Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Tell me it gets better

During the first 22 months of Miss M's life, my parenting style was what I termed "no-regrets." Meaning, I didn't want to do anything that I'd stew over (too much--it is me, after all) or come to regret. Adhering to that principle saw me through refusing to let her cry in her crib; refusing to nightwean before indications that she was ready; being selective about her TV habits, food choices, and toys; and other things that I'm sure have slipped through my sieve of a brain.

The past couple of weeks have been full of regrets. I can't seem to talk to her without my voice reflecting exasperation, exhaustion, or general annoyance. I've cut her nursings short because AM needs me. I keep expecting her to act more mature than she is just because she is so much bigger; every time I change her diaper I want to have her potty trained...last month. I've rushed her through baths--she likes to hang out and "swim" in the tub--because AM-is-sleeping-and-might-be-up-any-second and it's really so much easier to lift her out of the bath if I'm not holding him or wearing him in a sling. Not that I can say that, because we don't want to blame AM for, you know, existing and being an infant and all.

As for AM, I am contrite that he hears me being short with his sister. I regret that I have very little in the way of daylight hours to concentrate on him. Although he is more laid-back than Miss M was at the same age, he winds up crying more; if I am changing Miss M's diaper, or getting her out of the tub, or trying to interpret her food requests, he has to wait. AM has shown a liking for a pacifier, which I don't really want to use, and I've exploited it; when Miss M needs to nurse before her nap, AM often has to make do with the substitute.

But mostly time is already getting away from me. AM is filling out, starting to hold his head better, and even smiled last night (at Taxman--I was in the shower). I know that once he's passes through this snuggly newborn stage, he'll never go back. Part of me is petrified to think that this is the last newborn I'll have, but at the same time I just don't know if I can do this again. I am being pulled in too many directions--and it's only two of them! Well, plus small tugs for me, Taxman, and the growing list of thank you notes that will get written, um, someday? I keep feeling like I am failing someone. And it's not the sleep deprivation talking.

Kudos to anyone who raises more than one. It's really hard.

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