Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What To Do?

Last night, Younger Bro decided to start yawning and rubbing his eyes around 6:30. He had a nice bath, watched some Goodnight Moon with Grandma, came to me for stories and two songs, and was put in bed around 7:20. You know the rest.



9PM, finally fell asleep. Some crying, some playing with Daddy, and finally a bottle of juice and more Goodnight Moon with noted baby tranquilizer Daddy. Sigh.

The Boy did his stories and The Boy movies (watching recorded stuff on iPhone) and fell asleep in our bed. I never move him, being terrified of waking the little one for a couple more hours of hysterics. The little one, as far as I know, slept through the night with only one interruption (maybe) for the first time in a week or two.


This really illustrates two things. First, the difference in the boys' demeanors does make a difference in how much they can be soothed. Second, how much their differences impact us as parents.

First point: because The Boy is such a snuggler, he is usually easily soothed. Hugs and kisses will fix most issues. YB, on the other hand, will not take soothing because of his relative aversion to being snuggled. He's gotten better, recently, but he is an independent person that does not want anybody's interference with his desires and needs. When he's upset, there is no real way to calm him down! You just have to ride the storm, let him do his thing, and hope that he feels better quickly. When he's teething, like now, we thank Tylenol for his help and hope it's over quickly.

Second, because he's so independent, we don't feel averse to letting him cry it out. With The Boy, from birth, whenever he cried, we soothed him almost immediately. True, much of that was because of his treatment: when your kid is on blood pressure meds like he was, you don't let him cry for long - particularly when he had the tendency to cry til he puked, as a younger child. YB hasn't been on any significant medical treatment and won't allow himself to be soothed, so when he's exhausted and screaming, we're inclined to let him work through it on his own.

Funny thing? There's no guilt there, like there still is about the few times we let The Boy cry it out. I don't know if we've become inured as parents or are just bad people, but it doesn't affect us in the same way. We know the difference in YB's crying when he's tired versus when he's really, really angry and needs attention, and we don't let him cry the latter.

Our kids are very, very different, as we knew (intellectually) they would be. It's just surprising how much different.


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