Top 6 Ways Year Two Was So Much Better Than Year One
Two years and Mabel is still alive! It was a little touch and go there for Year One, but if I’m being honest, she did a lot of the heavy lifting herself in Year Two. This is how being a dad is supposed to be. None of that panicky, Year One what-the-hell-did-you-just-put-in-your-mouth nonsense. Year Two has helped me regain my sanity and may motivate me to get through the already-peeking-from-behind-the-curtain Terribles. Here are the top 6 ways Year Two was better than Year One:
- Napping: Once Mabel consolidated her naps down to one a day, I had more than two hours to do stuff with her. During Year One, by the time I had gotten her up, changed her diaper, fed her, and got her in the car, I had 45 minutes before I had to get her back to sleep again. There were many times I would go to the park or the Arboretum for seven minutes, only to turn right around and go back home. And it takes me usually at least an hour to get to sleep myself, so I couldn’t even reap the benefits of all these naps. Now, we can go to the zoo or the pool and not have to worry about pediatrician-mandated blocks of sleep. And daddy also gets to sleep a bit.
- Walking: OK, this opened up a whole new world of stuff to do. Like everything, as compared to nothing. We can literally go anywhere now. Sure, she’s now often not where I left her, but it’s worth the trade-off.
- Talking: Crap! Mabel is crying. What should I do? Feed her? Lay her down? Give her a blanket? Take away a blanket? Where’s Mr. Puffkin? Do you need a passy? Are your shoes on the right feet? Did all your fingers make it out of your sleeve this time? That was Year One. NOW, her cries often come with solutions. What’s wrong honey? “Cheese.” Cheese is apparently the solution to most of her problems. Communication is the solution to most of mine.
- Food: Speaking of cheese, Mabel eats food now. No more mixing ounces of water with powder, worrying about whether it’s been sitting out for an hour yet, pumping breast milk at work (mostly Jenn’s job) and worrying about if we have enough and how to store it. Now, Mabel eats food. Like a person. We go to restaurants and order her the food. And she eats it. Like a person. So much freakin easier.
- Sleep: Mabel has always been a good sleeper, but now she does it in her own room for 10 hours straight without parental assistance. Which means I can sleep through the night on those rare occasions when my body decides to allow me that luxury. At least I can’t blame her anymore. Damn you, American Ninja Warrior-induced insomnia.
- Baby-proofing: This may not be the norm, because most toddlers are much more of a danger to themselves than infants. But Mabel’s brains seem to trump her mobility. There’s still a chance Mabel would like to find out what happens if you stick one of these shiny metal forks into this socket seemingly designed for them, but those are easy enough to cover up. But because she can get up and down the stairs on her own, we don’t need to worry about disallowing her from doing it. We just need to move everything poisonous, sharp, or heavy above the Mabel line. Sure, there may be a day when she falls off the kitchen table or figures out how to move the bar chairs to the counter, thus moving the Mabel line up another three feet, but those are issues for Year Three daddy to worry about.
Basically, in almost every way, Year Two of parenting has been SO MUCH easier. Mabel is just now starting to throw her temper tantrums, but that’s a story for another day. And because we expect them, we can pretty much ignore them, which is a nice change of pace from the abject panic we went through any time she cried in Year One.