Thoughts on Two
In two days, Charlie will be two months old:
…which just kind of blows my mind. With Lila, people always said that time would fly by—and it definitely did in the later months. But those first few months were *painfully* slow. This time around, I see what people are talking about. It’s like I blinked and he’s about to be two months old.
So there’s one “two.” The other “two” I’ve been meaning to write about is two kids—how has the adjustment been?
I’ve always heard that the adjustment is either easier from none to one, or one to two. (I guess by the time you get to more than two, you’re just screwed and it doesn’t matter what you do, haha ) Um, count us *firmly* in the latter group. I literally cannot imagine a more difficult transition than the one we had when we brought Lila home. Those first few months were rough. Going from one to two kids has been so much easier.
This has helped me to realize my number one tip for adjusting to life with a new baby. Are you ready?
Have an easy baby.
It’s as simple as that, right? The bottom line is, Charlie is super laid-back and easy. Lila was…uh, not. And I always felt like we were doing something wrong—that it was our fault she was so unhappy for those first months. And I’m sure we were anxious as new parents, and now we feel a bit more comfortable, etc., etc. But seriously—she was just a *hard* baby. And Charlie is an easy one. And there’s nothing you can do about that, you know? It’s just kind of luck of the draw. Having an easier baby this time around has made me feel like I was too hard on myself last time—I just kept thinking that I was a horrible person for not enjoying spending hour after hour with a screeching, red-faced newborn who could only be soothed by rapid, rhythmic bouncing on the giant blue exercise ball (rest in hell, you bastard).
Now that I have Charlie, I feel like some veil has been lifted on what the newborn experience *can* be like. Ohhhhhh, I think. No wonder people like babies. I used to just assume people were lying when they said they love the newborn phase. But now…I kind of love it. He sleeps all the time. He wakes up to eat. He gives out smiles and coos and silly faces. And then he goes back to sleep again.
He is an easy baby.
This is all to say that one thing I’m learning about two already is…wait for it…they’re different people. With very different personalities.
A woman we work with told me when I was pregnant that the people who think they know the most about raising kids are the ones who have none, and the ones who have one. Because when you only have one, I think there’s a tendency to think, “This is how my kid is. I guess this is how all kids are.” I know I kind of felt that way with Lila. And now that we have Charlie, I can already see that we’re just starting over from scratch, basically. The things that soothed Lila don’t typically soothe him. She loved (and still loves) her pacifiers, whereas Charlie can kind of take them or leave them. I found that I was sort of forcing them on him—just take the damn paci! It will make you feel better! Then I realized—no, pacifiers made Lila feel better. Charlie might not want the paci at all—and that’s okay.
It will sometimes be a challenge, I think, to respect the fact that they’re two different people. I have to remember that Charlie will hit his milestones at his own pace, instead of constantly comparing him to Lila.
The funny thing is, it doesn’t translate to more or less love. Thinking back on those trying infant days with Lila, I don’t feel like we loved her any less, at all. I just think, Yep—she was a tough one! You know, she was a hard-headed, intense baby, and she is a sassy, intense kiddo—and I think that’s just who she is. And I freaking love her—even at her sassiest.
(This is her impression of Olivia from the Bachelor. #oliviasmouth)
Well, maybe not always at her sassiest.
If I had to guess, I’d wager that Charlie will be significantly more laidback and easygoing—as second children often are. We’re known for being the lazy ones, right?
This post doesn’t really offer “practical” tips on life with two…but that’s okay. I guess my number one tip is just to understand, going into it, that you will have two children. Two different children, who think and feel and act as individuals. Even as babies. That makes it hard, but it also makes it kind of wonderful, you know? I really feel like we’re experiencing everything about having a baby with Charlie in a brand new way. It makes me remember why we wanted a second kid so much in the first place.
Two is harder, but two is great.