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). You don’t put the toilet paper on the roll and it’s not out of laziness.

2). You have to eat dessert in your pantry because you don’t want to share.

3). You feel like Elmo’s voice was created as punishment for sins you must have committed in a past life.

4). Yes I would like some cheese with that whine.

5). At any adult function you find yourself humming the song from their favorite light up toy.

6). You’ve probably already used the phrase “let’s keep our pants on” at least twice today.

7). They can sense when bedtime is approaching and will instantly lay on the charm.

8). Their favorite food from yesterday is now grotesque and officially offensive.

9). Kisses are better than Band-Aids, but not better than stickers.

10). You did absolutely nothing to help the drought in California since bath time could last for hours or until the hot water ran out.

11). All small chairs shall be called “potties”.

12). Play dates are now a gamble ever since sharing was invented.

13). Everyday you play a game called “disguise the vegetables”.

14). Your days of using curse words are over, hello “shoot” and “darn”.

15). When other people use the expression “Terrible Twos” you kind of want to punch them a little bit.

16). You have to apologize to strangers who smile and say hi because all they get in return is the stink eye.

17). There are only one or two particular books on the agenda and the rest are simply unacceptable.

18). At any given moment a spontaneous dance party could breakout.

19). Quiet places are for screaming.

20). It is the worst day of their life because you gave them the red cup instead of the green one. Oh look, bubbles!

21). Bubbles.

22). It’s their world and you are just lucky to be living in it.



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Bad Advice

This go around, I have finally recognized that I am the gate keeper. There are no set rules that dictate the do’s and don't s of parenting my children so I am eliminating the following pieces of bad advice:  

1). A baby only cries for a reason

Lie. Sometimes you can try simultaneously: soothing, feeding, burping, singing, rocking, or changing your baby and they will still cry. Don’t beat yourself up when you have tried everything, tag your partner in and quickly locate some ice cream.

2). Wait 6 to 8 weeks before introducing a pacifier or a bottle  

You might as well Velcro your baby to your boob because you will be their only source of food and comfort for the next year, and likely until they start college.

3). Don’t vaccinate your children

If you listen to this advice, you don’t have time to be reading my blog. You should be out researching cures for diseases such as Polio and Small Pox. Oh wait, they already exist.

4). Don’t exercise for 6 weeks

Unfortunately, you cannot consider breastfeeding a form of exercise. While you shouldn’t be doing squats or bench pressing anything, it’s amazing what a walk can do for your mental health after feeling like you’ve been under quarantine since you gave birth.

5). Your toddler is trying to manipulate you

While obviously my toddler is a genius and capable of more than most well trained Labradors, manipulation assumes that toddlers have the ability to use a part of their brain that hasn't actually developed yet. It would be like saying your baby was kicking you in utero before he developed limbs. Sometimes toddlers are tiny terrors, but that's why they make them so gosh darn adorable. 

6). Get your newborn on a schedule

A newborn eats every two hours. Wrong! They eat on demand and sometimes that can be every 15 minutes. The only item scheduled into you day for the first months should be humming the mantra, “Stay calm, this too shall pass”.

Parenting is all about trial and error. Sometimes you gain a nugget of insight from a fellow Mom or from your past parenting experience which becomes a life saver. Other times you simply have to kiss your baby and throw the bad advice out with the bathwater. 

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