Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Easier Child

I wanted to say my easiest child, but let's be frank. He's also the one who has been reduced to ashes.

Among my living, Claire feels like the easier of the two. But I don't know that she is.

It's just, she's assuming the role of a subsequent child... whether she is number two or number three, it wouldn't matter I don't think. She must maintain a level of chill when it comes to being thrown into a family that's already addressing the needs and catering to the interests of at least another child.

She naps as we go. She won't get a formal morning nap ever, I don't think. With Benjamin, we were very strict about maintaining his schedule of a morning and afternoon nap. The afternoon nap, I'm hoping, will somehow synchronize with Benjamin's (go ahead, laugh) so I can have a few minutes to myself each day. Today, it is. She's been sleeping 1.5 glorious hours in her crib as I type. She even falls asleep on the playmat on the kitchen floor as I cook dinner--something that would've never happened with Benjamin.

When Benjamin was her age, he was napping on our laps often. Claire has done this fewer times than I can count on one hand. There's just no time. I'm only one person and the level of guilt I feel when my son has requested me to "chase" him for the twelfth time that day and I had been tending to her needs of frequent feedings and newborn business... well. It's just not fair to him. She gets me for feedings and when he is occupied otherwise.

He was essentially our first "go" at parenting and we were definitely rookies. We catered to his every whimper (sort of). She's not so lucky. We tolerate more crying and overall chaos with her. If I need to shower, I do. Even if it means she has to cry for a bit while I'm doing it. I don't feel guilty about that. A girl's gotta get the stale spit-up and yellow poop stains off her skin somehow.

He's also great entertainment for her. She could be more agreeable just because she has someone who is literally running circles around her on a daily basis. Benjamin just had us; the boring adults who were hardly entertaining and full of life like a rambunctious toddler.

It's an interesting dynamic. While some moments are overwhelming, having the two of them in some ways is easier. Except the feeding part. There is nothing easy about feeding babies so frequently. Otherwise, the two of them love on one another and entertain one another more than I anticipated at the ages of nearly 4 months and 26 months.

I wonder what three would look like and how the dynamic would've shifted. This I'll never know.


Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

Ditto. All of it. Poor Mary sometimes has to cry a bit longer. And I totally wonder about a morning nap. Finn took a morning nap until 18 months! That's so not happening this time

JoyAndSorrow said... [Reply to comment]

Just stopped by to check in. She's gorgeous hun. Your two are almost the same age difference as Evy and Will. It is SO challenging keeping everyone fed. Now that Evy is 3 and Will is 1 they keep one another entertained so much more. Like you I have been pleasantly surprised at this quick bond. Ah, we have so much to look forward to. And yet there's so much "missing" of our first born sons, even with how full our arms are.

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

Brandy, she is striking. I am speechless. I had a response until I got to the photo at the end and now the words are gone.

She is so beautiful. What a beauty girl.

I think being made to go with the flow is a healthy thing. At least that is what I tell myself of my own upbringing... and each time I make Lil skip nap, push past meal times or out of her comfort zone. I often wonder how our inability and inexperience has shaped her. We are going to screw it up... but hopefully not more than therapy can fix.

Addi's mom said... [Reply to comment]

This gives me hope...the thought of another screaming baby like Mason or that other thought of the worse case scenario scares the shit out of me. Glad you have an easy one, wish you knew who was the easiest. Xoxo

Veronica said... [Reply to comment]

Holy jeez brandy, Claire is a beauty!! That picture is gorgeous. She's just so fair, and her eyes, and that little mouth.

You sound like you are doing ah-mazing at this mom with two in tow. I wonder about three...like I wonder about two for me.

Easy vs easiest. Heartbreaking still. Sorry xox

Danielle said... [Reply to comment]

so what's the best way to clean your computer screen bc mine is loaded with smudges from my lips kissing her sweet face!!! miss y'all so much!! N requests Benjin's company almost daily. and his night nurse is named Claire... so needless to say he calls her Baby :)

Brie said... [Reply to comment]

I love this post.