Parenting Truths: Raising Two (Very Different) Kids

For some reason, I keep expecting parenting to be logical and rational. And I keep expecting my past experiences to completely inform my future ones.

And then the Parenting Gods come with their big hands and slap me down, again and again … because there is very little logic when it comes to parenting little ones – just trial and error. Yet it takes me a very long time to accept this, apparently.

In this case I keep expecting my two children to be identical, both in the stages they’re going through and how they react to things. But why? My rational brain tells me they are different people, and despite coming from the same womb they will grow up to be different people, just like my sister and I are. My girls aren’t identical twins, after all.

So why do I keep expecting them to be the same?

To make parenting easier!

But no … just when I think I have this parenting game down, Baby does something 180 degrees from how Toddler did it, so I’m back to square one. Adjust course, captain!

  • Toddler slept with a pacifier until about 10m, but Baby only used it for a few months for naps – and even then I pretty much had to force it into her mouth
  • Toddler slept on her back as a baby and crawled at 10m … and Baby slept on her tummy but still, at 13m, still doesn’t really crawl (but has been walking since 10.5m) – and she refuses to sleep on her back in every way
  • Toddler pretty much refused to drink out of a bottle when she was a baby (hard when I had to supplement at 9m!), but went with ease straight to a straw cup. Baby takes a bottle so well that she won’t drink milk from a cup. Can’t Toddler teach her?!
  • Toddler would spend half of the snowy days outside; Baby will not step in the snow!
  • Toddler bit me when I was nursing her maybe three times, but Baby sure fought a vicious, bloody battle with me!
  • Toddler prefers coldish baths; Baby needs a borderline hot bath else she gets the shivers. And they bathe together!
  • Toddler loved/loves being read to, but Baby would – at this stage – rather sit on her own and page through books … for hours!

Needless to say, my girls are quite different. I should expect them to be, yes. But can’t they grow into different people later? Can’t they just behave similarly as babies so mommy knows what to expect? So I can use the tricks I learned while raising Toddler?

“They” say going from one kid to two kids is the hardest transition – harder than going from three to four, for example. I think I know why: because if you’ve already had three kids, that pretty much covers every behavior … and parenthood should theoretically be easier: a true case of been there, done that.

But with just two kids it feels a lot of the time like it’s still my first time at bat. Sigh.

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15 thoughts on “Parenting Truths: Raising Two (Very Different) Kids

  1. I still fall into this trap and I’ve got three. I think one of our “problems” is that we feel compelled to compare our children even if we don’t want to compare them. I agree that it would be so much easier if all our kids acted the same way when they were little. By the way, my daughter learned to crawl when she started gymnastics at the age of 2. Before that, she did a zombie drag. I’m not sure she’ll ever learn how to walk…she just runs all the time!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so true…. We are always comparing them, aren’t we? It’s impossible not to, right? I think it’s part of the parenting process – informing the present by past knowledge … only it just doesn’t always apply. 😦
      That’s hilarious! That’s what Baby does – a zombie drag!!!! We did call her Zombaby when she started to walk, haha. Your daughter must be full of energy! One day she’ll slow down….

      Like

  2. Mine are super different in a lot of ways, too. I’ll replicate your list:

    -Neither kid was into pacifiers, but kid #1 had a habit of unauthorized mouthing well into the preschool years, so we sometimes used a pacifier for that

    -Kid #1 crawled and walked right on schedule; kid #2 didn’t walk until 14 months

    -Kid #1 was a boobaholic who refused most solids until 15 months; kid #2 would take breast milk, formula, Gerber baby food, a bite of my sandwich, whatever, it’s all good

    -Kid #1 was only willing to sleep with my nipple in her mouth; kid #2 was a much better sleeper up until the asthma kicked in (hard to sleep when you can’t breathe)

    -Kid #1 used the potty for the first time at 18 months but took 3 years to fully toilet train; kid #2 used the potty for the first time several months past age 3 but was fully toilet trained within 6 weeks

    -Kid #1 wanted to be entertained by another human EVERY SINGLE SECOND OF EVERY SINGLE DAY; kid #2 will play alone at least sometimes

    -Kid #1 threw enormous, explosive temper tantrums padded by long periods of angelic behavior; kid #2 rarely throws tantrums but is at a sort of low-level drip of constant crying

    -Kid #1 talked articulately from an early age; kid #2 was a borderline late talker who is still difficult to understand, but has great ideas when you can understand them

    -Kid #1 was more serious than kid #2 at the same ages (their same teachers have confirmed this)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My oldest just turned 9 and my youngest will be 3 in June. Like you said, all of the experiences couldn’t be more different. My son easily came off the bottle, was early on all the little milestones we track, was very easy going. My daughter held on to her last bottle for longer than I’d like to admit, was so late on most of her milestones that therapy was a consideration, and is very…demanding, to put it nicely. They’re both awesome kids, but so very different!

    Liked by 1 person

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