6.15.2005

one son, two sons. old son, new son. i had heard, but never myself felt that people often wonder how they will possibly love their second child as much as their first. what i am finding as i am flooded with oxytocin as i gaze into the big brown eyes of my new baby is myself wondering how i will ever again love my first son as much as i love my second. i am content to laze about, doing nothing but holding sebastian in my arms, nursing him, trying to eat with one hand or type with one hand, brush my teeth with one hand. i am finding this newborn business so much easier and relaxed this second time around. i could, i suppose, attribute that to sebastian's calmer temperament which is probably due to his ability to eat just fine unlike aleksander as an infant, who i am realizing probably burned almost as many calories as he took in, making him slow to gain weight and generally pissed off. it could be a basic personality difference. it could be that my expectations are different and that i am calmed by experience, that i am a wiser woman, having been informed already of how this newborn thing is supposed to go. but i feel like i've put so much energy and intention into creating sebastian that i've failed aleks somehow. i know that during my pregnancy i was far from the best mom i could be and now i still feel like i've got way more of a handle on this newborn thing than i do on this toddler business. is this how it is to go in the future? will aleksander always be the child i learn on, my training session? will my second son always get the learned, wiser, more calm and relaxed me? and is that in any way fair? is there any way to combat this? is there any way to be a better mom the first time around, as i grope in the dark for the truth about my child's development, for the clues that let me know what is right and what is best? if i were to have more children, would i get even better at this and find that my third or my fourth received better treatment than the first two? or is it all simply hard and will i find new challenges in my subsequent children as their personalities offer new perspectives and they present new obstacles for me to navigate around based on wholly different needs? and ultimately, my question comes to this - is there any way at all to do this right, to be my best when my job is twenty-four hours long and involves the ever-changing whims of two tiny, developing creatures whose needs are constant and only half-way knowable? dare i even try, lest i make my already obsessive and perfectionist self completely crazy and miserable?

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