I've been thinking a lot recently about how different it is with the second kid than it was with the first. Since Avital has been home between camp and school, I've been doing my best to spend extra special alone time with her since I feel like she hasn't gotten enough since Baby Bar was born.
And since I've been spending so much more time with Avi, I haven't gotten much alone time with the baby. I'm pretty sure part of being a mom of more than one involves living with some consistent amount of guilt;)
That said, in all my circular thinking about what the right thing to do it, where the right place to be is, how to be the best mom (at the same time as being a sane human being), I realized that all this time I had been feeling badly about how Avi got so much special alone time with me as a baby that Bar is getting shafted on. Totally silly! Here's why: while the first gets your undivided attention, the second gets all your experience.
With Avi I was totally clueless. And though I read (almost) everything under the sun, there's only so much you can read in books and incorporate. You need the experience and mother gene combined to know what your kid needs at any point in time. Before that, it's all a guessing game.
So...though Baby Bar may get less mommy and me time, less undivided attention, less her-centric activity, she gets essential oils in her bath because I've learned that not only do they smell yummy, but they heal her skin and energy. She gets baby massage to calm her nerves because I've learned that sometimes that's all that works. She gets baby yoga when she has gas stuck in her little belly. She gets a calm mommy because I've learned to slow down and pay careful attention instead of getting frenetic. She gets routine, consistency, independence in a way I never allowed Avi to explore, make a mess, feed the dog.
She gets all the good mommying without any of the worry. And for that, I believe her to be willful and strong and sweet and cuddly. She's confident (arguably overly), comfortable, curious.
She tests my boundaries and melts my heart. She is nothing like Avital, but just as fantastic. I can't imagine life without her or who I would be if it weren't for her.
For all the lessons I've taught her, she's taught me 100 more.
(btw, she took her first 6 steps today...in two sets of three;))