We love kids. We really do. After our first was born we enjoyed it so much we decided that we wanted 10! Maybe that was a little premature, seeing as she was only a month old at the time, and we did not understand what it really meant to be parents yet (I mean…newborns are so different than older babies, or kids, they keep changing!).
But we still enjoy it, at least most of the time. So when we decided we were ready for baby #3, we went full-steam-ahead with it. And then I was pregnant. And even though I’m so excited, and I can’t wait to meet this new little person, I just keep thinking sometimes…now what?
I grew up in a family of two — a boy and a girl. Everything I know is centered around being just such a family of 4. It’s what I know. It’s what I have experience with and support for.
A third child? An exhilarating, and unprecedented experience, for me. I’m curious to see how different this little person will be from my other two. To get to know him or her in a unique way. I’ve somehow imagined that this new child will be entirely different from both of the ones I have now. My children are so very intense (just like me and my husband!) and I keep imagining my new baby will be…relaxed, calm, even keel. Which the rest of us, honestly, are not (and I love our intensity…but others do find it tiring after awhile!).
I can’t wait to see how this new little person fits into the family dynamic. Both of my children love babies. They cannot wait. Or, well, my daughter can’t wait, because she understands what is happening. But my son leaps at babies and screeches “BABY!” until we let him go see. I know they will be thrilled to meet their new sibling. Most of the time that’s as far as I think: they will be thrilled, I will be thrilled, and this new baby — whoever s/he is — will fit right in.
But I really don’t “understand” this, from the perspective of having experienced it before. I haven’t. Growing up, honestly, a lot of our differences (mine and my brothers’) were mentioned as being because we were “a boy and a girl.” (Although I’m not sure that’s entirely valid, seeing as I take after my dad, and my brother after my mom.) It wasn’t a bad thing, we were just different. My brother, like my mom, is very even-keel and calm (I kind of envision this baby taking after them, though I could be entirely wrong). And we loved our family, because we rarely fought (which my mom attributed to us being so different) and it was quiet and calm, as a rule.
But I don’t like calm.
I like chaos, noise, people around me, talking, playing, being excited. And as my children grow, there will be plenty of that! I spent an hour the other morning decorating my daughter with stickers (that’s what she calls it — “Decorating me”). That was about the calmest they were all morning, sitting with me and the stickers. I finally convinced them to put them on notecards instead of their skin or the floor. (Oh, and I got “decorated” too.) And my daughter looks at me as we’re playing, and says, “I will love you forever.” Too cute.
I keep imagining three little people around the dinner table…three little people excitedly telling me stories. And I just cannot wait for it. It is unprecedented, I am totally unsure of what to expect. I have no idea what it will really be like to be the mom of three. Because I never have been before. But I am fascinated to meet and get to know this new little person.
I hope that s/he knows we are all eagerly anticipating his/her arrival in a few short months. Oh, and the bigger kids apologize now if they love a little too hard.
Top image by M Glasgow