I am a mummy watcher. I observe children who behave the way I desire Levi will, or display character traits that I would like to instill in my children and I watch how their parents interact as a way to get ideas about how they parent so I can emulate it. I have always been a people watcher, so this is just another piece to that puzzle :) I feel blessed that so many of the mummies I am looking to emulate are already my friends. The task of parenting two babies, 18 months apart is made less daunting when I see so many women doing it so well around me. I don't mean to say that all my friends are telling me it's easy, in fact they are telling me there will be days I don't think I can make it and times when I want to give up (I can very much believe that) but they are also living day to day in a way that illustrates they are doing it and that for the most part, they are doing it well. I see them laughing, I see them wearing cute outfits, and that they have managed to shower. I see them on playdates and laughing with their kids. Their beautiful offspring who remember to say "please" and "thank you" and eat their veggies.
I often wonder how I will find the balance between caring for a newborn and entertaining a toddler. I see them wrestling with this balancing act too and it gives me hope and ideas :). For some the needs and wants of an older child always take priority and for others the baby receives the weight of attention. This is not a judgement, just an observation and its just the way life works for them in this season, hats off to you mamas! It just makes me wonder how our life and family will take shape when baby girl gets here.
Levi is 17 months and (in the words of Tom Hanks' pre-Meg Ryan girlfriend in Sleepless in Seattle) he's good at it. He is busy and can be loud. He is a thrower of all things, and while he is starting to understand something about being gentle but it takes a lot of close, hands-on, parenting to help him in those moments when I can tell he is ready to hit.
I wonder if his louder voice will drown out anything little girl has to say for a while. He can and does ask for help and demand attention. Of course, some maybe most of that behaviour is age appropriate but I want to make sure that he learns life is not all about him. My desire is that he will see time given to his sister that he is not a part of. I want them to develop a good relationship, and not create unnecessary jealousy but I also want to create an environment and a schedule that enable me to have time with both children doing activities that are specific for them. He maybe louder, but I so dearly want to make space for her voice to be heard and time to get to know her deeply.
Levi is active and needs opportunity to run. I am sure this will mean our morning trips to the play gyms will continue for both or sanity. It is always a fun opportunity to meet up with friends and get some adult conversation as well as giving Levi some time with his buddies. I am hopeful that at first baby girl will need to take a nap during some of our gym time so I an give Levi attention; throwing basketballs and pushing him on bicycles while she sleeps. I am also hopeful that his independent play will continue to develop in a way that I can have time to be with her and play at home while he amuses himself. Maybe I'm dreaming? Maybe its not possible? I guess I will find out soon enough. I am sure some days will be better than others as we all adjust.
There will be times when I am nursing for example and he needs something when he will have to wait - or she will? He is getting more independent but he is still a baby in a lot of ways. I know that there is little point to worrying, so much of these questions and wonderings will figure themselves out after baby girl arrives but I can't help it :)
[Thankful beyond words to have such a dilemma to process.]