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Filed under: Development/Milestones: Babies
I am always surprised when I wake up every day to discover that I am a mother to three children. Having kids was never on my list of accomplishments, so the fact that I have accumulated three in the last 13 1/2 years still stuns me. When I had my first son, Loren, I was so paranoid about motherhood that his every action left me quivering with anxiety. Every day I wondered would he would nap, would he eat enough, would his bowel movements be regular, etc. Then Cassidy came along and she was so difficult that it was all I could do to survive every day with her temper and will. Then Devon arrived in our lives and I started anew on the baby adventure with him. Living with a third child, especially one who is significantly younger than his siblings, is a far different experience than living with the first or second child. Rules and regulations that applied to the first two just don't work with the third. A few differences are as follows:
- One of the first things to go out the door is the diaper bag. A diaper bag is needed for about the first 30 months of a child's life. By the time Devon came along, I had spent approximately 60 months, or 5 years, toting a diaper bag on my weary shoulders. I tried it while he was a baby, but after that I was done with compartments and removable changing pads. If his things can't fit in my backpack purse, he is shucks out of luck. Or if he really wants to carry something, he has a wee sized baby back pack.
- When Loren was a baby, I had a raised eyebrow whenever I spied other parents giving their children soda in a restaurant. But if we eat out and Devon sees his older siblings drinking a Sprite, he insists on having one, as well. Sure I could demand that the older kids drink milk, but at this point the arguing would be far too much for me.
- I no longer lose sleep over the themes of birthdays. I once spent weeks planning out parties down to the matching napkins and cups. No longer. I figure that everyday is a party for Devon, he gets to go many places and do so many things with his older siblings that parties are just not an option yet.
- The occasional diaper blow out is just another step in a very long day. When Devon sometimes loses an entire outfit to a gooey explosion, I don't shed any tears or even put down the phone. If we're out in public he might end up going home mostly naked, but poop smeared on the wall and over every inch of my toddler is no reason to put down the phone and have a fit; that's why I carry lots of baby wipes.
- Speaking of baby wipes, although I don't carry a diaper bag, the bulk of my backpack is taken up by a bag of wipes. Wipes are good for children of all ages and are on my top list of things I need as a mother of three kids.
- I think the main difference that having three kids has brought to my life is a certain sort of frenzied peace. At this point I have made it to puberty with one child, the other is on her way and the youngest in well into the terrible two's. They have all made it this far and are functional and amazing in every way. Yes, I am still surprised everyday to find us all in this crazy boat, but we have come this far and will make it the rest of the way. There is a comfort in that.
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