The difference between a first, second, and third time mom of a newborn is appalling. And I wasn't anything close to a stereotypical first time mom. But this poor kid. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how he turns out...
Kid 1: I will record your every milestone in this well kept baby book the moment it happens. First smile? Check. First steps? Check.
Kid 2: I will have every intention of recording your every milestone in this baby book but will, in fact, fail to record anything beyond the first few months. First smile? Check. First steps? Thank goodness it was Christmas Eve and they're recorded in my memory.
Kid 3: I should probably think about getting a baby book. First smile? Eh. It's too hard to tell the first real smile from the reflex smiles anyway. Let's just say, "Hooray! You couldn't smile and then...YOU COULD!" First steps? I totally have time to buy a baby book before that happens...
Kid 1: I am doing everything in my own power to get you sleeping through the night. After all, every mom knows that a well rested baby is a well adjusted baby. Nine weeks! BOOM!
Kid 2: We've got this sleeping through the night record in the bag! We're going to implement Kid 1 strategies AND IMPROVE ON THEM. It's an art form. I will reign supreme. Eight weeks! MIC DROP! Maybe I'll write a book outlining the important points of my technique.
Kid 3: I mean, as long as you're sleeping through the night by the time you go to kindergarten you'll be fine, right? You're certainly well off Bassham Family Record pace. No big deal.
Kid 1: I've created this quiet and peaceful environment where we snuggle together on the couch all afternoon. My single objective in life is to keep you alive. I will strive to do this in a peaceful and quiet environment that is both peaceful and quiet.
Kid 2: "Someone get the toddler before he kills himself! Wait! I'm the only adult here! Sorry, Baby, take a spin in your swing, your brother's about to scale the entertainment unit and leap off in an attempt to disprove gravity! Oh, you fell asleep. Enjoy your nap which you will take for approximately ten minutes before your two and a half year old brother wakes you up by running through the house screaming something about a goldfish cracker emergency."
Kid 3: You have a pack and play and a crib and a swing and a bouncer but there are too many hands in this house and you never get put down. When you do, it's for five minutes before the almost ten year old, seven year old, and all the neighbor boys come tearing through the house howling something about how the Battle of All Epic Ages is afoot. You wake up, scream, and display a bewildered look that says, "What the heck am I doing on my back? This is not okay. Where are all the people who hold me? Chop chop. Somebody pick me up before I realize I'm not royalty."
Kid 1: The yellow line on the newborn diaper has a dot of blue. Bust out a new one. This little love cannot be expected to float in his own waste.
Kid 2: The yellow line on the newborn diaper is half blue. Eh. He's okay. He's got another half a diaper to go.
Kid 3: The yellow line on the newborn diaper has darkened to a sort of blue/black color*. But, like, how squishy is it? I mean, it's probably not at max capacity yet.
Kid 1: Praise and worship. Exclusively. For the first year. Then mix in some educational juvenile songs.
Kid 2: Obnoxious kiddie songs the toddler requested. Ah well, he's learning about how wheels on buses go 'round and 'round.
Kid 3: Broadway show tunes haven't killed the older two. "I am not throwin' away my shot. I am not throwin' away my shot. You know I'm just like my country. I'm young, scrappy, and hungry and I'm not throwin' away my shot..."
Kid 1: Well, I have a newborn so I'm not sure I can commit to that...
Kid 2: I have a newborn and a toddler so it might take me a couple days to get to it...
Kid 3: What do you need me to do? I'll be right there.
Kid 1: Your pacifier fell on the ground. Ten second rule. (Like I said, I wasn't your typical first time mom.)
Kid 2: Your pacifier fell on the ground. Twenty second rule.
Kid 3: Your pacifier fell on the ground in the middle of the NICU and I picked it up and put it back in your mouth without even thinking about how there were nurses and social workers and adoption coordinators watching me and maybe that could have been a deal breaker.
To all my boys: I love you each more than life itself and I dedicate all that I am to raising you right. Each of your stories will be different because you are unique and because your birth order is unique. But I'm trying my hardest to keep you all alive and to show you that raising you is my joy and my passion. Kid 1, Kid 2, and Kid 3, you are my whole world--germy pacifiers and all.
*Please know I'm kidding. About the black in color part. Not about the squishy diaper part. Because that part is totally true.