I am a second child. Zach was a second child. We turned out just fine. But I am finding more and more that raising our second child is so different from raising our first. Adelie gets less individual attention. She spends more time lying on her playmat or on a blanket in the yard or sitting in her bouncy seat. She is carried more in the baby carrier than in my arms. I have taken less pictures of her. She doesn't even have a baby book yet. She sleeps more in her crib or pack and play than on my chest. But what I feel the most guilty about, what makes me the saddest is that I find myself continually looking forward.
When Staley was a baby, everything was new. Each little stage, each little moment, was a first for all of us. It was exciting and exhilirating to experience each moment, not knowing what would come next. And don't get me wrong. I love our Adelie moments. She is cute and smiley and easy-going, and I enjoy her baby-ness. But at the same time, I know what we have to look forward to...and I find myself anticipating these changes. I look forward to improved head and trunk control so she can face forward in the baby carrier. I look forward to her getting a little bigger and older so she can go for runs in the running stroller. I look forward to a more definite schedule of eating and naps and bedtime. I look forward to her sitting and playing with toys so that Staley can interact with her more. I look forward to walking and talking so I can see what her personality will be like. I look forward to her enjoying all our little outings. I look forward to the time when she and Staley can be playmates and friends.
Staley has been fun at each and every stage she's gone through, and it just keeps getting better and better. I love my baby Adelie, but I can't help anticipating what is to come. And that makes me feel guilty. Because I know I should just cherish the now. I want to remember these current moments. I want to enjoy the baby-ness, the cuddling, the falling asleep on my shoulder that will be gone all too quickly. I know how fast time goes, and I know that I'll blink and Adelie will be my 2 year old, my 4 year old, my 16 year old. And then, instead of looking forward, I'll look back and wish I could go back for a few more quiet moments of holding my sleeping baby, seeing her smile sweetly with her tiny finger wrapped gently around mine. And when that time comes, going back won't be an option. And so my new goal is to cherish the moments now and record them forever in my memory...so that when my baby is going off to college, I can still remember these special baby days.