Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I Just Forgot

You would think by the time you have your third child, there wouldn't be any surprises in parenting. Of course, there are, because every child is amazingly different, even from the time you bring them home from the hospital.

L., in the brief month that we've known him, seems to be a much more laid back and more easily satisfied baby than my first two babies. He seems to be particularly sensitive to wet and dirty diapers, noticeably calming after a change. When he's awake, he observes the world around him quietly and clearly with wide open eyes. He makes squeaks and snorts while he's sleeping, the way O. was a croupy cougher from day one. He sleeps blocks of up to four hours at a time in his bassinet, where N. only slept on my chest, and I'm pretty sure O. never slept for longer than 45 minutes at a time until he was six months old.

However, I've been surprised at how many things I just plain forgot about having a baby in the house. It's only been three years. Here's a brief list of some things I've had the chance to remember since L. was born.

  • Newborns are really, really small. Smaller than you remember. If you pick yours up after carrying your three year old (who now seems more like a ten year old), you may have to catch yourself so he doesn't hit the ceiling.
  • Why in the world aren't all sleepers made with zippers rather than snaps?
  • There are no pants for baby boys that do not make them look like your great-grandpa. Overalls, on the other hand, immediately make them irresistible.
  • The worst nights with a newborn come not from the baby being awake all night, but from falling asleep while you're nursing the baby. Sleeping sitting straight up, waking to transfer baby back to bed a half hour before they're ready to eat again does not make for restful 'sleep'.
  • The cries of a new baby are really pretty quiet. However, once they start wailing, there is little that makes you more frantic or impatient. Your five and three year old, however, seem to be basically deaf to this particular tone.
  • There are few things better than watching the satisfied face of your baby after he has fallen asleep nursing. Or the weight of a tiny baby on your chest as he is curled up, breathing those soft baby sighs as he sleeps.


Heather said...

Maybe it's the third baby, but I had a much similar experience with Gabe as a newborn. He was my best baby, but part of it stemmed from my being so relaxed with him, I think. By that point, I was a pro at swaddling, nursing and cooking dinner all at the same time, while helping Elijah with his 1st grade homework after dinner.

I cherished those night time feedings b/c it was my only time alone with the baby!

So glad to hear you're all doing so well with the new little guy. And I need to see some pics of those adorable overalls!

mep said...

I am nodding my head in agreement to all the items on your list. Why oh why are there not more sleepers with zippers and why is it that the sleepers with zippers tend to be the super duper snug ones that I can barely pour my kids' legs into?

Your last talking point is making me sad in advance for when I'm no longer nursing. There's a sentence that, back when I was a new mom with Bub, I never ever thought I'd utter.

Enjoy your beautiful boy.

CaraBee said...

Snaps are the work of the devil. Only slightly less evil than buttons. All baby things should be zippered. Period.

Newborns ARE tiny. Four of my girlfriends have had babies over the last 9 months, so I have had a constant stream of newborns and every time I pick them up I am shocked at just how wee they are. They get big fast, though. We were just talking the other day about how we understand now why people get so gitchy gitchy goo goo about newborns because it is such a short time when they are so itty bitty.

Enjoy these times.

Stacia said...

A few weeks ago, I just had to vacuum my house. Had. To. I strapped the baby into his bouncy seat, set him on the coffee table, plopped my oldest on the couch with a favorite TV show, and told her to "be a good helper and give him his pacifier if he starts to cry."

So, I go vacuum. I can't hear a thing, mind you, with the vacuum on, but I go as fast as I can and sweat like a madwoman. I turn the vacuum off and hear the baby screaming. I go into the living room and my daughter is sitting right next to him watching her show nonchalantly.

Baby brother is crying? Who cares? Super Why's on, Mom. Meanwhile, my heart breaks into a thousand pieces and spills all over the (newly clean) floor.