Well, she’s here. In fact, she is lying quietly on my chest as I type. Robyn Anjali Khaund. 19 inches, 7.5 pounds, 2.5 weeks early and bringing back memories about what you are supposed to do with an infant. It really is like riding a bicycle. And as Cherise saw on our honeymoon when I rode a bike for the first time in 10 years, it’s easy to look pretty clumsy at the very beginning. On the plus side, I’ve only been pooped on once! Our biggest challenge is actually mental. We are so used to referring to the child in our house as Iris that we keep calling our new child Iris instead of Robyn. Given I spent my entire life getting upset with my mother for constantly referring to me as "Ricky" (her nickname for my brother), I can’t help but think that she is up in heaven laughing hysterically right now with her patented "I told you so". Sorry Mom, you win again. But hey, aren’t they cute?
So where I was borderline clairvoyant with Iris, Robyn has proven Daddy wrong at every turn. With Iris, I knew Cherise was pregnant even when she didn’t think she was. I predicted that she would be right on time or a little later (she was). I knew she’d be a girl. I predicted the doctor that would do the delivery. With Robyn, I was convinced Cherise wasn’t pregnant, even when the initial test suggested she was. When Cherise was indeed confirmed pregnant, I was convinced the new baby would be a boy (oops). I predicted she would be on-time or even a little late (hmm, 2.5 weeks early). And I never even met the doctor that delivered the baby before she turned up for the big event. I am hoping this desire to prove daddy doesn’t know what he’s talking about doesn’t extend to the teen years or I am in real trouble.
I was originally thinking we should change Iris’ name to "Batman" to complement the Robyn name, but I may have to go a different route. While it’s really early to make any sort of predictions, I watch the two of them and hear the Odd Couple theme song in my head, starring Iris as Oscar and Robyn as Felix (I love living out sitcoms! I also like to think of Cherise and me as the Jeffersons, though she doesn’t like when I call her "Wee-zee"). By all accounts, Robyn is significantly different than her sister. She weighed in at seven and a half pounds, a good 13 ounces less than her big sister weighed when she was born three years ago. While Iris showed up after her due date, Robyn decided to join us over two weeks ahead of schedule. Where Iris required 50+ hours from initial intense labor to birth, Robyn needed 10. Robyn has the floppy head, while Iris’ had an ultra-strong neck (aka the Woodpecker). And where Iris was loud and proud, Robyn has been quiet and stoic (though she’s picking up the pace). Despite their differences, they hit it off right away and Iris is already enjoying life as a big sister. As we were told a thousands times before, it is a ton more work to deal with two than with one, but there is one thing I am really thankful for: Iris is old enough to grasp the experience and share in it. In fact, from my perspective, the best part of this experience has been to watch it through Iris’ eyes as well as my own. She looks on with a combination of affection and curiosity. She is enjoying the learning experience as much as Cherise and I did the first time (and no doubt picking it up faster than we did). I always tell Iris she is my best friend under four feet tall (Cherise gets the 4+ honors) and she has really acted the part in this past week. She tries to help whenever possible. She is very respectful of Robyn and (usually) understands when we are busy tending to her. But perhaps best of all, she just seems to be a comic relief (sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally) that helps the tough moments go by a lot easier and lot more enjoyably. Let’s face it–infants are cute, but they are a little boring. I can’t remember the last time I could describe Iris as boring. It’s hard to believe, but having the second child helps me appreciate the first child even more. I don’t know much about what the future holds, but I am pretty confident that Iris is going to make this infancy a whole lot more fun than her own.