Thursday, February 27, 2014

Having a child now is different from five years ago (emotional edition)

Stuff edition here.

I was out of the super-hands-on parenting groove for a good few years since there was more than a five-year gap between Magdalena and Sterling. During that time, I became un-acquainted with the white noise of parenting, that never-ending background hum of diapers and bowel/bladder intricacies and doing everything with one hand because you have a baby in the other. It was jarring to go back to it all with Sterling, almost like going back in time.

Because one thing about your kids is that they match you to a certain cohort of other parents. As you start having children and hanging out with other parents for child-play reasons, it matters less how old you are and more how old your kids are. And while having a baby has probably (ok, definitely) aged me physically, it has somehow also made me younger because I now belong to a newer, fresher cohort of parents. The other day I was at the health clinic with Magdalena and an early-20s woman came in with her only child, a 1-year-old girl. The woman and I chatted for a moment and I thought about how nice she seemed, but how we would probably never run in the same playground circles since my girls go to the playground by themselves now. Then I remembered that I was holding an infant in my arms, and realized that I would probably be seeing this woman a LOT, starting in a few months.

I might as well be 24 again, on my own with Miriam. Sterling is like an only child during the day, and I confess that I sometimes have unpleasant memories of being the sole entertainer for an irrational, tiny human being. I look forward to the time of day when the girls come home from school and give him their energy and attention. I'm convinced that Sterling looks forward to it, too.

If you go to my neighborhood park in a few months, once Sterling is ambulatory, keep an eye out for me. I'll be hanging out with the 20-somethings.

5 comments:

Crys said...

It is interesting how kids sort of put you in certain friend groups isn't it. As for that baby with the older sibs I know they love their energy. Cheetah is so sad to be home alone. She spends a lot if time asking about them. When the kids come home she perks right up.

Sarah Familia said...

You are brave to have another after a five year gap. My "baby" is six, and neither my husband nor I can stomach the idea of another couple of years of sleepless nights and dirty diapers, especially after having the experience of an older family. We have a lot of reasons for sticking with just our two, but the exhaustion of the baby years is definitely a factor.

I liked what you said about having a new baby making you younger, though. That's an interesting way to look at it. I'm sure you have many lovely adventures ahead.

iremi nisces said...

thanks for sharing.

Come have a look what Tamlik?

Take Care

Nancy said...

I have two at home full time still (for another year yet) but Benjamin's favourite time of the day is when Rachel's bus pulls up.

Those two run into each other's arms like they're in a slow-motion love scene, and when he's phenomenally bored in the middle of the day he'll stare out the front window, waiting for anything big to drive by. "BUS! BUS! BUS!" he'll shout. Seriously—he LIVES for Rachel to come home from school. :)

Cait said...

Family dynamics and kid spacing is so interesting to me. I want to have a third, and can't decide between doing it now and waiting two or three more years. I can see the benefits and downsides of both, and families I admire with all sorts of arrangements so it's hard to make a "rational" decision. Like any decision to grow a baby inside you and push it out of your vagina is ever rational.

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