There is something to be said for experience and perspective as a parent. For us, that cliche first-time-parent mold fit perfectly when Kendall was a baby.
Details. We got lost in them.
Everything was stressful, a production, something to debate, something to worry about it.
Granted, the kid had colic and screamed most of the first 3 months of his life. So I really can’t fault us at all for walking around with our shoulders clenched tightly up near our ears, and an arsenal of Gripe Water, teething tablets, and a CD of vacuum cleaner and hair dryer noises in our cars.
I mean, that’s normal, right?
Lowell, our 3rd baby, had a fussy period around 3 weeks old. There was a day or two where my shoulders began to creep back up, and I waited with dread, fearing we would have another baby boy just like Kendall.
But then I cut dairy out of my diet, and started block-feeding, and did my best to hide with him in our room and be as zen as possible. I have no idea which, if any, of those things were what worked, but he soon settled down, and has been a total dream since.
Like I suspected with Leyna, I feel like a bit of this has to do with our stress levels and how our approach to parenting has naturally evolved since we came home with our first breakable newborn who, like, TOTALLY needed us to survive (so much pressure, tiny baby!) over 5 years ago.
5 years ago, we wouldn’t have willingly up and left with Kendall on an 8 hour road trip to New Orleans. I mean… we DID take that kid on lots of road trips, but they were the necessary, we-have-to-move-across-the-country type, and I recall them being slightly more horrific than torture.
But last month, Scott and I loaded Lowell up in the car and drove off to the Type-A Bootcamp in New Orleans where I was a keynote speaker. My mom came up to stay with Kendall and Leyna. It was actually a pretty fantastic weekend working vacation, even with a baby stowaway.
We strolled with him through the French Quarter.
Sipped coffee and ate beignets.
You know how before you have kids, you imagine what it will be like to do things like stroll along and enjoy grown-up stuff with the added bonus of an adorable baby? It felt a little like that!
Which is a totally new feeling for us because the reality after we had our first baby was that we would NEVER ENJOY GROWN-UP STUFF AGAIN. And we didn’t even try after we had our second.
All of this is to say I strongly recommend doing the parents-of-one-small-baby thing when you have more than one child.
Not only do you get some extra parent/baby time to bond, but that same don’t-care attitude you’ve likely adopted since having more than one kid (that now allows you to pick a pacifier up off the floor, brush if off on your shirt, and plug it back in their mouth) is going to make traveling with a baby more enjoyable, and less like you’re going into battle.
Now, do know that when I say “grown-up stuff” I mean the strolling whilst wearing nice-ish clothes, peering into storefronts and the occasional push through an antiques shop. I don’t mean Bourbon Street at 2am with a hurricane in one hand and baby in the other. Just so we’re clear. There’s only so much you can reclaim at this point in your life.
You got a little beignet on your nose there, buddy.
Special thanks to OrbitBaby for providing that awesome G2 Travel Collection. Y’all, I really love this stroller and carseat combo. It is so perfect for traveling. The sidekick (like a mini skateboard that attaches to a wheel) has been a sanity-saver when toting our toddler along with the baby. You can check that out in action on Halloween in this post.