Parenting Evolution: 1 to 2 to 3

Written by Emily

Whether you agree or disagree with the Theory of Evolution, I can’t deny its existence in my life after a simple self-examination:

When my son, Noah, was born, I birthed an overwhelming anxiety at the same time. I looked at my little 5 pound 11 ounce boy, all white and covered in slime and perfect, with swollen lips and eyelids, and felt the weight of responsibility to keep him safe bearing down on my shoulders. As a result, I held him constantly. Noah could not sleep at all without my arms around him. He had such an aversion to his crib that he would scream in red-faced hysterics at the sight of it. I didn’t give him a bottle because I was concerned about nipple confusion. I didn’t drive with him in the car for the first several weeks because I was terrified of getting into an accident. I was a lunatic. During his fussy periods (and there were a lot), I could only soothe him by holding him against me and bouncing him on my exercise ball (I credit that practice for getting some semblance of a mid-section back.) I wore Noah in a baby wrap and quoted Dr. Sears to family members who tried to suggest I “lighten up.”  When Noah was old enough to grab toys and crawl, I was a nervous wreck. My diaper bag was stocked with enough wipes to clean all the baby bottoms in the state of Pennsylvania…or just enough for Noah. I wiped every surface he might touch, and I was known to move at lightening speed to clean a fallen toy before a family member or friend gave it back to my boy without thinking. In short, I was a treat to be around. I doubt I finished a conversation with all of my ups and downs (another practice I credit for my return to real jeans). If I could have wrapped everything in that thick plastic that elderly people use on their furniture, I would have, but the roll didn’t fit in my diaper bag. He was my first child. I didn’t know any better. I plead ignorance.

Insert 500 pictures of Noah here.

And then came Chloe. It did not take long for my hypersensitivity to wane because let’s face it, I just didn’t have the energy. Neither Noah nor Chloe slept through the night, so I resembled the cast of Walking Dead, but not as put together. Zombies don’t move fast. Neither did I. I remember allowing Chloe and Noah to play under the table at a restaurant once (or maybe several times). I think my mother may have reached across the table to feel my head for a fever. The truth is, I just wanted to eat or make room on my plate for my head, so I could catch a nap.

Insert picture of Chloe here.

Now there is Sylvie, an angel baby. She sleeps and smiles and goes with the flow. I wipe her nose with sandpaper if its the only thing around, and I reuse it too many times. How things change.

Where is my camera?

I have evolved.

Categories: Emily, Family

Tags: , , , , ,

11 replies

  1. I laughed out loud!

  2. As the youngest of four, I completely understand this post. Not that I’m bitter or anything about the fact that there are 8 billion baby pics of my oldest bro and two of me… 🙂

  3. Love this. So glad you’ve evolved. Isn’t it fun? And the evolution continues in so many ways as they get older. The only constant in our lives is change….. You are such an amazing mom and an incredible writer. Keep it up. I look forward to my morning e-mail with the newest blog post!

  4. Fun? Most of the time 🙂 Thank you for the support and kind words. Thank goodness for other women to build us up and provide a shoulder or ear when necessary!

  5. Yep, that about sums it up. I am not sure I even showed McKinley where she was supposed to sleep. I think I may have suggested that she ask her brother or sister to show her the ropes so that she was able to eat or sleep every now and then. She is, however fairly well adjusted despite all the things I neglected to do with her. Changing table????? What??? I can change that diaper with you standing in the parking lot. 🙂 So fun reading all of your blogs.

  6. What was good for me was the fact that I was the third child and had no pictures of me growing up. I confess that is why I chose NOT to grow up. After having 4 children of my own, my own life now makes sense. Albums of the first and some snapshots of the last.

  7. Judy, you know I only had two, but had the same experience! As far as my own childhood, can you imagine what eight children do to your parenting skills? Mom was doing well if she could account for five at one time!

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