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May 09, 2006

Gwen’s an easy kid

Several of my Blogger friends have recently written of their concerns about how their 2nd adoption will change their life. Especially since their 1st child is so easy-going.

I can empathize and my comments have been something like "Yeah, I know what you mean. Gwen is an easy kid too and we're worried about how Maddy might fit in." But after typing that two or three times, I recently looked at it and asked myself: What the heck is an "easy" kid? Gwen will happily watch a Sesame Street episode any time of the day or night. We can do almost anything we want while she's watching Elmo. But she won't watch anything else and that means we don't get to ever watch anything else either.

Is she easy?

Gwen doesn't mind car trips so we are free to drive any place we want at any time. But she insists that all of the CD's in our 6 CD changer are her CDs and she insists that we repeat certain songs until we whimper and start to wonder aloud whether death (in all it's peaceful silent beauty) is really such a bad thing.

Is she easy?

Gwen sleeps through the night -- every night. And she takes gorgeously long naps each afternoon. But only Mommy can put her to bed. Never ever, Daddy. So Mommy can't get sick or take a childless vacation to visit far-away friends. Heck, Mommy can't even take a night off to visit nearby friends!

Is she easy?

Gwen doesn't throw temper tantrums. She's almost never sick and, when she is sick, she's still happy and adorable! She's kind and gentle towards other children and animals. She gives beautiful puckered-up kisses (never wet and sloppy)! But she's lactose intolerant and a very picky eater. She didn't gain even one pound for nearly four months! Finally, she won't stay seated in any grocery cart unless large amounts of duct tape are threatened or used.

Is she easy?

I think the answer has less to do with Gwen and more to do with us. Having kids is work but a sacrifice doesn't feel like a sacrafice if it's something you really love doing. And it helps that you're getting something wonderful in exchange!

Overall, I think Gwen is a really easy baby. But that's because I've found some joy in having a 25 pound smiling "helper" hand me toilet paper squares while I sit on the potty. I just hope she shows as much interest when I'm in a nursing home!

PS: This isn't to say that you shouldn't worry if your 1st kid is the easy going type. It's just to suggest that you'll probably find that your 2nd child is easy going too -- just not in exactly the same ways.

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