plans for number 2

Like us, our friends Kim, Eli and Oscar are about to become have become {congratulations and welcome to the world little Emmett!} a family of four. In a recent email exchange with Kim, I asked her if there was anything she was hoping to do differently this time around, and what she was planning not to change. She told me that she was hoping to (a) have a baby that has those easily recognizable “sleepy; drowsy, but not sleeping” signals and  (b) that she was able to recognize those signals and, in her words, run with them.
I’ve thought a lot about this question myself lately. On the one hand, I’d like to think that there are many things I’ll do differently:

  • I think I’ll put our little guy down for more self exploration, more free play. Sometimes I think I spent too much time with Eleanor, in closely directed play. I have a dear friend who was really good about putting her daughter down to be a part of what was happening, to explore the room around her, without being right there all the time. I wonder if Eleanor would be a little more independent now if I had done that sooner.
  • I’d like to dance more with this one- I didn’t do that as often as I could have with Eleanor- and play more music. Tim was really good about this. Me, not so much.
  • (like Kim) I’d like to (a) have a baby that is willing to go to sleep without breastfeeding and (b) actually be able to read those cues and follow them.
  • I’d like to take more time for myself when the baby is little; to trust others with him, to trust that he will make it without me (because he obviously will).

On the other hand, I think I (and Tim, of course) have done a pretty darn good job with Eleanor. I think we’ve raised her well (so far) and given her a great start. I think that we trust her, and she trusts us. She is curious, and thoughtful, and careful, and she generally listens to our requests and obliges us. For the most part, the things that I have done with her have come without a great deal of thought- which is to say I do what feels right, and what I’ve grown up with, not (necessarily) what I’ve read in a book (although there are some things that Tim and I do very conscientiously and come directly from things we’ve read). Because of this, as much as I’d like to think I might do things differently this time around, I think when push comes to shove, I will do {more or less} exactly what I did the first time around. Because that’s who I am.

Will our little boy be better of one way or another? Who can say, really. I choose to believe that the simple fact that I’m thinking about this topic is ultimately a good thing and our little guy will be okay either way.

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