When I was pregnant with Tommy, I had all of these first time mom hopes and dreams. I would imagine what it would be like to sing lullabies and hold this precious bundle of life in my arms every night before bed. I decorated his little forest-themed nursery and put his tiny clothes in order and as I rubbed my belly, I dreamed of beautiful memories and how full our lives would be. I never read any books on pregnancy or even what to expect the first year. I decided to rely on my gut instincts and take everything how it would come. I felt so ready to be a mom that I was certain I could figure it all out.
Looking back, it's cute how I thought I would just "know" what to do in any given situation when it came to being a mom. And for Tommy, he really did fit into my picture of motherhood and parenting perfectly. Hew as a great baby, a great toddler - he's a great kid now. And perhaps his greatness confirmed to me that I must be a great mom too.
A few years ago, I could easily see myself shaping up to be the "IT" mom I had envisioned. I was on my way with my shiny, new baby that was the poster child of ease and delightfulness. It's pretty easy to be the "IT" mom when you have the "IT" baby.
Tommy really was the easiest baby in the world. Sure, I can remember a few especially frustrating nights, but for the most part, he was easy-going and laid back. I could wash dishes or fold laundry while he played on the floor with his toys as content as could be. We could leave him in his swing for hours (um, not that we did that or anything) and he was perfectly happy in there. I could make dinner while he played with baking sheets and Tupperware. And when it came to bedtime, I simply laid him down, turned on his mobile, kissed him goodnight and closed the door to his room. He slept through the night like a champ from the time he was six weeks old and never woke us up again except for maybe the 2.5 times he was sick. I could take him to the grocery store with me and he would sit in the cart and be his sweet, well-behaved self.
Who needs books? Who needs help? I've got this. Clearly. I mean, check out my stellar baby.
As he got older, things that are typically hard transitions were again - easy. Weaning him from the bottle, taking away his pacifier, moving into a big boy bed and even potty training went down without a hitch. While there has been a little push-back from him as he has grown and found is voice and opinion, he is generally obedient, compliant, sweet and well-behaved.
Even when he was pouting, he was freaking adorable.
And naturally, both Todd and I felt like we had done something right with our son. We must have made the right discipline choices. We must be creating some great environment for him to grow up in. We must be pretty darn good parents because we had this pretty darn good boy.
Why not do this again? We had this parenting thing down.
Perhaps when we found out that we were expecting baby #2, we were also expecting another baby just like Tommy. One that looked like him, acted like him and a parenting experience identical to what we had done thus far with Tommy.
Again, it's cute that we thought having another child would go exactly like our first. Admittedly, we were a bit naive and a bit lost in the whole romantic notion of having another baby together.
My pregnancy was rough and maybe that should have been an indication of things to come. We were about to have our worlds rocked by a boy with so much passion and emotion that no amount of mother's instincts or what to expect books could ever prepare us for. A boy that has pushed back since he came into the world. And a boy that has taught me more about myself than maybe anyone ever.