While I don't regret the way things are with Ava, I will say this: I *will* do some things different if we ever have a second child. Here's just a quick comparison of where we are, as opposed to what my babyless-self had in mind as to where we'd be. Contain your laughter, if you will :)
What I said: "My baby will sleep in her crib from day one!" and, the hilarious gem, "We would *never* even consider co-sleeping."
Ha! Haha! Excuse me a second as I double over laughing.
The reality: That crib we bought from Italian designer Pali (albeit secondhand, thank God!)? Yeah, never been slept in. Currently being used as storage. A is happily, sleepily curled up in our bed, where she sleeps for every nap and every night. And even more surprisingly to current me? This works for us, at least for the time being. I'm not saying I want to round out this, her second, year with her in our bed still, but she's still so little - toddler or not - that it works for us and we're happy.
The other reality: These may be related, but what's done is done and you know where I stand about CIO: Ava doesn't sleep straight through the night. Yeah, yeah, shame on me for not letting her cry, but 13 months in, I still cannot support crying herself to sleep in an act of learned helplessness as the best way to sleep train. I've never met a child who still continued to wake up and nurse through the night their entire lives, so rest assured, this too shall pass.
What I said: "Just make it to 3 months..."
Reality: 12.5 months old, and the only two fluids she has ever received are water and breastmilk (yes, i'm anti-juice, but again, another story for another day).
What I said: "I'll never be one of those women nursing a toddler. If they're old enough to ask for it, they're too old."
Reality: Sometimes I just want to slap B-of-old. I stick to my guns about not being that mother at Kindermusik bra-less and letting her 18 month old nurse at will off and on throughout the class, but we still nurse 4+ times daily, at night and between meals, and both of us are still very happy with the arrangement, even if A says something that sounds suspiciously like "ma mil" (we've always asked her if she wants "mama milk") and signs milk.
What I said: "I'll never be one of those women whose children watch TV all day."
Reality: This one I've held up on bigtime, because I see so many children set in front of the TV so their parents can go about pretending like they're not parents and engage with their children. That being said, we permit A to watch a half hour of Dora on average twice per week, and I don't feel guilty about it. First and foremost, she's not passively watching, but rather engaged, pointing at Boots, Swiper, Dora, Backpack and being able to do so when asked. She makes the animal noises when animals are on screen, and then walks off to play with one of her toys. She's not in a TV daze. I grew up an only child and therefore watched a TON of TV growing up, since there wasn't anyone except adults for me to play with and - let's face it - adults tire of playing kid games. I'm also college educated with two degrees, would choose a book over TV any day of the week, and am a published writer, so things didn't go too downhill for me, did they?
How are things different for you than you imagined? In what ways did you change your thinking being a parent, and are you glad you did?