I went in for my son's 18 month checkup yesterday. It was very quick, he only needed one shot (and he didn't cry!), and I had only two questions to ask the doctor. I realized this was a stark contrast to his earlier visits, during which I would pull out a long list of questions and concerns (some of which could have me close to tears for one reason or another) and I would take copious notes of the answers. The pediatrician wasn't my only attempt to find a Baby Owner's Manual. Early on, I was religiously reading What to Expect: The First Year, checking websites, reading my subscriptions to three separate parenting magazines, and posting questions on message boards.
Of course, this frenzy had to stop sooner or later. I stopped reading the message boards when he was about 8 months old; I only got through about 10 months of the What to Expect book; and after my subscriptions expired, I only renewed one of the magazines. I do still consult the internet whenever I feel I have a burning question or concern about child development, but I guess I no longer feel I need to consult experts on everything relating to my son. I even feel a lot more confident when I have differences of opinion with said experts. This just goes to show that, no matter now difficult certain stages of parenting can be, it DOES get easier. I'm an experienced parent now!
This makes me wonder if baby #2 will be any easier--or will the child be that much different (or will I have forgotten everything) that it will be new all over again? I'm an only child, myself, so I have no firsthand knowledge of what life's like with two kids in the house. I guess we'll eventually find out. (And no, I'm not pregnant. But we do want to have a second child, sooner or later.)
I learned something else yesterday: the power of Ketchup. It's supposed to be the miracle sauce, but my son hadn't liked it the first few times I gave it to him. Well, yesterday he decided that he did like it. In fact, he liked it a bit too much. I tried to give him a small dollop to dip his hamburger in, but he started using a piece of burger like a spoon (dip, lick, dip again.) I then put a small dot on each remaining piece of burger and put the ketchup away--and that didn't stop him from pointing to that spot on his plate and squawking for more. I guess that means it's time to finish up the current bottle so I can use the healthier, high-fructose-corn-syrup-free ketchup I just purchased. I wonder how many other problem foods he'll now be willing to eat?