toddlers needs are incredibly random and yet very specific. For example I wanted Charlotte to wear a bow in her hair for gymnastics to keep her hair out of her eyes. It had to be the bow with the cupcakes on it that was downstairs, but first we had to cry about it, ruffle our freshly brushed hair, and then I had to come up with some sort of bribery exchange where she would wear it but only for an actual cupcake (for more examples see “Why is my Toddler Crying”). Little does Charlotte know that the “cupcakes” I make are actually muffins with vegetables in them.
Now when I hold my baby, I know to appreciate her just as she is in that moment and I watch her for a few seconds longer in hopes that I can slow down the clock. I’ve learned that if I look up too fast, she’ll be a toddler.