Babyhood 2.0

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. 

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1). One was beginning to feel like only a moderate challenge and you fancy yourself an over-achiever.

2). You created some sort of genetic marvel on your first and you wanted to see if lightening really can strike twice.

3). Your toddler started carrying around food simply so the dogs will “play with her”.

4). Sleep is for suckers and you feel comfortable pushing the boundaries of the caffeine content in your breast milk.

5). “Mommies of Two” felt like a much cooler cult than “Mommies of One” and you desperately wanted to learn the secret handshake.

6). You missed your snuggle partner and your toddler will now only hug you when she wants something.

On most days it looks like this

On most days it looks like this

7). You figured your social life was already down the toilet since you now have to beg the checkout clerk for adult conversation.

8). You already purchased what you call the “mini-SUV” because a “Soccer Mom Van” is out of the question.

9). Any family pack of ticket always come with 4 and it’s just wasteful to throw out an “extra ticket”. 

10). MTV was offering a reality show for moms with a newborn and a toddler, but that idea got canceled when they realized nobody would watch that.

Sometimes it looks like this

Sometimes it looks like this

In all seriousness, there is no one right reason to expand your family (but there are unlimited wrong ones) and if you are anything like our family we thank our lucky stars every day that we did. 

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The Curse of the Good Baby

I already took a gamble with the title, but if you are reading this, then I can only assume that you are: a. intrigued b. have a good baby yourself or c. my own mother. I will start off by saying how blessed I am. Everyone prays for health, happiness and a “good baby”. What does this really mean? Sleeps through the night, doesn’t cry with unfamiliar people, is flexible, naps well, and is genuinely happy. I can check all those boxes. Did I mention she has one dimple? (I sincerely apologize to all the brand new moms. If I came across this at 1 month, I literally would have screamed while throwing a pacifier and you can too, but that's only because you are no longer familiar with R.E.M. sleep. Let's chat again in a few months). Now that your eyes have glazed over, I am going to tell you why this is a curse. After the good baby, there is no direction to go but down. Any future siblings will have to compete with the wonderment that is Charlotte. This is the hard battle I must fight, but I will prevail.

She even smiles for the camera.

She even smiles for the camera.

My best friend was also blessed with the curse, and while she was pregnant with her second she would have people on the street tell her how difficult her next baby would be. Oh you won’t get another one that sleeps through the night. There are no boundaries when it comes to how people talk to pregnant women; inappropriate reaches new heights; rivaled only by how people talk to new parents. Whenever I tell others about my good baby they proceed to tell me how challenging one of their children was with colic or chronic diaper rash. I’m not sure if this is because they are waiting for me to give them a high five for powering through it or if they are just looking for a hug. However, I am aware that babies can be tough. Even good babies have their moments; like when Charlotte hits an octave that makes Macie howl and I haven’t yet had a cup of coffee. To my last remaining reader (hi mom): no baby fits perfectly into any one category and yet they each provide enough joy to last a lifetime. In parenthood you will see the good, the bad, and the ugly, so be prepared. At some point your baby will be good, the diapers will be bad, and the stink eye you give someone when they tell you to enjoy it now since she will give you all kinds of trouble in her teen years, should most definitely be ugly. 

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