It all comes down to phases. I overheard a new mom talking in the coffee shop today. Someone in line asked her about her baby. The mom stated that sometimes her little girl is sweet as pie, and sometimes she’s a nightmare. I smiled to myself because I remember that phase, the one where you never know what the next minute is going to bring. We just passed one of our own phases at the Clark household and I can’t say I didn’t see it coming.
Ella has been climbing out of her crib for a while now at naps. It’s not an every day thing, but once in a while she won’t be feeling the quiet rest time and she’ll let herself out of bed, open her door, and I’ll hear her little feet covered in cotton tights padding down the stairs. She likes to greet me by saying, “Well, hello!”, acting all surprised that I am downstairs, as if I am the one who is causing mischief.
We knew it would happen sooner or later. She’s our adventurer. She’s our risk taker. And so last night, we weren’t surprised (annoyed, yes, but surprised, no) when Ella got out of her bed about seven times in a row. I looked at Justin, and we knew it was time. Although we were unprepared, and hadn’t purchased a big girl bed yet, we took her mattress out of the crib and set it on the floor. We knew that she’d get a huge kick out of all the new freedom, but eventually she would fall asleep, and we were right.
That’s the thing about your second kid. You know it’s eventually going to work out, and they’ll eventually stop crying, or eventually go to sleep. With your first, you really don’t know. And I guess, with your second, you don’t know anything for sure either, but there’s a newfound comfort that it will all be ok and that everything is a phase. These things no longer put me in a frenzy of worry, wondering if we’ll ever overcome them.
For example, Harrison eventually stopped needing to be swaddled. Ella eventually stopped needing a pacifier. We finally were able to rid our house (and grocery bill) of baby formula. But when you are in the thick of things, you think that it’s going to go on forever, just the way it is.
Some phases I really miss, like the baby wearing phase. I suppose I could still wear Ella around if I wanted to, but I’m not a very big person and my back would eventually give out. Justin and I mourned the loss of our couch snuggles with Harrison before bed; one day he just toddled to his room, blanket in tow, and told us he was ready to go to sleep.
I don’t miss the constant wails in the back seat from an infant who happened to be unhappy about being restrained in a moving vehicle. I don’t miss looking around frantically for a pacifier before bedtime. I don’t miss the spit up. GOD, do I NOT miss the spit up.
Now, our family is entering this next phase. The crib-less phase. My babies are still with me, and yet they are not. They are morphing and changing, like the furniture in their bedrooms. A bed still sits where Harrison’s crib once was, however it is not the same. They are still the same children, and at the same time, they are completely different people from the ones who I held in my arms a couple of years ago. I miss my infants, my tiny babies. But now I have these incredible little people swarming around me and I remember: I just need to look in their eyes, their eyes that search my eyes for comfort and love, and find it so easily. Right then, I can see those babies of mine again.