Of course I knew it all back then. Don’t we all? It’s human nature to think at any given time during any given circumstance we know best. I can say with certainty that’s absolutely been the case through motherhood.
During my second and third pregnancy journeys, I wrote about the differences of baby #1 vs. #2 vs. #3. A couple of years and many, many, MANY sleepless nights later I’m revisiting the topic with recent observations on how different the third child really is from the first and second.
Child #1: Reading every book on parenting.
Child #2: Reading every article on siblings.
Child #3: Reading how-to survive manuals.
Child #1: Absolutely no TV or screen time until age 2.
Child #2: Starts watching TV when the older sibling is viewing a screen.
Child #3: Came out of the womb with a tablet in hand.
Child #1: Brand new clothes.
Child #2: Hand-me-downs from child #1 regardless of the gender.
Child #3: Here are some rags, the seasons don’t match up, so I apologize you’re wearing sweats in July.
Child #1: Listening to everyone’s advice on what it’s like to be a mom.
Child #2: Listening to everyone comment on how busy you are.
Child #3: Not listening to anyone. Three children deep, and I’m pretty sure I’ve encountered some serious hearing loss.
Child #1: Beautiful baby book filled with “firsts” and lots of photos framed around the house.
Child #2: Beautiful empty baby book, remains empty on 4th birthday.
Child #3: The child’s birth certificate has provided a wealth of information.
Child #1: Strangers lovingly ask, “Is he your first? How precious!”
Child #2: Strangers say, “Awww- two looks like a handful!”
Child #3: Strangers don’t even talk anymore. Instead they look at the 3 hood rats running wild through a crowded supermarket and scurry away hoping to avoid being hit by a flying cereal box.
Child #1: Please don’t let him play with those crayons, he could ingest them.
Child #2: Please keep a close eye on the baby to make sure she doesn’t eat the crayons her older brother is playing with.
Child #3: Did you know crayons are non-toxic?
Child #1: Hop in the stroller, let’s go shopping!
Child #2: Hop in the double stroller, be sure to strap in I don’t want either of you to fall out!
Child #3: Hey kid, can you sit on the ledge of that double stroller? If you fall out, at least you’re close to the ground.
Child #1: Hold my hand, we’re in a parking lot.
Child #2: Hold my other hand, we’re in a parking lot.
Child #3: Hold your sister’s hand, yes she’s only 4 but hopefully she’s responsible enough to not leave you behind.
Child #1: It’s so easy to find a sitter, people are thrilled to watch a baby.
Child #2: Sure, I’ll watch your two beautiful children.
Child #3: Grandma is really the only one brave enough to take on the tribe on a regular basis.
Child #1: It’s so easy to tidy up the toys.
Child #2: Let’s work together to clean up after ourselves.
Child #3: I walk room to room stepping over debris and whispering: “WTF happened in here?!?”
Child #1: Oh, I’m so tired!
Child #2: Ugh, motherhood is so exhausting…I can’t wait to get a good night’s sleep.
Child #3: I haven’t slept in 5 years, and probably won’t for another 18.
Child #1: Love with all your heart.
Child #2: Love with all your heart.
Child #3: I didn’t think it was possible, but my heart just expands and has no boundaries with each child who entered my life.
Who’s ready for #4?! HA!