When James was born, we were, frankly, kind of amazed. here was a child who slept when he should sleep. Correspondingly, he was rarely cranky. Simone, who we love dearly, had been difficult when she was small. She still has sleep issues from time to time, and when she was smaller, she nearly killed us with them. I lost count of the nights when I was in the car driving her around at 2 am. It was rough.
This, time we thought we’d hit the jack pot. It’s difficult to explain how charming James was for his first year plus of life. Others marveled at how little he cried. It’s enough to almost make me understand parents who look down on you when your child cries in a store.
Well guess what? It isn’t always a rose garden.
Now, he climbs on everything. We have to lay our kitchen chairs on their backs to keep him off the dinner table. And lately, he’s taken to staying up until eleven o’clock or so every night. And for much of it, he’s whiny as hell. It sucks. It really does. I can’t remember the last time I had a non-exhausted moment alone with Cate.
He’ll come through it, of course. But the point, if there is one, is that the longer you parent a new child, the more apparent it is that each kid is different. This is probably self-evident, but experience really brings it home. It’s also good for us because it stops us form thinking about Simone as “the difficult one.” That’s not a thought you want to have about one of your kids, but being human is what it is.
And lately, Simone has pretty much been an angel. Cate is teaching her to read because Simone is too excited about it to hold back and she’s started to learn to write a bit, too. We aren’t pushing her. It’s all at her own pace, but it is good for us, I think, to have that role reversal. Kids will surprise you, I guess.