That teeny tiny ‘little guy’ (as Carlitos calls him) who I gave birth to just the other day, celebrated his one month birthday on Saturday. Well, okay, we celebrated for him, he didn’t actually have any of the tres leches (gracias, mima) or wine, but it was all in his honor. I can’t believe how quickly this past month has gone. More importantly, I can not believe on what great terms my husband and I are after one month with a newborn…and a 2.5 year old. When Carlitos was one month old I believe I recall my husband and I being at each other’s throats…constantly. It had something to do with the complete lack of sleep and constant screaming (the baby). Now, before I make this next statement, please understand that there is a definite lack of sleep and there is crying this time, too (in fact I hear him in there with my husband crying right now – the baby is crying, not my husband. I’m pretty sure…) but things really seem much easier this time around. Easier, not easy. Stand down, attack dogs! I am not saying that having a baby is easy. I have seen way too many of my students – starting in 7th grade – get pregnant to ever suggest something as crazy as “Babies are easy!”. That would be about as insane as saying that having a baby helps your relationship. I heard this great comment one time that thinking a baby will save your relationship is about as accurate as thinking that inviting a really hot prostitute into your relationship will help it. Do you hear me ex students? Do you HEAR me??? Okay, sorry, I had a moment. So, back to my angelic son…
At first we kept giving all of the credit to Xavi. ‘Oh, he is such a good baby! Gosh, all he does is just eat and sleep and poop. Amazing! He almost never cries and is soooo easy to soothe!’ Well, then it dawned on me that maybe it is not just that Xavi is more mellow than Carlitos was. Maybe, just maybe, we have gotten better at this whole ‘parenting’ thing. For starters, how about the novel idea that usually when he cries it means he is hungry? And always when he is hungry you should feed him.
I can totally remember that when Carlitos was a newborn I found myself often saying “Nope, he can’t be hungry. He just ate. There is no way. There must be something else wrong.” I confessed this to my mom the other day and she admitted that she and Mima would look at each other knowingly, but not knowing how exactly to force me to try again, even if it felt like he just ate. With Xavi I truly take note of what time I begin each feeding and the next time he cries I can usually admit that it has been about 2 hours. I feel like he just ate, but I am able to listen to my rational mind this time and acknowledge that he is probably hungry. And guess what? This makes for a happy baby that rarely ever cries. Crazy, right?
I mean, hello!!! Do you see that his eyes are open? In a minute they will be shut. I hope you get how amazing that is. We could never (NEVER) do that when Carlitos was a baby. In fact, we still can’t. With Carlitos we had to work and work and work to get him to sleep and then do the “please don’t squeak, floorboards! silent tip toe backwards out the door” move. Oh, and yes, that is just a regular basket. Don’t ask, don’t judge.
I think the general knowledge that this phase does not last forever (in fact, it is much shorter than the blink of an eye), makes it easier to react calmly when he does cry…which only helps to soothe him faster. And speaking of this stage of life being less than a millisecond, we have already started seeing him reach milestones and grow up a little faster than Carlitos did. Something about having an older brother, I think. For example, look what Xavi did this morning!
I had my back to him for a second while getting Carlitos ready for his shower and all of the sudden I heard music and nearly jumped out of my skin. Typically, the only noise a one month old makes is to cry. They can not talk, coo, etc. yet, so I could not figure out who made music. When I turned around, I saw that little Xavi had reached up and was pulling (repeatedly!) on the frog to make it play music. Unbelievable! And then I realized that Carlitos does this for him a million times a day. He loves to pull on that frog in order to “make Baby Brother feel better.” All. Day. Long. I guess Xavi is trying to be like his amazing big brother already. Tear.
While I am enjoying some of the differences this time around, I have to say that I am honestly frightened of having John Xavier grow up too fast. It goes by fast enough as it is. I really do not want it sped up anymore.