Of course, Dakota is the quintessential baby. Sleeps perfectly, has a happy disposition and he cuddles. He cuddles a lot.
An abundance of unsolicited advice has come at me through the years, but none so much as I have received in the 6 short years I have been a parent. Apparently, a few find me to be failing and feel it vital to my children's livelihood to pass it on. Especially complete strangers...in stores. It must feel good to tell people what they should be doing. To see how it feels, I am going to pass on some unsolicited advice. Maybe I will feel so empowered by it I will just keep it coming!
Treat each baby as though they are your first and your last.
I say "your first" because, at least with Connor, there was this very incredible realization that life is a miracle only God, Our Heavenly Father, could truly create. More miraculous is that He thinks we humans are capable of keeping one of these precious vessels alive and help them to flourish in a variety of environments.
Every time a new baby does something that shows their progression, it is something to celebrate. Ooh and Aah over. Call the grandparents and tell them just how amazing your baby is because they smiled at you...and it wasn't gas! Or the time they just stare at their hand realizing that they are in charge of moving it. Your first baby humbles you. Quickly.
Todd and I both feel as though our little family is whole now that Dakota is here and thus, we treat every baby moment completely different. I feel bad for the girls as I was so busy trying to keep the house clean, perfect my calling, keep up with my hobby, and make sure I was disciplining properly I failed to just sit and watch and be amazed every day.
With "my last" I cherished the nights Dakota would interrupt my sleep with the need to fill his little tummy. I would take him into the living room and keep him held close to me a little longer than necessary taking peace in thinking I would not have to do this again, and there was no need to get frustrated. There would be time to catch up on my lost sleep. Things don't bother me as much as they once did. Maybe it is a sense of closure to this chapter in my life.
Anyway....I can honestly say that I have loved every 525,600 minutes of Dakota's first year on this earth. Now I will prepare myself for the next year and all that comes with a toddler!