Monday, March 02, 2009

What's the difference?

Every so often, P asks me what is the difference in raising JJ and Baby S. He is mostly referring to the gender difference. However, we are pretty much socializing Baby S (by mutual accord) in the same manner I socialized JJ (I was on my own with this). At two years old, JJ was into cars, music and dancing, like Baby S. We do not subscribe to traditional gender roles, and have done our best to pass that on to both kids. JJ was expected to do dishes and any other household chore. Baby S will have to take out the trash and learn basic car maintenance. We want them to be well rounded individuals. When JJ was 9 years old, he was taking karate and dance. He was the only male in his dance class, and it did not bother him one bit. I was (and still am) very proud of him.

P and I are better at co-parenting than JJ's bio father and me. Thankfully, we agree on the big things, have the same values. The few things where we do not agree, are not deal breakers, and we compromise. It also helps that we co-parented a teenager and all three of us survived. The fact that we agree on the big things is interesting. Not only are we an interracial couple, but P was raised as a Catholic, and I was raised as a Seventh-Day Adventist. As luck will have it, we do not practice and are as close to Pagans as it gets. :)

Of course there are many situational differences, but that is to be expected. I was barely out of high school when I gave birth to JJ. I was older and had completed my post secondary education when Baby S came home. I am older and slower, but I am more patient and experienced. In the end, things are balanced.

So what's the difference? Bringing each child home could not be more different. JJ grew in my womb, while Baby S grew in my heart. JJ's pregnancy lasted eight months, while Baby S's lasted two and a half years (our wait). I do not think that there is an animal out there with a similar gestation period. JJ's labor lasted seven hours and forty-five minutes, and Baby S's lasted fourteen hours (travel from San Francisco to Guangzhou). I brought JJ home from the hospital five days after he was born. We brought Baby S home fourteen days after we met.

One thing is the same, and that is how much I love them. I am incredibly fortunate two have been blessed with two amazing children.

She had 9 ounces of chocolate milk at dinner tonight.

Openly mocking her Mama. I coughed and she immediately began to fake cough.

Because chocolate milk was not enough. It should not come as a surprise that it is 10:00 p.m. and she is still going strong.

But wait, there's more. She did eat dinner.

We saw this measuring chart and had to verify Baby S's height. The angle makes it look like she is a the 32" mark, but according to P, she is right at the 32 1/2" mark. Her next appointment is March 10, and we can't wait to see if this is accurate. It looks like she grew more than half an inch.

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