Face-off, originally uploaded by Madame Meow.
This little cute chunky monkey face, a.k.a. Don Meow, likes to keep me up nights.
Oh sleep, how I miss thee.
He also likes to pinch and chomp on limbs; he likes to make cute random talky noises and the most darling high-pitched squeals for no reason; he enjoys being talked to, especially in Spanish; he does not particularly enjoy smiling for pictures; and he positively adores covering the world with his drool so much that his brother, Herr Meow, has decided to start calling him "The Slug."
(Proud Mama notes: Srsly? He came up with a nickname all on his own! A correctly applied nickname!)
When people tell you that every baby is different and that you simply cannot and must not compare, they are usually trying to soothe ruffled tempers because someone's kid is going through a milestone faster than another's, or because someone's kid is filling out (and in) their diaper much better than another's child.
It's only when you become the parent of more than one child that you get to realize that, indeed, comparisons are pointless. Or at least comparisons amongst your offspring are pointless and potentially hurtful.
Don't get me wrong: the comparison monster likes to rear its ugly head all the time. Did Herr Meow get to be as chunky? Is Don Meow more drooly? Was the first-born more camera-friendly? Is the second-born blessed with more expressive eyebrows?
Who communicated better? Who will be taller? Who is the better eater? Who slept less or more or better or longer or more often?
And yet, for all the inner monologue that sometimes keeps me up and plagues me and makes me wonder if the Good Mothers of the World ever do this, when I actually focus on the children and stop questioning for a few seconds, I find that I can just let go and enjoy.
I can enjoy the soft, chubby, ripply deliciousness that the little baby basks in with his whole self. And I can do so while I also enjoy the lean, low-body-fat, creamy, austere landscape that barely holds babylike features within my little preschooler hellion.
I can nuzzle into the buttery chin and sniff Don Meow's milky babyness, while also snuggling against Herr Meow's lanky, mini-dynamo frame.
And I can laugh at Herr Meow's budding sense of humor and comedic timing, such as when he, embarrassingly correctly, admonished one of his little friends to "stop being such a douchebag" (reason #8375 why I would be going to Hell, if such a place existed); while I also laugh at Don Meow, who blew the tiniest of raspberries today and then cracked up at his own sound (fart sounds NEVER get old).
And I can marvel that these two children were once an actual part of my body, while now they are a part of my very existence and a very real pain in my behind (or "butt-hoooooole" as Herr Meow might gleefully declare– this being reason #8376, by the way).
And really, when you're talking about something being a part of yourself, how can you compare? I mean, objectively i suppose you can compare your spleen to your eye, but it's all a part of the same whole. And so it is with children.
If only I could get them to sleep when I sleep, we'd really be in business.
So true and beautifully said.
This post made me smile. Your kids are charming. Your writing is charming.
(Of course, I can’t help but compare my two kiddos. I find it fascinating to try to pick apart what features and characteristics are inherited, and from whom. And then to think about how different circumstances and practices may have led to differences. It’s that whole nature-nurture debate, which I seem to find infinitely fascinating.)
I haven’t stopped by for a while…congratulations on Don Meow.
True, funny and reassuring all at once. Thanks for this. It’s comforting as I await baby boy’s imminent arrival (and what feels like impending doom at times).