Everybody seems to agree — parenting evolves with each subsequent child. Which is to say, in my case, my standards have fallen and I am less concerned with lots of the extraneous stuff. Maybe, 6 years after my first pregnancy, I’m more lazy, (yes), maybe I’m more busy (yes), maybe I just know better which things we really need. (Or maybe I’m justifying. Very possibly.)
My third baby is coming in four weeks, I’m told. My cousin (younger and sweeter than I) is having her first baby in about two weeks, give or take, and our “parallel pregnancies” have been fun to follow. Aside from being younger and sweeter, she is also made for this parenting thing and seems utterly ready. I had a wild panic attack when, upon seeing a picture of her new baby’s room, I realized I didn’t have ANYTHING ready for my baby 3. Nary a diaper purchased. The preparations are complicated by the fact that we’re moving cities a few weeks after his grand arrival, but I hadn’t even come up with sleeping accommodations for my poor bugger. (Though I owe a big thanks to MomTrends, as at their Travel Event last week, I was the lucky winner of the Britax Baby Carrier so my poor bugger will at least be schlepped in style!)
So while I now can haul around baby 3 easily, he has no where to sleep because I got rid of our drop-side crib (that my two nieces, nephew and my two big kids have all used) because they are now deemed dangerous. My cousin’s baby’s room has beautifully painted knobs on the dresser and my poor bugger doesn’t even have a bed. Should someone call children’s services? Doesn’t it seem silly to put together a crib for three weeks? Won’t he just torture me in my bed for the first few weeks anyway? Happily, we still have a pack-n-play somewhere in the back of a closet, and that can be a bed for a few weeks, can’t it? I was feeling moderate about the decision, but still longing for a “done” baby’s room. This thought process inevitably set off one of my “I’m-supposed-to-be-nesting-not-packing” tantrums, which hit me most evenings.
Like everything else, it’s always a matter of what roads you have been down. The night I started worrying about painted knobs, I was chatting with my husband’s grandmother and she was remembering how sad she was when she left England as a young bride with her husband and kids. Of course, they were after a better life, but she was still sad to leave her home country. I was lamenting our upcoming move and she laughed when I complained that I didn’t even have a bed for the baby. “Well, dear, ” she said. “When they’re that small, a drawer will be fine. He won’t know and you won’t tell him.” Begrudgingly, I have to admit that she’s right. Now if I can keep the big kids from telling him.