My latest niece was born a month ago and we are gearing up to meet her over the Christmas holiday. Babies are the absolute best. I remember being in Australia as a new mother and so far away from family and friends, feeling like things were so difficult. Parker cried a lot and wasn't interested in sleeping, so I walked with him in a carrier a lot trying to make the best of the situation I was in.
One day, I had walked into a baby shop and was dreaming up all the things I might want for Parker once we moved back home and could set up a room of his own. One of the workers noted that Parker looked very alert and I explained that he was a little too alert from what I had ever known a baby to be. She rolled her eyes and told me to be thankful for whatever he was because older kids are much more difficult and one day I would look back and see how easy things were with a newborn.
I was so irritated by what she said. Sure I loved him more than I had ever loved anything, but it was difficult and exhausting and hard to adjust too. Neither of us were right, but neither wrong. Children can't be categorized in such a black and white way. All of it is silly, really. Each child and the experience they bring is so different. But, I do see now what she was saying. Older children are independent but with that independence comes a lot of lessons, a lot of managing, a lot of chasing around, thinking things through, and having meaningful conversations. All of which take up so much energy - the kind of energy that makes you wish you just had a newborn to hold because, really, that is mostly all they want.
Long story short, I can't wait to just sit and hold her. I am giving fair warning that I am going to be a total baby hog. Oh, and I also plan on bringing some of my favorite things. A warm hat from Polarn O. Pyret (I think I might add a giant pom to the top), a muslin blanket (this one is from Modern Burlap), and of course the best bubbles and ointment around from Tubby Todd.