The age difference between Grady and Poppy is four years, ten months, minus one day.
I knew, after Grady was born, that I wanted to have at least one more child but I didn't have a plan. Shawn and I weren't aiming for two under two. We didn't have a specific timeframe in mind. We were just trying to survive Grady's newborn days.
And then life happened. I was diagnosed with cancer when Grady was one. I had a partial molar pregnancy (tl;dr: not a viable pregnancy) when he was three. And now here we are. Poppy was born when Grady was four years, ten months, less a day old.
I was worried that the age gap would be problematic. Grady has been an only child (an indulged only child) for so long and he was the only grandchild (an indulged grandchild) on Shawn's side of the family. I was concerned that he would resent Poppy. That he would hate sharing the spotlight.
I was wrong.
The age gap we ended up with has been wonderful. Grady is so verbal, and understands so much, that we were able to address his questions and worries as they came up during the pregnancy. He asked a lot of questions, we answered them the best we could, and we didn't experience any anxiety or much emotional turmoil from him. We were able to explain to him why I had to stay in the hospital longer than we expected (we kept the explanation short and age appropriate but didn't sugarcoat it) and he was able to understand that things weren't going exactly to plan but that he was safe and secure.
Grady's in kindergarten now, which means he's gone for six hours every day. The separation is tough (I genuinely miss him when he's at school) but I love that it's giving me the opportunity to have chunks of one-on-one time with Poppy. It's not the same as when Grady was born (you can never replicate the seemingly unlimited time you have to give to a firstborn) but it's a taste.
The separation is good for Grady and Poppy too. It gives him a chance to miss her. Newborns are so needy and Poppy was not what you'd call a "low maintenance" newborn. We're just now moving into a delightful happy baby stage but for a long time it felt like it was Angry Baby Maintenance 24/7. School gives Grady the opportunity to be with kids his own age and get away from the all-baby-all-the-time scene.
Poppy was having a hard time settling last night. She was fussy and mad and when I started to change her diaper, she exploded in furious cries. Grady ran into the room and climbed up beside her on the bed. He held her hand and stroked her forehead and told her to "think about us walking on a rainbow."
If given a choice, I don't think I would have picked an age gap of four years, ten months minus one day. But now that I've got it? I wouldn't change it for the world.