Thursday, May 6, 2010

1 and 2 and 3

I knew everything about parenting before I had kids. After all, I was once a teenager, muttering under my breath, "When I have kids, I'll NEVER do that."

(Don't pretend you never did that... you so did).

My first born was an easy baby. She fit nicely into my little idealistic idea of how to parent. Dare I say, perfect baby?  She was close. 

And of course, it was all because I was quite obviously super mom.

Then I had my second baby. My dear, sweet, willful, stubborn, freakishly smart C.

And then my third... a ball of cuddly cuteness with a smile that already is getting him out of trouble.

And I recently realized, my supermom pattern had crumbled quite a bit since my pre-child days.

Exhibit A:  Starting Solids

Kid 1 - Only homemade organic purees, vegetables first.
Kid 2 - Mashed up bananas, avocados and the like, interspersed with jarred food. Attempts at vegetables first foiled by angry shrieks from the hungry baby. Fruits and grains ruled.
Kid 3 - Random pieces of whatever we're having for dinner are tossed onto his tray to quell the squawking. I'm not quite sure he knows what a vegetable is.

Exhibit B:  Clothing

Kid 1 - Impeccable, perfectly matched ensembles, complete with adorable hats. 
Kid 2 - Quickly surveyed hand-me-downs.  If it's not stained, it works quite well.
Kid 3 - Who says pajamas aren't clothing? 

Exhibit C:  Television

Kid 1 - No television for as long as possible.  First program is a carefully screened educational piece that I watch and talk about with her.  TV is NEVER a babysitter.
Kid 2 - Begins to see TV shows earlier due to her sister's viewing.  Likes TV.  Learns how to say words from TV.  I only feel slightly guilty. 
Kid 3 - He is enamored by TV.  I feel no guilt at turning it on so I can do the dishes/pee/eat candy in piece. 

Exhibit D:  Naps

Kid 1 - All activities are planned carefully around a perfectly timed nap schedule. 
Kid 2 - Most naps are at home or at least in the car.
Kid 3 - Naps on me for the first 5 months of his life.  When you're tired enough, you can sleep anywhere. 

Exhibit E:  Toys

Kid 1 - Toys are generally chosen on educational merit or their ability to inspire imaginative play. 
Kid 2 - Plays with the cast offs of her older sister.  Perpetually finding new uses for old toys.
Kid 3 - Plays happily with a water bottle, a rock, and a box of tissues.  Why did we buy toys again?

Exhibit F:  Treats

Kid 1 - Treats are a rare occasion, reserved for special events or holidays. 
Kid 2 - Occassionally gets treats thrown in her general direction to buy Mama a moment of peace. 
Kid 3 - I gave him his medicine today in between bites of chocolate frosting and a marshmallow. 

Enough said.

(And I know I'm not the only one who let go of hard and fast parenting "rules" after the kids were actually born... c'mon, fess up.)


  1. I only have one, but I can list off the "I would nevers" that I said right up until the day she started... well, I am probably still saying it about some stuff!

    You are right that it's hard to say no to those cuties you have in your house!

  2. I was the PERFECT parent until I had children. I got so mad at camp parents that would say, "You'd understand if you had kids."

    Now, I understand. I'm beginning to be able to tell the difference between quality and self-righteous parenting choices. Not that I always make the quality choice but at least I can tell when I'm being snotty :-)

  3. We refer to our son as PB for "perfect baby". I have to remind myself that it might not be this easy if we go for number two!

  4. I love this post! I'm already finding out that preconceived ideals can easily fly out the window when a new mom is in a pinch. :)

  5. it's funny because it's true.

  6. Totally can relate to this post! SO TRUE!

  7. How did you get so wise at such a young age???? Great post, Jen.

  8. I love this post- so true!

  9. I am right there with you! One of the biggies for me was this:

    Baby 1: Never put a dropped binki back in the mouth until it was throughly wased and sanatized.
    Baby 2: Mama or Daddy spit works as a natural cleaner and disinfectant.
    Baby 3: God made dirt and dirt wont hurt.

  10. Hilarious! And soooo true! I can relate. My 2nd seems to get away with much more than the first. And I was just talking to my hubby about how I bought into all the hype of all the "things" you must buy for your first baby. Now I realize I really didn't need 1/2 the stuff and hand me downs are great!

  11. Jen, this was so funny! You always make me laugh. And, no matter how your parenting has changed between kids, they are all beautiful little ones.

  12. I've been meaning to comment on how my 3rd kid is probably going to be in trouble since I'm already kind of relaxed on some of those things w kid one!

    However, I still think it si so true!!! :)

    I was so sure the young folk in the sushi restaurant around me were all thinking "my baby would never do that" as she spent half our meal crying,,,


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