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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1st baby: Thousands, carefully organized in lovely photo albums.
2nd baby: Hundreds, haphazardly arranged in discount store photo albums.
3rd baby: Dozens, stored in shoeboxes on a shelf until someone has time to do something with them.
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.
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.
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.”