Levi and I were having breakfast together today. He ran out of grapes and screamed until I gave him more. The fourth child (well, and the third): they scream to get what they want. It works, so why learn language?
My first born, Caleb, wasn’t a screamer. Why? Because, like any mom who loves her child, I taught him sign language. When he wanted more, he quietly signaled for more.
It got me thinking how much has changed, going from one child to four.
I’ve officially lost control, people.
My one child looked cute all of the time. His clothes always matched, and he had style.
My four kids literally look like orphans. Levi’s clothes have been through three boys before him (my nephew and two older boys). Chloe never matches (and I am not even sure she has clothes available that match). Their hair may or may not be brushed. They may or may not arrive at destinations with shoes.
I once took Luke to the bathroom at a rest stop without shoes. Because they were lost somewhere in the car on a road trip. I AM JUDGING MYSELF.
When my first child cried, I immediately picked him up, comforted him, and hoped he wasn’t too scarred by the experience.
When my fourth child cries, I think to myself, “Well, crying means he’s alive. So it can’t be that bad.” And I continue folding laundry. Because the laundry NEVER ends.
I knew the vital stats of my first child. His weight. Height. Head circumference. Not only did I know it, but I knew the percentile of said stats.
Ask me my child’s birthday, and I will probably get it right.
My first two kids were scheduled and organized. They napped at 1 pm and went to bed at 8 pm. Their days were routine.
My fourth naps when he rubs his eyes or cries too much. That might be 11 am. It might be 2 pm. I don’t really know. I just know when he’s getting on my nerves, he’s ready for a nap.
My house used to be so clean.
Now? I can’t even talk about it.
My first born’s 4th birthday? It was planned weeks in advance when I had a 2 week old baby. I was on it.
My third born celebrates his 4th birthday in 3 weeks.
Ask me if I have even thought about it.
When Caleb was a baby, I babyproofed the house. I even read a book about babyproofing the house.
My logic in foregoing the cabinet locks and leaving poisonous cleaners in a low, unlocked cabinet: survival of the fittest.
This information isn’t for a mom with lots of kids. She is already well aware that it’s a miracle that all of her children are still alive at the end of the day.
It is really for those people with 0 to 2 children. When you find yourself judging a mom with 3+ children, please know that there was a time when we were really good moms. There was a time when we changed our child’s poopy diaper immediately rather than ignore it and hope Dad notices it. There was a time when candy did not constitute a real meal. There was a time when we were legitimately moved by tears and tantrums.
Four kids later? Ain’t nobody got time for that.