Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Growing up too quickly

You know the saying about parenting a first child versus a second or third child? Well, I’m now really experiencing the difference first hand….

Funny Baby Ecard: First child eats dirt. Parent calls doctor. Second child eats dirt. Parent cleans out mouth. Third child eats dirt. Parent wonders if she really needs to feed him lunch.

It wasn’t a conscious decision really. In fact, I had set out determined to treat each child equally and offer the same level of serious attentiveness to baby #2 as I did with baby #1.

But I eventually I had to accept reality. Parenting a second child is just totally different from the first time round.

  • For one thing, I’ve learnt to let things go a lot more and just go with the flow. No book or article can ever factor in every single situation when you now have more than one child to look after.
  • Secondly, I realised that baby #2 has an older sibling she wants to copy and follow. So often she will naturally want to try to do things that are seemingly ‘advanced’ for her age.
  • Thirdly, I’ve learnt that babies are not just helpless creatures that need constant protection and hovering over. They are also just children growing and exploring the same as any toddler or older child.
  • Fourthly, I discovered that the sibling relationship between Nathan and Grace really thrived as I let Grace join in many of the supposedly ‘older child’ activities with Nathan. So Nathan sees Grace as more than just a baby sister, but also as a real companion and playmate.

Here are some highlights of the ‘liberties’ I’ve allowed for baby #2…

I let her munch and suck on soft whole pieces of fruit at 5 and 1/2 months old
(The downside to this was that she very soon refused pretty much all soft foods and thinks that we are tricking her to eat baby food whenever we try to offer her any kind of porridge, fruit puree like applesauce or even weetbix)

Chomping on a big juicy papaya

At 6 months old she was already getting stuck into our water play, sensory play,
construction play, obstacle course play, music, dancing, story book role play…
(basically pretty much any type of play her older brother was doing)

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Splashing around in the water play tub

She found her first taste of chocolate at 7 months old – totally not intended at all!
(And I surprised myself with the reaction I had to this horrifying incident)

Baby’s first taste of heaven

At 8 months, she was roaming free all around our yard, in the grass, dirt and sand
(Yes, she would sometimes get grass, leaves, twigs, pebbles, dirt and sand in her mouth, but
I consider it all part of her learning experience, exploring her world and her senses)

 
 

 At 9 months old she is now already stepping around steadily on her walker
(And very proud of herself over this big achievement I must add)

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Stepping around with the walker

My baby is really growing up much too quickly. I can barely keep up with her sometimes. I have very mixed feelings about this… on one hand I am glowing with pride and happiness over her development, but on the other hand I feel such an overwhelming sense of wistfulness over the fact that she is already starting to slip away from babyhood. I find myself actually missing her newborn and younger baby days, even as we speak.

The truth is, since the beginning of her very first day in this world, it was already the beginning of the end. All I can do is simply to cherish every single day and moment, because each first is already the last.

 

How old is your ‘baby’ now? Do you find yourself sometimes looking back wistfully, missing their baby days?

 

Linking up to Jess for IBOT

8 comments:

  1. I'm going through this very same thing at the moment!! Miss 8mths is somehow a second and third child, in that I have a 5 yr old but also a 10yr old part-time stepson, so she's racing around after 2 very much bigger kids and developing much quicker than her sister! She was crawling by 5mths and is tasting foods and experiencing life much more fully. I've learned that they bounce!
    Visiting from #IBOT, thanks for the fantastic read!
    Tara @ Hand Me My Sanity!

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  2. Time for the third eh?!! Yes, those little ones are certainly more advanced thanks to the presence of the older siblings! My little one is copying the tantrums of the others at present which really isn't fun! Had a laugh about the chocolate too! I just can't eat this in front of Celeste at all now! Baby led weaning is to blame! She wants what I am having no matter what it is!

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  3. We are going through the same thing except without the older sibling. I miss the baby days already and shes the same age as Grace. I'm going to get a push along walker this week because shes cruising along the furniture all day and wants to stand all the time. She keeps letting go and giving me a heart attack. I'm sure once she gets her balance right she'll be off and running much to my disappointment.

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  4. Never a truer post has been written Serene, I can SOO relate one every single level. But I do feel as though my middle boy has missed out on a lot of things, or maybe I just can't remember being 'present' because I had a newborn, 3 in 3.5 years will do that to you! My advice, lots of video footage xx

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  5. I bought my "baby" a size 10 pair of school pants today - size 10!!! I remember packing away his 000 clothes like it was yesterday. Time does pass quickly, but the moments do not fade nor wither - they simply keep getting better xx Josefa #teamIBOT

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  6. Such a gorgeous post. As you know I can totally relate to all of it. I must involve little C in games with EP(3) as there is an issue with jealously from my older boy. My youngest is now 1 . When I look back at photos I feel sad and wonder did I appreciate his gorgeousness at the time. I think I did but as you say it all goes so very quickly. x

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  7. My baby is going to be four in three months and that makes me sad :(
    But at the same time, it's amazing watching them grow. And yes you do treat them differently, no matter how hard you try not to. That's just what happens :)

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  8. My baby is 2 months shy of his third birthday & I probably haven't chilled out all that much between baby number 1 (who is 9) and baby number 2 but I can see how there are definite differences & I think that comes up because each child themselves is different. I probably have to panic more with #2 because he is a daredevil whereas my first son is very calm... My first didn't give me grey hair, that might be the difference.. LOL.. Enjoy :)

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