Babies get a pretty bad rap. Especially newborns. “Oh they’re so much work! You’ll never sleep again!” Liars. You will sleep again, and aside from the soul-sucking attention needs of a regular newborn? They’re pretty easy. They’re portable, self-contained, immobile and pretty much incapable of embarrassing you. I realize some newborns and babies are slightly higher maintenance but for the sake of my comparison I’ll be comparing my chill baby Vivi to my spirited six-year-old, Addie.
Even though Vivi is attempting to figure mobility out, the fact that she’s happy to stay in one spot for the most part and hang out with me is a giant bonus, not only because I don’t have to worry about her riding her scooter off the curb outside but also because she’s subjected to snuggling with me more. Have you ever really tried to snuggle a six-year-old? Those bony parts hurt.
Speaking of snuggling, babies smell good. Occasionally they can do horrible things in their diapers or wretched things can regurgitate forth from their mouths, but for the most part babies smell like babies. Six-year-olds, on the other hand? Even after you bathe them they still smell like wind and sun. Which isn’t a horrible thing … until they actually go out and play in the wind and the sun, then they just come back to you smelling like wet dogs.
Babies don’t know how to manipulate their emotions just yet. If they’re crying there’s probably a legit reason for the tears. If they’re smiling then chances are you’re doing something right. Six-year-olds, on the other hand … they know they have emotions and they think they know how to use them. The amount of times Addie has gone from “BEST DAY EVER!” to “Worst. day. ever.” in a matter of hours causes me to seriously reconsider my ability to please people.
Babies don’t talk. Sure, they chatter, but they don’t ask you why the sky is blue and when did you get your first scab and what kind of Band-Aid did you have and where did you go to school and what color was your lunch tray and did you ever see a frog jump over a pig and why do pigs have curly tails and what was that and when is dinner and what are we having for dinner and no I don’t like chicken and why is it called chicken and did you sign my paper and why is your hair like that … what? Oh, you get my point? Yeah. That’s a five-minute ride to the grocery store right there. I once considered counting all the questions I get asked in a day then I realized it would be too defeating. I used to weep the loss of adult conversation when Addie was born, now I relish the simplicity of my one-sided conversations with Vivi while Addie is at school.
Babies aren’t as daunting as big kids. I have the responsibility to teach and explain big heavy things to both of them but with Addie the reality of those big things … puberty, mean girls, hatred, racism, The Jersey Shore … is much closer than I would have ever imagined. By the time Vivi is Addie’s age, Addie will be a teenager, know it all and teach Vivi how to be a know-it-all as well.
I guess the last thing I’ve noticed is the opinions. Vivi doesn’t really care what she’s wearing as long as you get it over her head quickly and don’t pinch her with the zipper or snaps. Vivi also doesn’t really care what or where you feed her as long as she gets fed. Addie on the other hand … when did six-year-olds start caring so much about shoes? And can her blue skirt *really* make her better on the monkey bars?
I love them both for so many overwhelming reasons, but they both certainly have a few perks with their age difference. What’s one you’ve noticed with your own kids?
And lest you think I am awful for comparing the two, I’ve started writing over at Kid’s Scoop and today? I’m also talking about why big kids are better than babies.