You know, I think one of the things that's so nice about when you're pregnant the first time is that you are simply blissfully unaware of what's ahead. You think of having that cute little baby, and sure you know in your head that you'll be sleep deprived and yadda yadda yadda, but you don't really realize what that means till you go through it.
Part of me is very excited about having a newborn around again. And part of me is also afraid, because I do still remember what those early (and not so early) months felt like-- how utterly, completely tired you feel, like your mind is in a fog,m and you can hardly function. And this time I'll have a toddler to deal with as well as a new baby. I know in some ways the baby part will be easier, having gone through it before, having the knowledge and confidence that I have now that I lacked the first time. But I'm also getting a preview now of what it's like to parent a toddler when you're super tired, and it ain't pretty.
All that said, while D can be a challenge at times, I also realize how very easy he is in many ways. Sure, he's active and has a lot of energy, but not outrageously so. And, he has this amazing ability to entertain himself, sometimes for fairly long periods of time. I like to think part of that is thanks to my efforts to foster that independence in him, but I'm sure quite a bit of it is simply his nature. I got lucky. ; )
This week his "thing" has been playing with our cooking utensils. He's pulled out pretty much every spatula, wooden spoon, and set of tongs from the drawer they usually reside in, and has been playing with them in the living room each day. Sometimes they go in and out of the Soap.com box that arrived on Tuesday. Other times they go into the bed of his dump truck, and get pushed all around the kitchen and living room. He'll squeal with laughter and yell, "Oh my gosh, what happened??" every time a set of spoons falls off the back, and then puts them back on and repeats the whole game.
And I enjoy it. I sit back in our old, ugly, but oh-so-comfortable chair we still have from college, put my feet up, sometimes grab my ipod and check twitter, or simply watch as he plays. These breaks are golden, and I know I need to take advantage of them and recharge while I can if I have any hope of making it through the tantrums and melt-downs that are sure to follow later in the day.
Things are, thankfully, going better than they were last week. It helps that I'm not quite as tired, so I have more patience. Which means I don't raise my voice, which then means D doesn't yell back at me as much, and it's all just a big feedback loop, isn't it? And it goes in both directions. I also pulled out my copy of How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk and reviewed some of the chapters and tips. I love the cartoon summaries-- cheesy, sure, but they make it very easy to review the basics quickly. It's not magic, but it does seem to help.