Well, my arrogance has finally come back to bite me.
I am the mother of four children. Four incredibly beautiful, healthy, intelligent, and wonderful joys of my life. My oldest turns 11 in a week. While I have new struggles and frustrations with them every single day, I'm being honest when I tell you that I thought I had so many parts of motherhood figured out. An expert? No. Able to write books and join the talk show circuit? Absolutely not. But I could get through the trials and tribulations of early childhood unscathed and without serious injury.
And then came along Sir Smiley. And turned everything I knew about Motherhood up.side.down.
It actually started at birth. I don't want to complain and say it was a horrible pregnancy, because I know so many women who live through absolute nightmares. But it was no cakewalk. Of the four, it was the most difficult pregnancy. I went on bed rest at six months. I was at 35 weeks along when, during a routine monitoring at my doctor's office, he decided to admit me. The next day, they did an amniocentesis to ensure his lung strength, and after determining it was safe, they took me in for a cesarean section. It was a tedious hour, and I don't regret the way his birth played out ... it was just the beginning of many things that were going to come.
At one week, he was diagnosed with failure to thrive. We spent an entire weekend in the hospital just watching him eat and making sure he had finally eaten enough. He loved snuggling with me and falling asleep on me - the other kids grew out of that very quickly. Like my other kids, he wasn't a huge fan of the pacifier, but unlike any of the others, he sucks his two middle fingers. He didn't walk until about 15 months, because he just didn't want to.
Sir Smiley turns 18 months tomorrow. He still happily takes 2 naps a day, when the others were barely even taking one at age 2. He has to go to sleep with his blankie bear, the others didn't need a favorite lovey. He has separation anxiety, the others were independent. He doesn't talk. He still wakes up 2 or 3 nights a week when the others were sleeping like champions. He will sometimes yell Momma or Dada when he's really mad, but beyond that - nothing. The others had huge vocabularies by this time. In fact, Red was speaking in fragmented sentences and could sing his ABC's by 18 months. The other night he refused to eat rice, the others will eat anything I put in front of them.
He is quiet when the others are loud, he is sweet when the others are busy, he is the snuggler when the others are running. He's the one that puts his small hand on my face and gives me kisses. He is the one that crawls up on the bed between me and hubby and lies there for an hour at a time.
I'm not complaining, I'm not worried about his development. I'm worried about how I'm handling it. I worry about how my poor little brain is adjusting to all of this change. I had babies figured out! I knew what I was doing! Not anymore. He challenges me and pushes me and forces me to be a better mom.
I'm learning that Motherhood is More than just Fluffy Bunnies.