I believe that we are given the babies we need. We also get the ones we deserve, but that's another post....
Before having my first baby, I was worried. Call me shallow, but I worried about having a fat, red haired, ugly kid. Hubby and I are not ugly, we are just average. It is easy to look at us, pick out features, and put together a truly horrible image for a child. And fat, well, genetics.
I was also seriously concerned that I might be too... what's the word... anal retentive, I guess, to be a decent parent. I like schedules. I have a plan every day. I used to know to the minute what I'd be doing all day long. I do NOT like spontaneity. My house has always been immaculate to the point of being sterile, and I like it that way. I also love sleep, and I think 9 hours is a good amount. I like to be on the go, shopping, running around, out of the house. Rumour had it, a baby might change a few of these things.
Given my own childhood, I wasn't sure I knew how to be a good mother. I was fed, clothed, and cared for, but emotionally, things at home were pretty chilly. Nurturing didn't seem to be something I had learned how to do. If we learn to parent from our own upbringing, I figured my daughter was doomed before she even got here.
Mother Nature is smarter than I gave her credit for. I got the baby I needed. She is not ugly. Or fat. In fact, she was the most delicate, tiny, gorgeous little girl ever born. The older she gets, the more beautiful she becomes. She is a redhead, but her hair is stunning, a color that women would pay insane sums of money for.
She was born with a schedule. I swear, I did not do this to my child. From her first day, she ate exactly on schedule. She thrives on routine. The more planned, plotted and organized her life is, the happier she is. She sings while she cleans the house. And lately, she's taken to asking me "What's the plan for today?" each morning, so she can be prepared. She thinks the best plans are the ones that include going grocery shopping, or visiting. She didn't slow me down, in fact, she made more friends in the supermarket than I did!
Turns out nurturing is not learned. It is instinct, and the moment I held her for the first time, I knew I was her Mummy, and I would give my life to loving her. She is fed, clothed, and cared for. But more importantly, she is held, loved, read to, and made to feel incredibly special. Rightly so, because she is a very, very special little girl.
Once this adorable child settled in to my life, I noticed that I was missing a few "baby feelings". She was perfect, but maybe, just maybe, I needed more. I wanted snuggles and hugs. I wanted a squishy, soft bundle. My baby girl loved me, but she was just like me at that age. No time for hugs, no patience for snuggles. "Soft and squishy" was never the way she was thought of. I felt ready to slow the pace, enjoy a baby, and maybe let go of the extreme clean and organization of my life.
Baby number two, the Boy Terror, was exactly what I needed. He slept in the hospital bed with me the first night, curled into my side like a tiny little grub. He melds his entire body into mine whenever I pick him up. He hugs, and kisses, and hugs some more. When I rock him to sleep, he snuggles close, and breathes his precious warm baby breath into my neck.
Where Girl Terror was all angles and delicate limbs, he is round, and plump, with almost edible soft skin. And he loves to be nuzzled. With this baby, I spend more time rocking, humming, and just being together. The dust gathers, the phone goes unanswered. Because I am soaking in the love of my son.
Now, with the days of tiny babies behind me, and two toddles roaring through the house, I cannot think of any special baby moments I might have missed. I have it all. I was given the babies I needed, when I needed them, and they have blessed my life like nothing else ever could.
Edit: This was going to be posted on Mother's Day, but on that day, the boy I was giving thanks for was busy puking down my cleavage, and crapping in my lap. Sigh. "Soaking in the love of my son" now takes on a new meaning...