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Congratulations, Jeff, and thanks for a great post! Although I will say that my pie chart is 96% Most Sublime Joy You've Ever Felt, vs. 4% (if even that) for the other (PITA), but I know that every parent's experience is different. My child just hasn't been a PITA very much during her lifetime (yet). It seems like that when I was expecting, all people could tell me was how "horrible" she was going to act, and how much of a pain and hassle it was going to be with her most of the time. they would tell me all of these horror stories about kids and how terrible they were, and how hard they were to handle, and after she was born, I just simply didn't experience that. She has been very easy-going, and a very easy baby to take care of. And with every stage, I have parents telling me, "you just wait until the next stage. She's going to be awful. You're going to have your hands full, and she's going to be very difficult to deal with."...but I keep waiting for that stage, and it just hasn't come yet. I know teenage daughters are really difficult to handle, and it may be that when we come to that stage, I am sure I will be having a difficult time, but for now, I'm just enjoying her as is right now. I haven't really lost any sleep due to her, either. She sleeps through the night, and pretty much always has. And it may be a difference also, between boys and girls, because I have friends who had boys, and they have had a lot of hassles with their boys, as babies growing up. Also, I have friends as well who have had both boys and girls, and they have said that it was such a completely different experience, that their girls were much easier as babies than their boys were. That being said, I have also had friends who had boys who had about as easy a time with their boys as I had with my girl, so I think it is very individualized towards each child, specifically, but I will say that in my personal experience, in my life, the percentage of girls who were easy as babies is greater than the percentage of boys who were easy as babies. But I would definitely say that "You form ideas about what love is, its borders and boundaries. Then you have a child, look up to the sky, and suddenly understand that those bright dots in the sky are whole other galaxies." is right on and I love that! I love that description of the love a parent has for his or her child(ren). I described my personal experience the day my child was born to this: Do you remember in "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas", when he was at the top of that mountain, holding up the sleigh full of gifts, and he hears them singing, and there is a line that goes like this: "the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day". Well, when my daughter was born, I physically felt like my heart grew ten times its regular size that day! I was completely overwhelmed by love for my child, in a good way. I had no idea I had that capacity to love. In spite of the huge amount of love I have for my child, and the positive experience I've had with it, I have decided not to have any more children unless something happens and my life changes drastically in the future. If I end up with as guy who is bent on having children and knowing that joy, I wouldn't want to deprive him of that and would be willing to give that to him, but only if I was close to 99% sure he and I could have children in a good environment for them, where they wouldn't be in a really bad position, economically or otherwise, and also only if I was 99% sure he would make a good father. Otherwise, I plan to not have any other children, because I had my child, and she is AWESOME!!! And it is because she is so good that I don't want to have any more. I have known parents who had more than one child who have said, "If I had known what it was like with my later children, I wouldn't have had any more (or at all)". I don't want to end up feeling like that. Another thing is that I love her so much, that I don't want her to have to share my attention or love or anything else with anybody else. I don't want to take anything at all away from her. I just feel like I did it right the first time, and I don't want to take a chance of having an experience that is not so great the second time around.
Toggle Commented Oct 24, 2011 on On Parenthood at Coding Horror
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Oct 24, 2011