Its true what they say about subsequent children. They're less fragile. They get to cry a little more before you pick them up only because you can't walk away from your oldest with half a leg in his snowpants the moment the little one starts to wail. They get poked a bit more because repeatedly saying "STOP! Don't touch the baby!" does very little to endear your littlest to your biggest. You start to recognize as long as limbs are still attached and blood is not pouring everything is ok.
On the other hand, I find that there are things we'd do with Logan that we don't with Meg. For example, we have photos of Logan out in the very first winter snow the year he was born. It was a big thing - another first. He was about 6 months old at the time. I have always enjoyed playing out in the snow (at least the first few falls each year before I start wishing it'd just disappear and nature would sprout flowers already.) Having a little one to take out in it seemed to make it 'ok' for me to run laps with the dog and make snow angels.
But now I have Logan to do that with so the drive to drag out 4-month old Megan is so very low. It seems ok to me to bundle up the 2 year old with every stitch of winter clothing I can find - but not the baby. I find a place to put her down in the warmth of the house and we go out to make our faces pink and rosy with the cold. She's more protected in that regard. It's ok if there are no moments in below-freezing temps just to 'see' the white stuff up close. She'll get there. She'll experience it when she's ready. In the meantime I just want to protect her from the cold.
Today I put her down in the Pack-n-Play for a moment while I put the winter gear on the boy. She yelled. She screamed her fool head off. She was beyond ticked-off. Then she realized that all her protests were failing to bring me running. She quieted a bit. She just fell into babbling to herself and blowing spit bubbles. It takes a while, you see to get snow pants, then boots, then "pinchers" (aka mittens), then winter coat, then hat, then hood on a boy who is itching to go out back to chase his dog. I kissed his button nose as he begged me to come play too.
"Not yet," I said, hearing Meg's chatter start to slow down. "I have to help Meggie get to sleep. She needs to nap. You play and I'll watch you from in here." And off he went leaving me behind in the sunroom converted into playroom and office. The three walls of windows giving me the perfect vantage point to watch him and dog enjoy the snow.
The baby - well she was strangely quiet. I walked in to the living room slowly - careful not to squeak the boards of our hardwood floor in all the places it normally squeaks. She was awake but contently staring at the ceiling.
"Mom!" yelled Logan. "I need my hood off!" He was standing at the backdoor unable (or at least unwilling) to put his head down to a normal level while the hood was snapped shut. It should cover his mouth the way its made, but he hates it that way. Instead he cranes his neck back so he can keep his face free. I unsnapped him but told him to keep it on. He ran off and I sneaked back in to peek at Meg.
She was asleep. Sound asleep. Out cold. She stayed that way for just over an hour, during which time Logan got his fill of the snow and came in to make four Valentines then play a game on the computer. In Logan's babyhood this would never have happened. I'd have put him down and leapt to him the moment he went from minor whimper of protest to outright screeching. It hurts to hear them cry like that and the only reason Meg gets to on occasion is because she has the luck of not being an 'only.' Yet as I sit and think - she wailed for about 5 minutes, then she got sleep she needed. She got sleep in the right spot - not in a car sear or my shoulder. Her head was straight, not kinking her neck as her heavy head tipped over in a seat. She got good sleep. She didn't go out in the cold air just to say she did - she got to nap.
Perhaps being less fragile is a good thing. Perhaps she'll be stronger for it in the long run. It still hurts to hear her cry and to have to leave her a moment longer than I'd like, but it seems to hurt me more than her - and so we're good with it her and I.
Of course that said, she now naps on my shoulder again - having fallen asleep roughly a half hour ago. The boy? Well he's watching one of the Disney movies I once set out to collect and then forget to continue the quest. He's quiet, hopefully not napping, but either way this makes two minor breaks in the day for Mom and THAT is a good thing.
Oh, by the way, about Megan's Wry Neck
We're back to a straight up and proud week. Actually it started the end of last week. At her 4-month visit a week ago she was leaning less than she normally did on her tippy weeks. Now she's back to nice and normal straight neck. I have no idea if this means those neck muscles have stretched and the Torcollis has corrected itself or if its just another on again, off again thing. We have a follow-up with the specialist in three weeks. I suppose we'll know the prognosis then. I am praying and hoping with every fiber of my being that the simple stretches we've done and getting her out of the car seat at night was enough. I am hoping we can avoid putting her through tests (no matter how basic and easy) and the treatments - even the regular PT stuff. Keep your fingers crossed and prayers coming!!