My memory of Quinlan's infancy is saturated by how challenging she was.
In fact, on most days, I can't even really remember anything else.
It's partly because Margot, other than her revolt against my sleep training efforts as of late, is so incredibly easy.
She's the kind of baby that makes your ovaries hurt.
But it's also because those memories of Quinlan made me feel a little bit better about not being the most natural mother on the planet.
Her challenges gave me an excuse to feel like I wasn't a complete failure.
To complain about my inadequacies.
It was easier to blame a tough baby than it was to look at myself and realize that it was me that was the problem.
Last week, a friend asked me if I thought it was her or if it was me.
"But she was cranky all the time and she never slept and she only wanted me."
But then again, I never really left her with anyone else, and I never really tried to sleep train her, and I never really took her to the doctor to diagnose what I'm pretty sure was reflux.
At the time, I'd swear it was her.
My difficult baby.
Since having Quinlan five years ago, I've gone from nap nazi to nap yogi.
"If it happens, then it happens. If not, we'll live. Namaste."
Margot's bedtime routine consists of a new diaper, clothing change, and breastfeeding session. Sometimes not in that order.
And educational play is left at the hands of her two older siblings, who have schooled her in the art of dumping juice on the couch and stage diving off the fireplace.
Is it possible that my daughters are so incredibly different?
Or is it more likely that I'm the one who's changed?
If I had just given Quinlan formula, or sleep trained her, or let her nap in whatever moving surface she insisted upon, things might have been different.
If I hadn't clung so tightly to the parenting books or nosy neighbors or images in my head of exactly how a baby was supposed to be, maybe she would have been the easy one.
Turns out, maybe she wasn't as difficult as I thought.
And rather, the difficult one was me.