My Baby Started Crawling -- Can I Be Both Happy and Sad?

nicole fabian-weberAfter we got over the initial insanity of bringing home a newborn baby with a toddler (my 3-year-old daughter) in the house -- the wildly unpredictable schedule, the nursing while trying to prevent said toddler from ripping curtains down, the sheer exhaustion -- having two kids was kind of a breeze... but only temporarily.

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Now, I realize that the "breeziness" was due to my newborn's immobility. My son spent time cuddled close to me in the baby carrier, or in his plush little chair or bouncer while his sister played nearby. Being that I was incredibly sleep-deprived, working, and had two children to care for, his lounging meant I could get a few things done. (Woo hoo!)

All in all, for a brief two and a half months, it was smooth-sailing. What the heck was everyone talking about when they said having two kids is insane? I was handling it fine!

That serenity lasted about two and a half months.

"He just crawled!" I remember yelling, and both my husband and daughter came running in the room to see. For about a week or so, we would all clap and cheer and ooh and ahh whenever my little boy made it from Point A to Point B. But, when Point B became my toddler's toys, all baby hell broke loose -- and it's still kind of breaking. 

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For three years, all of the toys in the house were my daughter's. So, I get it -- to have some newbie all up on your Frozen wand or Picasso Tiles isn't cool. And as any parent who's experienced a newborn and a toddler knows, this phase can be absolutely exhausting. 

Something I've realized since becoming the mother of two is that no milestone for the second child is just a milestone. It's life-changing for the whole household. While it was amazing to watch my son crawl -- especially when he's alone! -- it also meant the start of sibling conflict. He reaches out for my daughter's toys and she freaks out. "Maaaammmmaaa! He's getting Bitty Baby!!!" She's also pushed him on occasion, and that is heartbreaking. We're working on sharing. (I'm also living in constant fear of small, hidden toy pieces on my floor somewhere!)

And there are deeper mixed feelings I've had since my son started crawling because, well ... I like him being so little. He could be my last baby, and with each move he makes with his deliciously chubby little thighs, he crawls further and further away from the magical period of infancy. 

Walking is soon; I can feel it. He's been cruising while holding on to furniture for a while now and can stand up by himself for a few seconds. I'm excited to see him take his first wobbly steps, but I'm also bittersweetly sad. 

And a little scared. Once my little boy starts getting around on two legs instead of on all fours, there's no telling the upheaval that will happen in my home. Wish me luck. 

Have you had that bittersweet feeling about any of your baby's milestones?

 

Image via Nicole Fabian-Weber

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