NeutronLad is fourth months old, and if that seems amazing to you, imagine how much it blows our minds. With StarGirl, I was posting updates every month, but with Neutronlad the posts have been far fewer. I think that’s partly because some of the wide-eyed new dad enthusiasm has worn off — the first time around you’re astounded that your baby can hold her head up; second time around, you realize hey, that’s normal. And partly it’s a matter of time — blogging about the kids takes more time than other posts, since it requires more thought, and time is not something Sue and I have had a heck of a lot of recently.
But NeutronLad is a wonder, and for everything we expected with a second baby, there’s plenty that we didn’t.
The Twin Cousins: One of the most radically different aspects of parenting this time around is that we’re not alone — my sister had a baby girl in February, and Sue’s brother’s wife had a baby girl weeks before NeutronLad was born. When we get together with either of our siblings, there’s always two babies around, and when it’s NeutronLad and two-weeks-removed cousin, it looks like they’re twins. It’s great to be able to share milestones and compare notes with your siblings, and its great to know that Neutronlad will have cousins his own age to play with (and that StarGirl will have cousins to “supervise”). It’s all the more meaningful to my sister and I, who never had any cousins and rarely had kids our own age to play with at family gatherings.
Cool Hand Neutronlad: NeutronLad tends to be a pretty laid back kid. He cries of course, but there’s less of the theatrics than when StarGirl was his age. It takes longer for him to work up to a real crying fit, and even when he’s upset, he rarely reaches the pinnacles that StarGirl did. When he is upset, it takes a lot less to calm him down — he usually stops crying almost immediately, and it rarely takes him more than a minute to stop sobbing. This has changed somewhat since he started teething.
Teething: Yes, once again our baby starts teething early, though not quite as early as StarGirl — she had four teeth by the time she was four months old. Neutronlad is miserable, and since he’s so young a lot of your traditional teething remedies (like giving him a cold biscuit or frozen fruit to chew on) don’t work. We’re reduced to using cold wash clothes (which he can suck on) and baby Tylenol. We’re not alone in this though — both of Neutronlad’s cousins are teething. Teething is our biggest challenge right now, and in my opinion, it’s probably the hardest part of the first year (though our kids never had colic, so adjust your opinions accordingly). Neutronlad is inconsolable when he’s teething, and he rarely sleeps for more than a few hours at a stretch, which means either Sue or I (or more likely both) aren’t getting much sleep.
Roll Over, Roll Over: Neutronlad started rolling over at around 3 months (maybe a little earlier — I’m fuzzy on the details). He’s now able to roll from his back to his belly and back again, and like StarGirl, he always chooses to sleep on his belly.
Big Sister, Little Brother: StarGirl loves being a big sister, and has already helped feed her brother his bottle a couple of times. She can be a little overzealous — she really wants to carry him around, but he’s far too large — but for the most part she’s great. And Neutronlad? He’s fascinated by StarGirl, and loves to watch her. He hasn’t quite figured out what’s going on with her — she’s a person, like Mom and Dad, but not big like Mom and Dad, but she makes him laugh and sure is entertaining. I look forward to seeing their relationship evolve over the next few months, as Neutronlad gets older and can start interacting with her.
Mommy’s Little Boy: Neutronlad sure does love his momma. He likes hanging out with me too, and I can get him to laugh, smile and generally have fun, but he loves having one-on-one time with his mom. I think this is partly because he’s usually competing for Sue’s time with StarGirl, and StarGirl can be very demanding. He really revels in his mommy time the hour or so he has between when StarGirl goes to sleep, and when we put him to bed.