|Isaac watching the aliens land . . . or something.|
The main reason for this is because kids are not like a souffle or even like a puppy. They are all completely different. No matter how skilled you are at dealing with one child, you are guaranteed to be thoroughly inept at dealing with the next one.
My son is a blond, blue-eyed, corn-fed Nebraska boy who slept through the night at two weeks of age (because he had a stomach the size of a two-year-old). As a baby, he was cheerful and fun and a little kooky. He loved to make noise and bang his head against things.
|It's not a coincidence that Jacob looks exhausted.|
What we didn't realize was that Isaac had been born to give us a false sense of security. As soon as my morning sickness returned, my son became a different boy. He learned to throw tantrums, and that strong, solid boy had strong, solid lungs. He screamed like he was being disemboweled, and I was frankly too tired to care. My second pregnancy had made me the size of a small RV.
|Isn't she gorgeous? So cute, and yet so evil.|
She refused to eat any food until one day we were having dinner at a nice restaurant, at which point she became famished. She refused to take a single step (or let her feet touch the ground) until she was about seventeen months old, and then we found that she was a wanderer that required constant supervision or she'd just leave the premises.
Nothing that had worked with her brother worked with her. Telling her no made her laugh. There was no use in pushing her or punishing her. To this day she has the strongest personality of anyone I have ever met.
However, this is just the calm before the storm. How do I know that? Because I used to teach high school and I have worked with teenagers for years. I feel pretty confident in my ability to relate to young people.
And if there's one thing I've learned from parenting, it's that pride comes before a fall.