Monday, September 15, 2014


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We used to say that if we had had Jamie first, we would have thought we were world’s most amazing parents.  He slept better than Charles, was quieter and more mellow, and was all-around easier (though he wasn’t happier; Charles was either ecstatic or miserable, no in-betweens). 


I’m sure part of the reason Charles was so difficult was because we were first-time parents.  We read all the books and thought that we had to do things the “right way.”  Getting used to getting up in the middle of the night, changing diapers, nursing, eating with one hand, cooking and cleaning and typing with one hand… it was all very difficult.  I didn’t shower enough, didn’t eat enough, and didn’t brush my teeth enough in those days.  With Jamie, I had those things figured out.  The sleep deprivation was just more of the same, so it was no shock.  I gave away all my books about infants and sleep habits.  I already knew how to eat with one hand and I quickly figured out how to snuggle two children at once.  I bought an Ergo so I could do almost anything hands-free.  I let the baby cry in his crib for a minute or two while I calmed down Charles after a tantrum or brushed my teeth; I knew that Jamie wouldn’t die from an extra minute of screaming.


I thought that Jamie was easier because that’s just who he was, and maybe because we were more experienced and less anxious as parents (also, Jamie didn’t have some of the health issues Charles had).  Now, I think I was wrong.  I think Jamie was easier because he had Charles.


Charles helped to give Jamie baths.  He helped pick out Jamie’s clothing.  He wanted to hold Jamie all the time:


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Jamie saying, “Get me away from him!”


Jamie was mellow because he needed some downtime away from all the ruckus that was and is Charles.  Jamie slept well because he was stimulated during all his waking hours by his brother.


Freddie is the easiest of all because he has both Charles and Jamie.  Freddie is constantly talked-to and played with.  He sits with me while I read aloud to Charles and Jamie.  He goes on long walks and has been going to work with me since he was two weeks old.  The secret to my boys being mellow?  Stimulation.


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Kid can’t even have some private time when he’s getting his diaper changed.  Of course, I haven’t gone to the bathroom alone in almost 6 years, but who’s complaining?


I used to say that I felt like my job, as Charles’s mother, was to exhaust him by the end of the day.  Now, Charles and Jamie wear each other out and they clearly wear out Freddie, too.


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Freddie slept for 7 hours straight last night, awoke to get changed and nurse, and went back to sleep.


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If we had had Freddie first, he might have been a lot like Charles.  But since he is last, and has two brothers to bug him all day long, he is mellow, happy, and sleeps like a champ.  I feel pretty blessed, and better rested than I thought I could be with a two-month-old.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Aren't siblings wonderful?! My friends once told me that each child is different, in part, because they are each born into a different family