It is beyond amazing to have Charlie in our lives. I remember when T was tiny feeling incredibly overwhelmed. I was happy and completely in love with him, but especially before he started smiling it was frustrating to get absolutely nothing back from him. This time there is a toddler in the house who is giving back all sorts of affection it doesn't matter a lick that the baby just blankly stares off into the distance. It's amazing to feel two completely different kinds of love at the same time. We know T, his personality is very well developed, he is becoming more of himself every single day. Our love for him is not just based on the fact that he is ours, we really do adore who he is. We are biased, but we think he's a neat kid and we are tickled we get to be his parents. And at this point our love for Charlie is intense, instincutal, almost animal. We are starting to see glimmers of who he will be, and we think he is beautiful. But we are hard-wired to feel that way. And evolutionary imperative or not, it is a heady and exciting love.
Before C was born I couldn't comprehend loving another child as much as I love T. It's not that I didn't believe it would happen, I just couldn't imagine it. But as soon as I held C my heart swelled. I'm not trying to make a tired Grinch analogy here, I'm saying I felt my heart's capacity increase. The tired Grinch thing actually happened. And I know it would happen again if we were to have another baby. In fact, it was such an intense rush it almost makes me want to have another baby. This whole impulse to continue the species is a powerful thing.
Everything is different this time around. During T's infancy I was so overwhelmed and terrified. I couldn't believe we were allowed to be parents. I was sure everything I did was somehow wrong. It is so much more relaxing this time. The nursing only hurt terribly for under two weeks. C is an amazing sleeper, he barely cries. He's just a pleasant little blob. The flip side is he spends way more time in his bouncy seat than T did. We always had T in our arms, but that just isn't possible right now. T needs too much attention.
T smiled very early at around 5 weeks. Last night Z and I were cooing over C and I said I felt so guilty about not being able to give C more attention. I'd put money on C's first smile being later than T's. We aren't constantly in his face, trying to get him to do it. I feel very conflicted that I can't give the boys the same experience. They have the same amount of my love, but I need to get used to the fact that I will never be able to give them the same exact parenting. The circumstances are different and they are different people. They are going to need different things from me, and I'm going to respond to their personalities in different ways. My parents went to extremes to let my sister and me know they wouldn't play favorites. I don't want to favor either of my boys, but I also want to be realistic about the fact that they are individuals and I will never be able to provide the exact same experience for them. I want to get over my guilt because deep down I think it is good that we recognize they are individuals. All that said, I still wish there was more time in my day. I wish I was able to spend much more time holding my sweet baby who is already growing too fast.
C was not thrilled with his first bath. He's really warmed up to them recently.
He did enjoy getting dry.
He so isn't allowed to do this.