I've posed the question many a time since finding out Iwas having bambino numero tres. Heck, I even asked it before that, as a way to test the waters. And the question is this:Which is hardest, going from zero kids to one kid, one to two, or two to three?
Of course, since I have experienced only two of those scenarios, Iam fervently hoping that I've already passed the most difficult transition and that when this baby comes along, it will be smooth sailing from day one. What's one more kid, right? Shoot, we've done this. We've got parent swagger! But dadgum if I haven't gotten “Oh definitely two to three” as an answer from triple-kidded parents. And not just once. Which, I'm not gonna lie, makes me a little nervous.
Uh-oh. They're working on their mind-control powers again.
I think for me, going from zero to one was the biggest adjustment, because hoo boy does that ever change your life. You go from your time being your own to your time being someone else's entirely, and it's a major brain shift wrapping your mind around that. Iremember feeling a little bit trapped after Noah was born, like “WECANNEVERGOANYWHEREEVERAGAIN ORSLEEPINORHAVEPEOPLEOVERORBENORMAL WHATHAVEWEDONE BLEAAAHHH!” Ok, maybe I was feeling more than a little bit trapped. But it really did take a while to settle into the “new normal”that comes after you become a parent and your schedule gets comandeered by a very tiny, but very militant general. So when Rosie came along, it wasn't so jarring, fitting another kid's needs into the day. Imean, we were already on Kid Time, we just had more Kid to fit into the already established Time. There was a slot for meals and snacks and playtime and bathtime, and Rosie just slid right in to the rotation.
Looks like we're gonna need a bigger tub.
Obviously, everything wasn't sunshine and roses. Rosie came out as a totally different creature from her big bro, and there was definitely a learning curve when it came to parenting a new personality. We had to come up with new tricks and strategies, and often employ the old methods with the new simultaneously when coercing the kids into doing something they didn't want to do, like go to sleep, or eat green beans. (Although, Ican't really say I blame them about that last one.) Plus, the fears I had about not having as much time for Noah once Rosie came along were spot on. You simply can't spend the same amount of energy or attention on your first kid when your second one enters the picture, and that's just the way it is. This used to plague me and give me a raging case of The Guilts until Irealized that while Noah was not getting as much of his mom and dad as before, what he gained was just as valuable:a sibling. I think it gave him a stronger sense of family, and helped him see that the world doesn't (and shouldn't) revolve around him. (Besides the fact that Ithink it was a relief to him not to be the sole subject of my schmillion photographs all the time.)
She hasn't picked up the “never look directly into the lens” evasive maneuver yet.
So tell me:what's your answer to the question? Did you find the shift from child-free to parent the craziest? Or was it the addition of baby number two that gave you a run for your money? Or was it the leap to (gulp)three? You can tell it to me straight, Ican take it. I'm prepared.
Well, or you could sugar coat it a little bit. Actually, no. Just lie. Tell me all about how three kids is going to be a breeze. And maybe add a little soothing “There, there,” in a soft voice while you're at it, would you?
What's that you say?It will be just like this picture always, only with even greater amounts of adorable affection?
That's so nice of you. I feel better already. You're such a dear.