Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Dispassionate Assessment of Isla's Strengths and Weaknesses

I have to take a moment to gush about  Isla. Poor thing, she doesn't get very much face time here. For one, because her mother is a poor historian. Secondly, because someone frequently interrupts her photo shoots:

I could not be more delighted with her. I did not think that I could have another baby as happy, cute and wonderful as John was, but Isla has been the definition of happy, cute and wonderful.  Perhaps my children are extraordinary. Or perhaps it's just that they're my children.

There was a time when I felt sorry for all my friends who only had girls. (Of course I'm sure they felt sorry for me since I didn't have a girl.) With each new pregnancy I heard of, I felt secretly disappointed for the women who weren't having boys. After all, I had a boy and since he is the best thing since sliced bread, well, how sad for everyone else...

Then Isla was born, and now I see that I couldn't have been more foolish. I can't imagine how we got along without her all these years!

She is tailor-made for snuggling. I defy anyone to resist snuggles when she's around. You can't do it! She's such a soft, happy little dumpling that I am compelled to spend my days nuzzling her neck.

And her smiles! I'm just going to be totally cliche and say that they light up my life. It is impossible to be in a bad mood, have a bad attitude, feel irritated that the house is a disaster, etc when she's smiling! I just can't understand how she's so cute. It boggles the mind. Of course, if she were a hideous troll, I wouldn't know it. (But I know she's not!)

She can also scream bloody murder with the best of them (them being babies- a group renowned for their screaming). Yet all of her screaming is done during the day which is fine by me. I can deal with screaming all day. She sleeps like a champ at night, and that's when it counts. And she by no means screams all day. But sometimes it seems like she's screamed all day. Then, looking at the clock, I realize it's only been five minutes.

Everyone told me that having a second child is a lot easier than having a first child because experience makes for a more confident and relaxed second time around. I find this to be true and not true for me. I am more relaxed, which I didn't think possible as I was very laid back with John. But there were things that I was attentive (okay, obsessive) about with John that I rarely think about now- like how many times he ate during the day. I dutifully counted his feedings for months. Isla? I have no idea how many times she eats. She's gaining weight! She's happy! Great! I must have enough milk.

I was also very concerned with John's schedule. He never missed a nap. These days, I know that I'm not going to get anything done ever again anyways, so I just enjoy holding Isla. That's not to say I'm not trying to get us on a schedule, but a lot of times I get side tracked by giving her so many kisses! (It's impossible to stop.)

So, I would say that I am more relaxed this time around, but that doesn't necessarily translate to things being easier. Some things are harder. Many times life feels like walking through quicksand- it takes forever to get anywhere. The house is a mess much more than not, I haven't been back to the gym as often as I'd like, and I'm still working on pinning down that elusive schedule. But some some things are easier- they entertain each other! Overall though, I think I am enjoying her babyhood more than John's, if only because I know how fast it passes. Also, I appreciate that she's immobile and not yet throwing tantrums.

They love each other and that is one of the highlights of my life. She laughs at John's antics and he laughs at her laughing at his antics. When we, Isla and I, walk into John's room in the morning he says: "Good Morning, Isla!" What am I, chopped liver? She's always the first person he asks about when he wakes up from his nap. His dad is the second person.

Every night when they're both in bed I kind of wish they were still awake. Kind of. I'd never consider actually waking them up, mind you.


Laura Stiller said...

I always smile when a new post of yours pops into my Google Reader . . . always entertaining and I always learn a new vocabulary word. And yes, I agree with everything you said about having two kiddos . . . a weird mix of easier and harder . . . although most times it does feel like the emphasis is on the harder. ;-)

Rachel said...

I loved reading this post. You are such a loving momma, even if you haven't been as good of a historian. It makes me want to snuggle a snuggly baby. Enjoy her immobility!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog!! Can't wait to see you and your snugglers again. Terry

Peter and Leslie said...

Thank you all for reading! I also love keeping up with you on your blogs (or in person, if you don't have one, Terry!)