“What is it like the third time around?” well-meaning friends ask. My answer? “Not the same.” Here are some of my observations.
First Child: Nursery decorated according to a thoughtfully-chosen theme, outfitted with custom bedding, brand-new furniture, and handmade wall art Second Child: Nursery decorated according to theme: “All the stuff we used in your sister/brother’s nursery”
Third Child: Sleeps on a crib in a corner of a multi-purpose room
First Child: Organic, homemade baby food, introduced in the order recommended by the baby food cookbook Mom bought from Amazon
Second Child: Jarred baby food, followed quickly by whatever mushy food is on Mom’s plate
Third Child: First solid foods are the raisins that she found under the couch
First Child: Naps in crib according to schedule prescribed in Baby Wise
Second Child: Naps in Moby wrap while Mom chases First Child
Third Child: Naps in crib or Moby consistently terminated after ten minutes because it’s time to get in the car to drop off or pick up First Child’s or Second Child from activities
First Child: Adorable photos once a month wearing cute onesie decals Mom bought from Etsy
Second Child: Occasional photo shoots from the first year
Third Child: Occasionally in the background of photos of First and Second Child
Exposure to Outside World
First Child: Quarantined in the house with all guests required to Purel upon entry until after two month vaccines.
Second Child: Out and about quickly in order to get First Child back into normal routine, but always shielded from unclean hands by protective Moby Wrap.
Third Child: Went by the grocery store with Mom and Dad to pick up milk on the way home from the hospital.
First Child: Elaborate scrapbook of pregnancy and the first year, complete with photos, journals, mementos, and Mom’s attempts at decorative lettering
Second Child: All photos and mementos stored in a lovely memory box that Mom actually did finish decorating as she nested in preparation for Third Child.
Third Child: Mom lost her new Social Security Card in her first month of life.
Prayers for Baby
First Child: “Please help me get everything exactly right!” (Followed eventually by “Thank you that my baby is thriving despite my obsessive overparenting!”)
Second Child: “May this sweet child in hand-me-down PJs, sleeping in a secondhand crib, develop a sense of identity that is all his own.”
Third Child: “God, please don’t let me accidentally leave her behind somewhere!”
First Child: Totally adored
Second Child: Totally adored
Third Child: Totally adored