Why birth order matters

PREGNANCY

1st baby: You start wearing maternity clothes as soon as you have a positive pregnancy test.

2nd baby: You wear your regular clothes for as long as you can squeeze into them.

3rd baby: Your maternity clothes ARE your regular clothes.

PREPARING FOR THE BIRTH

1st baby: You practice your breathing exercises religiously.

2nd baby: You don’t bother, because you learned the hard way that the breathing exercises don’t help.

3rd baby: You ask for an epidural in your eighth month.

BABY’S WARDROBE

1st baby: You pre-wash all the baby clothes, color-coordinate them, and fold and store them neatly.

2nd baby: You check to make sure that the clothes are clean and throw out only the ones with the worst stains.

3rd baby: A few boxes of disposable diapers and a small stack of hand-me-down t-shirts will do the trick.

AT HOME

1st baby: You spend a good bit of every day just gazing at the baby in rapt wonder.

2nd baby: You spend a good bit of every day checking to see that your firstborn isn’t poking, hitting, strangling, or suffocating the baby.

3rd baby: You spend a little bit of every day hiding from the children.

HANDLING A FUSSY BABY

1st baby: You pick the baby up the second he whimpers.

2nd baby: You pick the baby up when his wails threaten to wake his older sibling.

3rd baby: You teach your three-year-old how to wind up the mechanical swing.

PACIFIER

1st baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you don’t give it back until you’ve sterilized it in boiling water.

2nd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you don’t give it back until you’ve run it under the faucet.

3rd baby: When the pacifier falls on the floor, you pick it up, wipe it on your sleeve, and pop it back in.

DIAPERS

1st baby: You change the baby’s diaper every hour whether he needs it or not.

2nd baby: You change the baby’s diaper every three or four hours… maybe.

3rd baby: You change the baby’s diaper when it starts sagging down to his knees.

ACTIVITIES

1st baby: You take the baby to Baby Gymnastics, Baby Swimming Classes, and Baby Story Hour.

2nd baby: You take the baby to Baby Story Hour.

3rd baby: You take the baby to the grocery store, the drug store, and your older children’s Pee Wee Soccer games.

BABYSITTERS

1st baby: The first time you leave the baby with a sitter, you call home every half hour to make sure everything is all right.

2nd baby: When you have a sitter, you leave a number where you can be reached in an emergency.

3rd baby: You leave a number, but tell the sitter to call only if she sees blood.

FOREIGN OBJECTS

1st child: When your child swallows a coin, you rush him to the emergency room for x-rays.

2nd child: When your child swallows a coin, you wait and watch for the coin to pass.

3rd child: When your child swallows a coin, you say, “That’s coming out of your allowance.”

9 Responses to Why birth order matters

  1. DeniseVB says:

    Too funny, this IS all 3 of my children. I would add

    Photographs:

    #1 – thousands
    #2 – hundreds
    #3 – tens

    Like

    • So true, Denise. But with me, it’s even worse than that: #1 – pictures are neatly organized in lovely photo albums; #2 & #3 – pictures are haphazardly inserted into discount store photo albums; #4 – pictures are still in shoeboxes waiting until someone finds the time to do something with them.

      What makes this even worse is that #4 recently celebrated her 16th birthday.

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      • DeniseVB says:

        Shoeboxes are my #3’s, goodness knows where a #4’s would have gone 😀

        Sigh, the cycle starts over again with grandchildren, only they ALL go on my walls!

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  2. Auntie Lib says:

    OMG – tears are running down my face!!! This is so close to the mark. As for pictures – I once gave my youngest a picture of her older sister when she had to take one to school for the eighth grade graduation video because I didn’t have a “portrait” of her when she was a year old. I told her it didn’t matter because nobody at that school knew her when she was that age and she and her sister looked a lot alike. She still hasn’t forgiven me. But she’s only on her second kid. Vindication is mine, sayeth the grandma.

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    • I hear you, Auntie Lib. I have a few baby pictures where I’m not even sure which daughter it is — they did look a lot alike when they were little, and the younger two wore the elder’s hand-me-downs. Sometimes I can figure it out from other clues in the photograph, like the carpeting or furniture, but not always. That’s what I get for not labeling things, or at least keeping them organized chronologically.

      Recently my son (26 years old) was in a performance of “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” and every cast member had to submit a photograph of himself/herself at age 5, which appeared in the printed program next to their names. I dug out his baby album to search for something suitable, but because I had never labeled anything, it was hard to pin down his precise age in any of the pictures. The only way I could do it was to find pictures of him with his baby sister, who was born when he was almost 3… so if she was about 2 in a picture, that would make him about 5. Close enough, anyway.

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  3. Bob Mack says:

    A Happy Mother’s Day to you & your readers.

    Like

  4. LOL I loved this.

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  5. bfmccurry says:

    So insightful, which is what makes it so dang funny. Beautiful job. I wish I could have shown it to my mom!

    Like

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