Sunday, November 28, 2010

We have a daughter, too, who gets short shrift like 24/7

Thirteen and a half months ago, I gave birth to a healthy, sweet, and dare I say, perfect little daughter. And no lie, it has taken me just about that long to finally catch my breath! At long last I feel like my old self again. I haven't mentioned my once-troubled marriage in awhile, and I think that old adage "no news is good news" definitely fits. We're really good, actually. Finally. Whew. Survival Mode is officially over. Now I think I can finally process it all.

If I'm honest, I do have some regrets. Which sucks. I regret not reading to DD more, not holding her more; not trying to co-sleep a little longer than we did - we had our reasons at the time, but I regret the fact that DD is not quite as cuddly as I assumed every baby would be, like her older brother was and is. Her room is not even fully decorated yet - and decor is one of my passions!

DH admitted to me the other day that it took him about a year to really, truly form a bond with DD. And I hate to say it, but it took me awhile, too.

I feel like so many of my posts have been about my firstborn. When I was a new parent reading other parent bloggers it always seemed like their first child was their favorite because it was all they ever really talked about. Now I get it. So I want to write a few things about DD that make us smile: (bragging alert)

* She is seriously a beautiful kid. (I know, every parent thinks that. But seriously, a part of me does worry about her being way too cute in this life, and how this might have a negative impact on her ability to be treated fairly in some future corporate-type career. Silly, I know.)
* The girl can eat like a champ! And she demands to hold large pieces of food by herself, and run around with them like she did recently with the turkey leg at Thanksgiving.
* She walked ridiculously early, and now she is such an amazingly graceful little toddler. She can go up and down the stairs all by herself, she can carefully climb pretty much anything, as well as open and close the back door to let the dogs out upon request. People always think she is older than she is because of it - especially when she walked into the exam room at her 9 mos. check-up. The dr. (a father of 4) could not believe his eyes.
* She is a by-the-book sleeper. Yes, THAT book. The same one I fucking hated when I read it back in 2007 for some other child who shall remain nameless. Eff you, Doktor Wize Blue Tooth!
* Her first name is something that most dumbass Americans cannot seem to pronounce, even though it looks just like it sounds. Hooked on phonics didn't work for us. On the bright side, it is a top 25 name currently in most of the countries in western Europe, so hopefully she won't seem so stereotypically American when she backpacks around the globe someday.
* Her poops are the smelliest things DH and I have ever had the privilege of smelling. For real.

Brag to me about yours - and show some love to those later-born kids.


MrsHaley said...

Oh Hush, ITA about #2 getting shrot shrift. Ours is the boy (DD is #1) and is almost exactly one year older than your DD. He is a skinny little thing, but tall, and just the sweetest, most mellow, laid-back dude you ever did meet. He loves music and dancing, and has incredible bodily kinesthetics (which he did not get from me!). He *is* my husband, in all the best ways. He is less articulate than his older sister, but more mild, polite and flexible. He is so super, super cute it just overwhelms me every day. He is so friendly, and very into his "loveys," which is just darling. I'm looking forward to next year when DD started preschool and I'll have him all to myself 3 mornings a week, then 5 half days a week the following year.

Thanks for letting me brag on my boy. He is awesome.

Melba said...

You saw my brags on my last post on my blog so I won't repeat here. It might get nauseating.

But I hear ya on no.2 getting shorted some serious quality blog time. Maybe its just because your DS is simply harder. Or because everything he does is a first, whereas when your daughter does it you've been there done that. We know you love her too. :)

Now I'm really curious about her name!

Clare said...

Yes! I feel like my second son gets second best of everything (hell, the boy even got his big brother's too-small underpants as hand me downs because they were the right size for him and I'm...frugal.) We just had his parent-teacher conference at daycare, and it was good for us to hear the fantastic things they said about him. Because he really is an awesome kid -- super friendly (Hi, I'm Ezekiel! Who are you?), usually agreeable, and way too cute for his own good.

And he too has an unusual (but very cool, I think) name that is constantly mispronounced. His nickname (Zeke) is easier to manage, but he insists on telling everyone his "long name."

blue said...

Congratulations on graduating from survival mode (a.k.a. insanity university). I think it's great that you are putting some love out there for you little girl. I hope you don't let yourself feel too guilty about the difference in your parenting between your two children. I think any parent of two or more will tell you, your children are different people with different needs and interests. You may not have read to your DD as much, but I bet there are some other sweet things between the two of you that are not as prevalent with your son, just because of who she is as a person....

I don't know about any of you, but from my personal experience, baby boys are just easier. Of course, it could be that mine is the second child and is just super mellow. Yes, I suppose you could say he technically got less attention that our first did. In our case, however, the attention DD got was based upon being extremely fussy as an infant and dramatic as a toddler/little girl. Also, she was an only child for 4.5 years. I had some difficulty bonding with her at first, prickly pear that she was. DH and I have recently (over the last year or so) really started to develop a better sense of her quirks and have a better relationship with our very sweet, intelligent six year old girl.

When DS came along, he may have received less attention overall, but he also received much, much less stressful energy from his now totally chill parents. The other factor here is that I am a SAHM to him and wasn't with DD. So, actually, he gets more of me that our daughter did.... At two years old, this kid is genuinely happy for all but about 15 minutes each day. I don't know what I did to deserve him, but I am so very thankful.

paola said...


DD (3/11mo):
1. has the cutest English accent ( must come from all those Thomas/Angelina/Chuggingtons she was brought up on.)
2. does not lie!
3. is so damn affectionate that it scares me
4. is the best eater of all the almost 4 years old I have had the pleasure of knowing.
5. is so adorbaly cute when she does the hokey pokey.
6. just informed me that dinner was burning!

DS (5/10mo)
1. speaks Italian almost as well as he does English.
2. is obsessed with planes, space and currently dinosaurs
3. still naps!
4. has a dimple
5. is so out-going that it makes me cringe sometimes.
6. is a stickler for rules, and likes to remind everyone of them (see no.5)

Cloud said...

Well, don't worry about her being too cute for corporate success. Research shows that attractive people make more money in pretty much every profession.

My second little girl is just the sweetest, happiest little baby around. She is almost 14 months old now, and just starting to walk. She took a few steps unassisted over the weekend. But mostly, she prefers to push her little walker stroller up and down our hall.

She waves bye-bye with the best of them.

She signs "more" and says "mo" when she wants more of something- usually crackers.

She likes to help us get her dressed and undressed. I predict she'll be one of those kids who insists on dressing herself ridiculously early.

nej said...

@blue - Say wha? Girls are so much easier! Or at least my girl is. I think that maybe it's more a factor of being second born. I know we've discussed the feedback loop of the first born stresses on Moxie and I think that had a huge effect in our family. But then again, my son was such a miserable baby with the reflux and the dairy allergy that maybe he would have been miserable even if he'd been the second born. But we're grateful they came in the order they did, because if we'd had her first and then him...well, we would've been pissed! and shocked! instead of grateful and relieved.

@Clare - My E does that, too. And if he hasn't asked their name or didn't quite hear it or understand it, then he just says, "Hey, guy. Wanna come swing with me?" Even if "guy" is a girl.

@paola - I've got a stickler for the rules, too. Just like his momma. In fact, this morning I offered him a sip of my coffee and he freaked out. "No! That's got adult stuff in it." And he looked horrified that I would even suggest that he dare. And he called out some lady at the store the other day for "wasting tea" because she thought she was sampling coffee and poured out the tea she didn't want. He harassed her for so long that I swear she would have drank the tea out of the garbage if she could have just to shut him the hell up.

@hush - Dying to know DD's name. B's name is also european and no one we know has ever heard it, so we get a little bit of "come agains" when we tell people her name. And I forget that we have babies the same age. B's birthday is 10-11 but that is where any similarities end. She is the total opposite of your DD. We think she could probably walk if she wanted to, but she seems to be waiting until she can do it without falling or until I one day wake up and say, "I am carrying you no more!" And she's been crawling up and down stairs for months and climbing up on step stools and onto the fireplace mantel but refuses to walk on her own. But she is super snuggly, although I don't think that has anything to do with what I did/didn't do with her, and everything to do with her personality, which is so my husband's. I snuggled the crap outta E and he is not a snuggler. Because unfortunately for him, he's a little version of me and unsolicited petting gets a swack. Its a sensory thing.

Great topic! And I just figured that #2 gets less bloggy time because while they're equally loved and just as important, what they're doing isn't as novel or funny as what #1 is doing. Function of their age/stage...right? Oh no, I love #1 more, don't I?!?

Jac. said...

Yay - I get to post here because we had DD Sunday a week ago! At the moment, it's DS who is getting short thrift and I am grieving that a little bit.

So far, DD is a sleeper (yay!) which her brother never was - I even got all my Christmas cards done this week. So that's what I am loving about her. Also, she's adorable, smells good, and makes awesome milk-drunk faces.

DS is a very trying 3 year old but I love that he:

1. Is so empathetic about people's feelings - if he sees that someone is sad or hurt, he always says "don't worry, I'll make it better".

2. Categorizes his hugs (i.e. he tells me if he is going to give me a big hug, or a squeezy hug, or a monster hug, and then does it).

3. Is fearless. Completely. It freaks me out but I really love that about him.

4. Tells me that I am his best mommy, a good mommy, his sweetie pie mommy. When I am really beating myself up about the shitty parenting job I am doing for him, it's nice to hear from the horse's mouth that he doesn't see it that way.

Cloud said...


The name thing is interesting. Our second daughter has a name that is also a clothing store (still rare in the US, though) and an obscure princess. It gets mispronounced all the time. But then, our first daughter's name (which I think of as a fairly standard, if a bit unusual, name) gets misspelled all the time. I don't think you can win.

Zenmoo said...

Well, I've only got the one - but damn, I reckon she is the most -ahem- active baby I've come across. I was in the doctors waiting room a couple of days ago and she was being her usual self. She was bolting (crawling in her own 'unique' style) up the hallway, over and over and over, pulling up and chasing toys and then jumping up and down on my lap. She loves that - all I do is hold her around her waist and she bounces and giggles... One of the ladies asked me if she ever slows down and I said, if she has an off switch, I haven't found it! (in fact, I'm convinced her inability to go to sleep unless she's being bounced is due to the fact she hasn't worked out how to LIE STILL!)

And my baby has a good Irish name to go with her unusual Irish surname. She'll be spelling both out to people all her
life, unless she moves to Ireland where both names are fairly common.

Claudia said...

I have only one child (4 years 7 months), so I'll just brag about her.
She's such a happy and nice person. She's easy-going without being spineless. She'll listen to reason. She'll crack us up. She impressed me today by copying "Happy Thanksgiving" from a coloring print out perfectly, font swags and all. She boasts about her English-speaking skills, which are minimal but improving all the time. She makes an effort to use more English words with me, without me prodding her.
She remembers virtually everything. We were in the states in the summer of '09, and though we've talked about people she met there, it still seemed impressive that the other day she asked randomly, "how are _____ and _____?" Like she just wanted to know if they're doing well, happy, whatever.
That's all I can spew now, though there's plenty more. And I have SO little to complain about.

caramama said...

Awwww, your girl sounds so adorable! And HURRAY for making it out of survival mode!

I also feel like I blog way more about my daughter than my son, but I think it's more what @Melba said. I'm planning to blog about the boy more, if I can find more time to blog at all!

My 17.5 month old is so chubby adorable, with round cheeks, eyes, head, belly, and everything else! He is super snuggly and loves his Mama more than anything else in the world. That makes me swoon. Lately, he's gotten into books... at least bringing them to me, although he doesn't often sit through me reading them. He's also had some word and sign explosion and is able to communicate so much better lately. Oh, and my two favorite looks from him are his bashfully-looking-at-you-out-of-the-corner-of-his-eye-while-his-chin-is-down look and his I-know-I'm-not-suppose-to-be-doing-this-but-I-think-I-can-get-away-with-it-because-I'm-cute look.

I loved hearing/reading about everyone's kids! We should do this more!

Caryn Caldwell said...

I have to say, I'm kind of glad to hear that it's normal to still be in survival mode with your baby is only nine months old (as mine is). We definitely still feel like that. As for reading to DD, it's never too late to start. And I think cuddling is more of a personality thing. We cuddled and held Sunshine a lot, but she is so active that she doesn't like to cuddle much now. Non-cuddlers have other ways of showing their love, though. (That said, I do wish she were more huggy. Hugs from babies and toddlers are so sweet.)

Melba said...

@Jac - congrats!!!! She sounds lovely. Especially the good sleeper part and the milk-drunkeness part. Love it. :)

@Zenmoo - I had Annie at the doctor's office yesterday for a nagging cough that just won't go away (might be athsma, not sure yet). Anyway when the doctor comes in, Annie is climbing all over me and clapping and giggling and all happy as can be, and I'm all yeah... here's my "sick" baby.

Also, all these name hints are totally killing me! Both my girls have pretty common names. Not super common, but probably both in the top 100. Rosie's real name is easy to pronounce and only one spelling so no one ever gets that wrong. Annie's real name has multiple spellings so it's often misspelled. But easy to pronounce.

Jac. said...

@Melba - we finally received an asthma diagnosis for DS about a month ago because he kept getting these nagging coughs that wouldn't go away and weren't tied to other cold symptoms. They always got worse during the night too which is apparently a key sign of asthma.

Melba said...

@Jac, does your DS have chest congestion too? See with Annie, it's all the signs of athsma EXCEPT she has this gurgley noise when she breathes that sounds like congestion.

And she won't take the ventilin inhaler. It's practically impossible, even with the pediatric attachment they gave us. :( So we still aren't sure.

Sorry to hijack your post, hush. I'll go do my own post about Annie's potential athsma and hopefully will get some advice there.

Jac said...

@Melba - Yes, he sounds like he has chest congestion. But no other symptoms of a cold (like no runny nose). We got him to take the ventalin by bribing with cookies:) He has to keep the mask on his face to the count of 10 which we figure gives him enough time to get the required breaths in - we stop counting if he holds his breath. Also, (and this is where the Fuzz Brightbear obsession has come in handy) we told him it was his space ranger mask :)

eta said...

@Melba & Jac: De-lurking to day, in case it helps, that we switched Little from ventolin & a hard spacer to xopinex (sp?) with the accordian-bag spacer, and the medicine finally started working for her. I think the medicine didn't matter as much as that with the new spacer style she could see the bag move. She was almost 4 when we switched (after 6 months of not enough improvement). Every kid & every asthmatic is different, though, so this isn't advice or anything. FWIW, Elder has 2.5 years on her, and his allergy shots & the meds have made this last year infinitely better than the years before.

All your blogs are v. impressive. When I read you, I wish you all were in my neighborhood & I could meet you for coffee. Thanks.

hush said...

@MrsHaley - I can't believe your DS is already like 2 years old!!! Seems like only yesterday we got his birth news on Ask Moxie. ;)

@Melba - I would love to tell you DD's name, but in the spirit of keeping this an anonymous blog I must keep it to myself for now. I am sorry to hear about Annie and @Jac's DS both having asthma! Yikes! Will check out your post - but feel free to also discuss here anytime if needed!

@Clare - Hand me down underpants are alright with me! That's exactly what I plan to do. DD will be wearing some boys' underpants. We've already thrown out the ones with the nastiest stains anyhow. ;) Love your DS's name, BTW!

@Blue - Awww, DS sounds like a total sweetie pie. Yeah, I'm working through the guilt. ;) Trying to let it go and realize it is like this with pretty much everyone.

@Paola - Your kids sound like the cutest pair! How sweet that DD has an English accent.

@Cloud - That is so awesome that she helps you dress and undress her! WOW!! My kids give me looks that could kill every time I come at them with clothes in hand!

@Nej - "I just figured that #2 gets less bloggy time because while they're equally loved and just as important, what they're doing isn't as novel or funny as what #1 is doing. Function of their age/stage...right? Oh no, I love #1 more, don't I?!?" LOL.. So glad someone else gets it!

And @Cloud et al - on the name thing, sometimes I wish I had given her one of those kre8tiv, definitely American names that every other kid seems to have these days... but you're right, we can't win.

@Jac - CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! On getting all of your Xmas cards done, of course! Just kidding - That's awesome that DD is home, healthy, and sleeping! Hope all are getting some rest. "Tells me that I am his best mommy, a good mommy, his sweetie pie mommy." = Melts my heart! What a little love bug.

@Zenmoo - It is waiting room comments like the ones you've received that really do put things into perspective for us as to the people our kids are going to be. It look me about 3 years to finally figure out that DS is a lot more energetic than most other kids his age, and yet the fact that the nurses in the delivery room who see newborns all the time were like "Wow your baby is so alert!" - should have tipped me off, not in a scary way but in a good way.

@Claudia - I love that you bragged about your girl - I was an only child, too, so I can relate. ;) I didn't know she doesn't speak much English yet - do most Danish kids learn it in school?

@Caramama - "Oh, and my two favorite looks from him are his bashfully-looking-at-you-out-of-the-corner-of-his-eye-while-his-chin-is-down look and his I-know-I'm-not-suppose-to-be-doing-this-but-I-think-I-can-get-away-with-it-because-I'm-cute look. " Oh my goodness!! This stuff is like total Cute Overload for me.

@Caryn Caldwell - "I'm kind of glad to hear that it's normal to still be in survival mode with your baby is only nine months old." Oh, yes - so very normal. It will get better with time, and people with any child under the age of one who seem like they have a perfect relationship right now aren't giving you the full picture.

@eta - De-lurkers welcome! ;)