The year was 2012. The day was September 14th. I think it was somewhere between 10 am and 2 pm. We had just spent what seemed like weeks in the hospital waiting for this little bundle to come and then to hear that we could take her home. Through drugs, exhaustion, infections, possible jaundice, and not having my new baby with me we were finally taking her home. We figured out how to get the car seat in the car, but now we were trying to figure out how to get this tiny baby girl in the seat. The seat just seemed to envelop her.
Four weeks later and so ready to be done with this exhaustion, we are trying to figure out when and how we could get her to sleep regularly. It took us 5 more months, but it happened.
Seven more months and we were trying to decide if we should really worry about the fact the doctor said she should be walking. OK, we weren’t really worried so much as perturbed. Doctors and nurses are wonderful, but this particular one either didn’t know what they were talking about or liked making parents worry. Our girl was perfectly fine and need no specialist. Two months later she was walking with much enthusiasm.
Nine months later we were trying to figure out how consequences and discipline are supposed to work with a two year who was getting more determined to do things her way. It took us a while and a few different things, but we came up with a system.
Six more months and we were decided if it was time for potty training and what that looked like. And should we put her in a bed. Lots of discussion, stickers, talks, a toilet seat, three switches from crib to bed, and six months later we had a semi potty trained, toddler bed sleeping kid. Kid! We had a kid. We just had this tiny baby we were trying to get into the car and now she is a kid.
In case you aren’t sure, that was N’s first three years. Six months later we were introducing her to her baby sister M.
Now, I didn’t think the second baby would necessarily be easier. But I did think we would have some kind of a better handle on things. And in some sense we do. But in other ways, we have been through this already, but it still seems like it’s all new. I found that there are some things that even though we went through them with N just 3 years ago, I can’t even remember what we did. So we are re-figuring things out.
Like potty training- we haven’t gone into full potty training mode yet, but it’s getting close to that time. We have been letting her go whenever she shows interest. And then we decided to try something thinking we did the same with N. Then we realized we didn’t do that and we couldn’t remember exactly what we did do. We decided to try putting undies underneath her pull-up. It’s supposed to help kids feel that they pee and want to get changed. HAHAHAHA! Yea, that doesn’t work with M. She cares not. We went through 5 of the 6 undies in the first day. So we aren’t doing that anymore. So yea, we have to figure out how it’s going to work.
Than there is getting M to sleep in a bed. N didn’t start to sleep in a bed consistently until she was 3. M has been out of a crib since a week or two before we moved back to the States. She had pretty much just turned 2. We had a hard time getting N to stay in her bed (heh, we still do). M pretty much begged us to let her be in a bed instead of her crib. She told us one time, “I’m not sleeping in crib no more!” She ended up sleeping in a room with her sister, which I am sure helped. But at nap time, she is in the room by herself and she lays right down and goes to sleep.
This leads me to the conclusion that no parent is an expert in anything except knowing that every kid and every situation is different. There are so many different variables, personalities, and ways to do it right.
Parents, what surprised you most with your kids?
Non-parents, what do you wish your parents knew?