It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Why you should have three children?

1st baby: You begin wearing maternity clothes as soon as your OB/GYN confirms your pregnancy.
2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as possible.
3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes. (Not me, thanks! I am a mere 5 – 10 pounds heavier than I was at 24, when my first was born.)

Preparing for the Birth:
1st baby: You practice your breathing religiously.
2nd baby: You don’t bother because you remember that last time, breathing didn’t do a thing.
3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.
(Not me! That breathing stuff worked like a charm. Thank goodness.)

The Layette:
1st baby: You pre-wash newborn’s clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold them neatly in the baby’s little bureau.
2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and discard only the ones with the darkest stains.
3rd baby: Boys can wear pink, can’t they?
(Yup. That about sums up the attitude, uh-huh.)

1st baby: At the first sign of distress — a whimper, a frown — you pick up the baby.
2nd baby: You pick the baby up when her wails threaten to wake your firstborn.
3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to rewind the mechanical swing.
(HA! My oldest was 7 when the third was born, and YES, she knew how to wind that swing!)

1st baby: If the pacifier hits the floor, you put it away until you get home to wash and boil it.
2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you squirt it off with some juice from the baby’s bottle.
3rd baby: You wipe it off on your shirt and pop it right back in.
(Juice? What is this ‘juice’ of which you speak? Or ‘bottle’, for that matter?)

1st baby: You change your baby’s diapers every hour, whether they need it or not. (Um, no.)
2nd baby: You change their diaper every two to three hours, if needed.
3rd baby: You try to change their diaper before others start to complain about the smell or you see it sagging to their knees.

1st baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swing, and Baby Story Hour.
2nd baby: You take your infant to Baby Gymnastics.
3 rd baby: You take your infant to the supermarket and the dry cleaner.

Going Out:
1st baby: The first time you leave your baby with a sitter, you call home five times.
2nd baby : Just before you leave, you remember to leave a number where you can be reached.
3rd baby: You leave instructions for the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

At Home:
1st baby : You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby.
2nd baby: You spend a bit of everyday watching to be sure your older child isn’t squeezing, poking, or hitting the baby.
3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.
THIS one made me snort my tea out my nose. When you get to three (and beyond!), you REALLY understand the value of ‘alone-time for mommy’. Even if you get it in the bottom of your closet with a flashlight and a book…

Swallowing Coins:
1st child: When first child swallows a coin, you rush the child to the hospital and demand x-rays.
2nd child: When second child swallows a coin, you carefully watch for the coin to pass.
3rd child: When third child swallows a coin, you deduct it from his allowance!
(I did that with my first; my second did not swallow a coin (not that he didn’t do a whole pile of other weird things); and with the third, we waited for it to pass. Come to think of it, I’m not sure it ever did: should I be demanding that x-ray now, 6 years later?)

God’s reward for allowing your children to live!

November 27, 2008 - Posted by | Mischief, parenting | ,


  1. I love it – I may even pinch it if that’s OK?

    Although I agree with the “juice/bottle” question:)

    But of course! Pinch away.

    Comment by Juggling mother | November 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. I went straight on to 2nd or 3rd child options from the start. Except that I became more proficient at the birth thing. If I were young and daft enough to have another baby now, I’d probably live-blog the whole thing.

    I think North Americans of this generation are excessively obsessive about pregnancy, birth, parental perfection. A lot fewer #1’s would be of enormous benefit to the society. So says me. A live-blogged birth, huh? Well, it’s possible! After all, right up until the very end you get enough time between contractions…

    Comment by Z | November 27, 2008 | Reply

  3. I started hiding when #2 arrived. We are not having #3. I have learned during my husband’s frequent trips that I can’t play zone defense all that well. Man to man is my only hope.

    Everyone needs to know their limits! Good that you’ve sorted it out before you got pregnant with number 3…

    Comment by ClumberKim | November 27, 2008 | Reply

  4. I guess it’s true – you do miss a lot when you stop at one (although my “only” did get some second-child treatment, to be honest).

    My father liked to say that grandchildren are grandparents’ revenge on their own children.

    I hadn’t thought of this as a critique of onlies. I’m sure I could equally well be seen as missing out because I stopped at three.

    I often say that doing daycare is like being a grandparent: I get to play with them during the day, and then I send them home to keep their parents awake at night. Bwah-ha.

    Comment by Florinda | November 28, 2008 | Reply

  5. Oh you’ve done it again – I’ve spit coffee all over the keyboard.


    Comment by Cindy C | November 28, 2008 | Reply

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