Before Edwin was born, and when he was just a tiny little baby, I remember feeling nervous about having an infant. Like most new moms, I hadn't experienced caring daily for a little baby and I didn't really know what I was getting into. I remember thinking that if he'd been born at the age of 1, life would've felt more familiar because of my many baby-sitting/nannying experiences with children that age.
Want to know something ironic? Edwin's baby days were not difficult. There were some tough times initially when he learning to nurse, and definitely some frustrating nights when I didn't have a clue why he was awake and crying, but all-in-all he was a pretty easy baby, and I was not sleep-deprived for very long. He learned to sleep well, he nursed well, he travels well, he's cheerful and generally easy to care for.
His entrance into toddlerhood has been less smooth. I expected the desire for autonomy and the expression of opinions, but I didn't expect them quite so soon. Nor did I think I'd be dealing with temper tantrums quite this early. I'm learning a lot about myself in the process, and I don't like what I see some of the time. For example, it is much, much easier to be patient with other people's children than with my own. I feel a bit blown-out-of-the-water by my low patience level, and it's easy to get really down on myself.
It's kind of ironic that one part of his life that I thought would be more difficult ended up being pretty easy while the more familiar part of childhood for me is proving to be the more difficult time.