Different

Whenever I have a conversation with a friend who already has more than one child, the topic of how different they all are from one another always comes up. Little Johnny did x, y and z. Little Susie did none of those, she did a, b and c instead.

The basic feeling you leave this conversation with each time is HOLY LORD, my baby was such an awesome sleeper / eater / pooper / bather / babysitter stayer-wither that surely, SURELY, another child will just be hell.

I’m trying not to psych myself out too much on the subject. But, there are a few things I’m starting to wonder about as Life With Two Children creeps closer and closer.

Here’s a list of the things Bowie never did:

1. Spit up. Never. Really, he literally never did.

2. Require formula. Breastfed like a champ. Took me a few weeks to get used to it, but he was right there from day 1.

3. Need to go to the emergency room. Not once! Well, knock on wood, the kid is only 4. But I read about people having to take their infant to the ER and I can feel the terror in my veins.

4. Get constipated. Never. Not once. Oh the horror stories I’ve read about babies who can’t poop.

And some things Bowie thankfully did spectacularly:

1. Slept. At first it was the typical newborn wake-every-two-hours routine. But, within a month he was sleeping 4 hours at a time overnight, and slept through the night at 3 months old.

2. Like I said, breastfed. Zero issues. 13 months. Nailed it.

3. Self soothed with a pacifier. As a wee one, he had trouble keeping it in his mouth. But, it always worked to help soothe him to sleep. See also: didn’t become a thumbsucker.

4. Didn’t get attached to a lovey. I kind of secretly hoped he would. It’s just cute. I also assumed he would, as for a time in my own childhood I couldn’t leave the house without my stuffed Bugs Bunny, two small stuffed dogs and two blankets. But now I’m pretty glad, both because I’ve never had the “WHERE’S THE LOVEY?” bedtime scare, and also it says a lot about his confidence.

5. Transition to a toddler bed. SEAMLESS. Well, he fell out the first few nights. But after that ended: SEAMLESS.

So, I kind of have a mini heart attack whenever I think about having to do these things all over again with Little Man #2. Clearly it won’t go they way it did before. There’s just no way we could be that lucky twice.

And there are some things Bowie didn’t do well at all. Like not even a little bit:

1. Potty training. Holy hell you guys, it took us an entire year and a half to get this kid fully, completely, wearing-underpants-instead-of-Pull-Ups potty trained. When people warn you as a new parent that you’ll be dealing with lot of pee and poo, they’re not talking about diapers. 

2. Fall asleep alone. As a baby he would nurse until he fell asleep. And when I weaned, I gave him a cup of milk which he drank to fall asleep. And when we finally, begrudgingly, took away the cup of milk around age 2 1/2, one of us had to sit in there with him or lie in his bed with him until he drifted off. We’ve only been able to leave him alone in his room, unassisted in any way, to fall asleep for about 3 months now. Yes, three months ago, I was still climbing in bed with him. And even now, bedtime is still not without its hang ups.

3. Napping. Well, he did fine. Average. I mean, I did tell you he was a great sleeper. But, he was totally done with naps by age 2. I was so jealous of all my playgroup friends who were so bummed to have to leave to get home for naptime. I wanted to shake them and yell, “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LUCKY YOU ARE?” Not that he absolutely won’t ever take a nap, BUT if we allow it, he will be up until 10, maybe 11 p.m. So not cool. But I have friends with 4 year olds who can allow a nap, and still have a reasonable bedtime. SO. JEALOUS.

In a perfect world, some of this stuff would be exactly the same for the new dude, and some stuff would be totally the opposite. But, need I remind you, this is not a perfect world? It’s a little terrifying, the prospect of not knowing how all this stuff is gonna go down. I feel pretty confident doing this mom thing, but they’re going to hand me a tiny, squirmy, blank slate of a human being in 5 weeks. And it’s going to be, “What the heck do I do with this?” all over again.

If you have 2 or more kiddos, how did it go for you? Were they pretty much the same as each other? Or were they so vastly different from each other that you refuse to believe that they are made of the same genetic material?

2 comments on “Different

  1. All three of you are soo very different. Actually, you and Bert are quite a bit alike in temperment; but, with very different ideas. So take these two calm, quiet children and throw Jeremy into the mix – no naps and 9 months and walking at 10 months. Boy howdy, did that kid wear me out!

    The beauty of children with different personalities is that you have the luxury of watching these little beings grown into independent, insightful adults.

    I had this type of trepidition with each pregnancy – which took me quite by surprise with my third pregnancy as I thought I was an old hand. Kids think that moms have a favorite child based on how she treats all of the siblings differently. Truth be told children are treated differently based on two different things: The personality of the child and the experience of the parent. You are doing a fine job with Bowie and you will do a fine job with Baby Brother.

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