Roo wasn't an easy baby. He hated sleeping, hated nursing, hated a lot of things. He is now a simply wonderful toddler. I really feel like we put in the hard work in the front end and now we get some rewards (he might become a demon again when he's a tween but maybe Alzheimer's will have set in by then). I figured it couldn't possibly be that bad the second time around.
Having a second baby is so different than having a first. I am more confident, more comfortable, less surprised, and less anal about things. I told myself (and countless sanctimommies told me too) that it would be easier. I would be more chill, and thus my baby would be more chill. I was certain that this baby just HAD to be easier. How could he not be?
Well. He's not. If I am being truly honest, Cat is more difficult than Roo ever was. For fun, I made a list. With all this spare time I have.
Shit Cat Hates
- Sleeping on his back
- Sleeping in any position for more than 30 minutes
- Car seats
- Driving slower than 60 kph (he's like the bus in Speed)
- Sitting still
In spite of lowering my expectations and simply not having the energy to give a crap about a lot of the things that I was all Momzilla about with Roo...Cat is still giving me a run for my money. At four months old he is clearly in charge. He is like Vegas...randomly rewards me with decent sleep or with a quiet ride in the stroller. But most of the time, dealer wins.
However, it really pisses me off when sometimes I vent or whine about it and people suggest that it's somehow my fault or that I just haven't found the magic bullet. That if I simply relaxed more it would be easier. That all I need to do is whisper "shhhh" and pat my baby's back and he'll magically sleep better. People said crap like this with Roo and I stupidly believed them. I figured I was simply doing it wrong and it really was my fault that he was a pill. Now, as a veteran mom, I know better. I don't suck. My baby kind of does though.
My boys are obviously super speshul. They reject social norms already; aren't they precocious? Unfortunately for me, I have not given birth to the kind of kids that people write books about - well, maybe an autobiography of a raging alcoholic. They don't follow rules or schedules, they don't care what they're "supposed" to do or what I want them to do. I do know them best though, and I know their quirks and what workarounds are necessary.
And yet I love them. They have forced me to learn patience (a lesson I sorely needed, and continue to need), and to give up control, and to be more flexible and spontaneous. I've become far more creative than I ever dreamed. And I've learned that anything more than three hours of sleep is just gravy. And I wish, pray, and hope that it's true that after putting in all this hard work now it will be smooth sailing when they're older.
See...having kids hasn't killed all my optimism. Only most of it.