Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Now that I have two kids, I have realized that so much of what people say who only have one is kind of meaningless. They might be taking credit for something which is just a natural part of their kid's personality. With two, I see more how much of them is who they are, not me as their parent, and how stuff that is good about them isn't my doing.

For example, Iris, child #1, once she got over her hellish colic, napped like a dream. She took a bottle enthusiastically, and I was able to build a fabulous breastmilk stash. She would nap wherever we were, in the stroller, carseat, any old place. She sometimes would just lie down on the floor wherever she was and nap. Iris was also a world-class, non-picky eater (until the age of 5) who astounded the world by eating amazingly healthy and advanced foods. We night-weaned her in one weekend, and after that, she was sleeping through the night.

Then came child #2, Lola/Lucy, who NEVER napped for more than a few minutes, could NOT be made to nap. She would NOT take a bottle, absolutely not. I actually threw away a bunch of frozen breastmilk and gave up. And as for eating: picky, picky, picky from the day one. Night-weaning: ha, what a horrible nightmare lasting over a month of screaming and battles and stress and no sleep. She's never going to be a big sleeper; I'm sure as a grown-up, she'll be one of those annoying people who gets by on 4 hrs.

On the other hand, Iris had incredibly severe separation anxiety, and Lola's was nothing in comparison, mild and short.

So anyhow all my amazing parenting knowledge and tricks and whatever is mostly meaningless; it's the innate personalities of the children. I knew more about parenting the second time around, but yet I couldn't get my baby to nap or take a bottle. A lot of parents can be pretty smug about their advice and put down parents who can't get a baby to take a bottle or a nap, and I've noticed those tend to be first-time parents.

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