From One to two…

 

So many moms (and dads) ask us about how easy(or difficult) it is to transition from one to two kids, or two to three, three to four; we always have the same answer: “Piece of cake!”

It’s difficult to comprehend because when you are building your nest for that first little baby-bird you are all consumed with nursery decor, whether to buy a bouncy seat or swing. Whew, there is an entire aisle of choices for high chairs, or which car seat is the safest and how many pediatricians to interview…. the answer to it all: “It doesn’t matter!!!!”

All of the above blunders that first-time new parents face are a blip on the radar once that sweet baby is resting in your arms. All the blood and gore of the delivery fades fast and all you can do is wonder how you could love someone THIS much having just met.

Then, the fantasy fades as fast as the blood and gore and the sleepless nights and countless diaper changes take hold and you don’t know what day it is or when the last time you yourself ate something or even used the bathroom. Aah the reality of parenthood, what a breath of fresh air!

In all seriousness now, for us, going from four to five (that’s right, five!) is no different from going from one to two. We did not flip our life inside out or upside down to accommodate our newborn. We fit her needs right in with our own and how we always lived our life. We incorporated her instead of resenting her. Some parents can get so overwhelmed with feeding times and diaper changes and gadgets and gizmos they forget to love their baby.Our philosophy is not to let the baby and all the stuff that inundates a new parent because of today’s consumerist social system overtake our home, life or relationships. We welcome the baby into our current routine and since it’s a baby, a clean slate, there is no adjustment for anyone, not us or our kids. The baby is just here with us doing what we normally do. (Yes, I breastfeed at the schoolroom or dinner table. In fact, I’m nursing while typing this post!)

It wasn’t always this way for us. We had all the gadgets and gizmos when our first came about but over the years we have paired down our packing list though. I remember when we first had Juniper and we went for an overnight. Just one night. Oh boy! We had a pack n play, a stroller, a portable high chair, a bouncing seat, a bug net, a  baby carrier, 4 sets of EXTRA clothes, towels and blankets, crib sheets, toys, Tylenol, a thermometer, Benadryl, baby food, diapers and wipes(enough to last us a month) our car was jam-packed and we only had one kid!! Now, with five, on an all day trip, no overnight, I have a few diapers, wipes, a baby carrier and my breasts. HAHA!!! and really all I need is my breasts.

So there it is, simple as pie!

A note on the resentment I was referring to earlier: Something else inquiring minds wish to know is “How the kids are with the new baby?” Well, they love her like Darryl and I do. There is no  jealousy, or hard feelings toward her. We treat them all according to their and our needs. Everyone is considered and considerate of others. I have a hard time talking to parents who tell me their 3-year-old hates their new baby. I might sound ignorant but there is something the parent has done to facilitate those ill feelings, be it keeping the older sibling away from the baby and idealizing the newborn. In the eyes of a 3-year-old this would seem demeaning to them and they might feel they are being tossed to the wayside; once the head honcho around the house, all that 3-year-old hears now is “No! Don’t play near the baby.” or “Shh! The baby is sleeping.” and “Mommy can’t play now I have to hold the baby.” The baby! the baby! the baby! {flashback to Jan Brady shouting “Marcia! Marcia! Marcia!”}

For children, they need continuity and stability to really feel the love and safety they so desperately require. When life changing events happen they need to know that THEIR world hasn’t changed too much. If a toddler slept in mom’s bed UNTIL baby came then gets kicked out and replaced by the baby, of course the older sibling will hate and resent the new baby!

Quick story about an encounter with my dad for Juniper’s first thanksgiving. She was 6 1/2 months and sitting on her Grandpa’s lap. She found his watch, ooh sparkly! She started to play with it on his wrist and he began to take it off. I asked him not to give it to her and he snarled at me, “Why not?!?!” I asked him “If she were 2 years old, would he being doing the same?” He sullenly replied, “No.” I then explained my theory about continuity and he understood. If you allow a baby to play with a watch, then when the baby grows up to be 2 or 3 and expects to play with the watch but you don’t allow it, the child now questions everything and has a severe sense of rejection. In their mind, won’t they think “I was allowed to play with it before? What changed?”

Just my hair brained theories but It makes sense to us and I believe helps our kids to have an emotional balance about their boundaries, their relationships, their EVERYthing. I don’t let them grow up too fast but don’t treat them like mindless fools. They are intelligent and worthy of respect from day one!

We welcome our new little one with love and try our best to give our kids everything that they need, which basically is LOVE!

Agree or disagree?? Tell me your story in the comments.

 

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