Thursday, October 25, 2007
The baby who slept
Three years ago this week, we welcomed our third baby into the family. I had a great deal of trepidation in the weeks before Ian's birth, and none of my anxiety was about childbirth (after all, it was a scheduled c-section. What's scary about that?) My transition to two children, two and a half years previously, had been difficult for a number of reasons. But that post about Henry's first months is for another day. The point is, I was scared to death that I would have another baby who cried a lot, required me to change my diet dramatically, never slept, and that I would spend six months struggling with post-partum depression. Could I dare hope that this baby would be an "easy" baby, like those I'd heard about before?
Some of you will say that there are no easy babies, but I beg to differ. If you start off with a preemie who doesn't know how to eat and is easily overstimulated (and turns out to be on the autistic spectrum a few years later,) and then follow that up with a baby who has colic and wants to be held at all times, awake or asleep, then a third baby who sleeps a lot, eats quickly and greedily, and has an even temper is easy as can be. And Ian turned out to be such a child. Thank goodness that he was, because I still had my hands full with his older brothers.
Ian has continued to be a complete delight to his parents. We fiercely love all of our children, but it has been easy to enjoy Ian because he is almost always light hearted, rambunctious, hysterical, and the boy can sleep! By the time he was seven weeks old, he was sleeping 12 hours straight at night--that's without waking up to eat-- and taking two naps a day. He has also been so flexible in his schedule. Of course, you will say, the third child has to be flexible. You are always having to wake them up to pick up someone from school or go on a playdate. That is true, but not all children who have their sleep disrupted regularly do so without being miserable to live with.
Ian also seems to be about as typical as a little boy can be. He is into pirates and cowboys and trains and dinosaurs. He takes imaginative play to a level that I haven't witnessed with our other children. He demands that we sing to him before bed. His favorites: Sweet Baby James and Ragtime Cowboy Joe, although he does also request the "Dog Bites" song (My Favorite Things). And he makes us laugh every day.
So, as we celebrate his third birthday (with everything cowboy) this week, both Jared & I feel so grateful to have this little guy in our lives. Each of our children teaches us different things and in different ways. I think that Ian has helped us to relax and to relish.
Happy Birthday, little cowboy. We love you.