Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Unexpected Difference Between Baby #1 and Baby #2

Baby #1 gets all new things, 100% attention and documentation of all achievements across a variety of mediums.

So with Aaron, I have plenty of photos, blog posts, monthly letters (although they were lost when the hard disk crashed) and even hand written accounts of what he was up to. I had a list of all the new words he understood and said. I thought about everything he did and everything he didn't do. I worried about whether he was keeping up with his peers. Needless to say, he was the only one around and I dedicated all my time and thoughts to him.

Then comes Baby #2 - hand me downs, 50% attention and the occasional mention of a major milestone here and there.

I think a lot of friends and family will agree with me when I say that I have not been as diligent in documenting Adrian's progress through babyhood as I was with Aaron. I have no excuses and from this day forward, I am going to work harder.

So, the above is sort of old news. Everybody knows that and in many ways, expects it. But you know what the strange thing is? The unexpected difference between Baby #1 and #2 is that with #2, I am living in the moment so much more. I did not anticipate this.

For example, I find that trying to get that perfect photo of a baby doing something cute takes away from actually enjoying the moment. So, very often, I just sit, watch and count my blessings. The live images are beautiful but I know they'll probably fade. I think the emotions from these moments are probably etched a little deeper into my memory. Now all I need is to some how have the visual memory as well. 24 surveillance cameras on us??

Even when I play with or read to Adrian, I'm a lot more immersed in the shared experience than I was with Aaron. I'm somehow enjoying it more without being stressed out by everything else a first child is throwing at me. I'm not thinking about what else I need to do or what I should be doing. Yet, its more than just being a more relaxed mom the second time around. Its also hanging on to these innocent times.

I've been through it once so I know whats to come - it ends! The wonder and amazement he shows at everything now. The way he proudly lets me know that he can identify the cows and trucks. His cute mis-pronunciation of words. I'm going to miss it all one day. Or worse, I'm going to forget how cute it all was and not even miss it!

Does this mean that I dote on him and spoil him more? Not really. I think I've been fair. And sometimes, I find I have even more patience to teach him (whether its to take turns or put his toys away or whatever) than I did with Aaron.

Finally, before I sign off today, here are a few photos of Adrian (to be fair)...


Fiona said...

i like the first pic! like a studio shot. :)

Bilbo said...

The last picture is my favorite! And you're right about the differences between Baby 1 and Baby 2 ... sadly, the novelty of everything has worn off by the time Baby 2 arrives, and so there are fewer pictures, more hand-me-downs, and all the rest. Hmmm...I think I now have an idea for either a blog post or a long story for my next letter to you...

Mike said...

Questions about baby number 3 will be answered with, 'yeah, he's around here somewhere'.

Unless it's a girl. Then all bets are off.