Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The Second Time Around
One aspect of having a second child that no one mentioned to me was how you can be thrown off by your experience with the first. Especially when you have two kids of the same sex. In my case boy 1 is more of a look before he leaps guy. He can be silly and hyper too, but can be slow to warm up to strangers and thinks about things. Kyan and I have navigated lots of baby, toddler and pre-schooler milestones. Teething, potty training, nursing and weaning, learning to sleep on his own (still a work in progress that one,) overcoming fears, illness and emotional outbursts. He gets to do things first, so I thought Elliott would benefit from his path making in the bush of parenting. In some ways he does but in many ways we are cutting out a whole new path.
I marvel pretty much daily at how opposite our two boys are. I didn't expect them to be the same but for several of the big things, like the ones I mentioned above, I thought I had at least an idea of how to do them. But as Elliott is hitting the time periods when these things are to begin I'm realizing that this is a whole new ball game. My boy who would sit on the potty patiently reading books until a desired outcome was reached is not shadowed by my boy who sits for maximum 30 seconds before leaping to his next location. Hun.
One little boy loved cow's milk and would take a cup full as a substitute for mama's milk when weaning began, our other little boy is not so interested in cow's milk but for the last week or so will take a cracker instead of having a meltdown when he can't nurse on demand (only took me a day or two to figure that one out).
So as we navigate through these waters I try to keep my assumptions in the background and take cues from Elliott. Everything is different and while Elliott copies Kyan frequently throughout the day; trying to do all the things his big brother does, our journey through the months of potty training and weaning are going to have their own process of trial and error to find what works for him. He is quick and super smiley these days. Words are beginning for him and have taken a bit longer to emerge than with Kyan. The parenting Elliott journey is opening up a bit, moving away from baby world to the toddler with the burgeoning personality one. Parenting two is a dance that will take several years to become routine. But there have been some little glimpses of newness these last two weeks; playing together, playing side by side (without conflict) and the proud big brother introducing his younger brother with a protective hand on his shoulder. Makes a mama's heart melt for just a second or two. Sweet boys I have, lucky me.