I, of course, as a new Mom, nodded in agreement but secretly scoffed at that idea, figuring that my firstborn's personality (which was compliant and obedient and easy) had more to do with, well, upbringing, then anything else. I mean, I worked hard to be a good Mom, so some of that was paying off, right? So then, surely my second-born would be similar, with *obviously* a different personality.
Sure enough, Miss Mouse came into our lives with a grand cry. She was a noisy newborn, but also an excellent eater and fairly easygoing. She was easy. I was proud.
After a few months, the easiness disappeared. She woke up.
She was fussy. She was high-maintenance. She had what we think was colic. She woke up several times a night for a few months for no apparent reason. I saw myself as a champion of breastfeeding and happily doled out advice to Moms regarding it after Cub was born, and now I found myself faced with the choice to wean my daughter before I felt either of us were ready, because of a milk allergy (I held out for four months, weaned her, and cried for three days). Everything I "knew" about being a Mom to an infant flew straight out the window and I found myself in an absolute tizzy.
I soon realized that the biggest challenge was simply learning a new personality--the methods that had worked with Cub did not necessarily work for Mouse, but some of them did. Trying to figure out this new little person was half the battle. Boundaries had to be set and they lay in different places than they did with big brother.
In my mind, I heard the words of those Moms who had said their firstborn had made them confident ... and their second-born had made them humble. And oh my word, I laughed because, in my case, they were totally right. Obviously, there are exceptions to the rule, but they were dead-on in my situation! I found myself humbled more and more, looking through grace-colored lenses at my fellow Moms. Simply becoming a Mom had made me understanding to other Moms, but becoming a Mom again opened my heart even more. It was so good for me.
Despite the trickiness, there was spunk. Naomi was a difficult infant, but she was also gloriously delightful. Watching her grow has been nothing short of one amusing ride. When she's happy, she absolutely lights up the room. She cracks us up with her antics, putting on our shoes, eating wood chips, chasing the chickens, and dancing every time she hears music. Her laugh is infectious and her cuteness just kills us. She's rough and tumble but is always gesturing for me to put bows in her hair. She loves dirt and (pretend) lip gloss. Even though she's stubborn, she's sensitively sweet, and when she gets in trouble it melts her world and she hates disappointing us. Once we began to learn her personality and her quirks, we fell into a groove the same way we did with Cub. I realized I had basically given birth to myself, which honestly helped us figure her out! Naomi is by far our spunky pumpkin, but she's a great kid. Our kids, who have totally different personalities, delight us just the same. We can't imagine loving them more.
I sat down to write this as Naomi shuffled by me wearing my TOMS, pushing her brother's new bike. She stopped, looked up at me and smiled, and went on her merry way, her head bobbing back and forth, the bow perched atop it starting to fall. There will no doubt be a mess wherever she stopped and chances are my TOMS will be missing for at least two days. But the joy, the absolute joy of her, is overwhelming.
These are the things I want to remember as we introduce yet a third personality to the bunch. May grace abound.
Just some thoughts today. :)
Have a lovely day.