I have an easy baby. There, I said it. She goes to sleep easily and without my help. Sure she has an unsettled period in the afternoon but I pop her in the sling and she goes to sleep. Last night she had trouble getting to sleep probably because she’s got a bit of my cold but I took her into bed with me and she happily went to sleep. She doesn’t need to be held all the time. She hangs out in the bouncer or on her mat or in the swing and when she starts getting upset it means she’s ready for bed. She’s so easy. It might not always be that way, but for now that’s how it is.
Riley is not easy. She pushes against every single boundary. She asks a million questions every day. She has meltdowns whenever something happens that is outside her expectation and she’s rigid in those expectations. The last few weeks she’s starting trying on her whining to see how that fits. She looks at herself in the mirror while she has a tantrum as if it was all part of some grand experiment. She’s starting to give me attitude about every single thing.
Two things happen in this scenario. One is that Piper is so easy, it’s also easy to focus on Riley. Hello, squeaky wheel. The second is that it’s also easy to lose some of my connectedness to Riley because everything is a battle, all the time. Both of these scenarios I choose to guard against.
I choose to cuddle my toddler more, find the delight in how she is such a force of nature and help to manager her emotions when she loses the ability. But I worry about her recent fixation with ‘doing things wrong’ and how upset she becomes if either she or someone else ‘does it wrong’ and her inability to let it go.
I choose to snuggle my baby too. Even when she would probably be just as content on the floor. I practise memorising all her little (and big) expressions because I know how fleeting babydom is. And when I’m in bed, coughing up a lung, I’m comforted by her head on my chest.
And all I can hope is that in the end, I am the person they needed me to be.
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