Yesterday, I looked down at my fourth born, who fell asleep on my chest about mid-way through the day because it was Mother’s Day and she apparently wanted to do the sweetest thing she could possibly do to make sure she got the title FAVORITE CHILD (mission accomplished), and I breathed in her scent and thought, “I still have no idea what I’m doing with you.”
There are a few perks to having a fourth baby with three older kids in the house. In a lot of ways, I’m much calmer than I was before. And in other ways, I’m a total wreck.
If this baby lives through the next 9 months, it will be a miracle, since we’re roaring into the crawling stage and pretty much this entire house is a choking hazard. Why did we ever get our children toys? Why couldn’t they just play with sticks? Are toys really necessary?
And why did we think a house with a pool was a good idea? Sure, when we moved in we didn’t forsee having another baby. Sure, we live in Florida and the resale value of a house is higher with a pool. But why did we do this? WHAT WERE WE THINKING?!
This is why I don’t sleep anymore.
The perks of having a surprise baby far outweigh any of the drawbacks (i.e. lack of sleep due to the fear of ALL THE THINGS that could go wrong), but in truth, there are days when I simply don’t know what I’m doing.
Am I supposed to be feeding her solids at this point? I dunno.
Should I make her food instead of buying the store bought stuff that’s probably full of arsenic or some other toxin that’s bound to make her a tiny little crazy person in five years? I’m willing to take the risk on the store bought.
Should I give her medicine for this runny nose, or make her tough it out? This is why I have Essential oils. Makes me feel useful and appear to have a plan for how to tackle congestion when on the inside I’m panicking because LOSS OF SLEEP LOSS OF SLEEP LOSS OF SLEEP!
Sometimes I look into the future, and I wonder how this is going to work with her. When she is six years old, all of her siblings will be teenagers. Will there be time for play dates? Will she be able to have any friends of her own, or will she turn into one of those wallflower Emo girls who can’t hold a decent conversation with people her age because she’s been drug from one event to another with her siblings for the whole of her life?
Should we give her one more sibling so she has a playmate?
THERE ARE SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!
These kids of mine are all so different. Their gifts are different. Their challenges are different. Their strengths and personalities, likes and dislikes – all of them are so different. And now there’s this baby whose personality is starting to emerge, and I love it. We’re officially entering the phase where every day I claim, “This is my favorite age!”
She’s beginning to crawl (Jesus be near), and giggles at random moments (the best ever – don’t let it stop). She’s still sweet, and the fiery side hasn’t emerged quite yet (No back talk, no arched back screams, nothing – This is why she’s so deserving of the FAVORITE CHILD title).
But that’s going to change. I know for certain that it will, and she will present her own unique joys and challenges, likes and dislikes. There’s a part of me that wishes I could just freeze her where she is now. Why do we need to rush on to the next phase?
But then I look at my big kids, and instead of thinking about the challenges, I catalog their strengths. I measure the humor and the talent, the insight, the child-like wisdom, the generosity, and genuine care for the people of this world, and I think that this motherhood gig is pretty dang amazing.
I’ve done it four times now, and do I know what I’m doing? Sometimes. But usually no.
Am I good at it? Yes. Even when I feel like I’m not, I know that I am.
Would I change a single thing? Nope. Not one.
I wouldn’t space things out any differently, either, because seeing my big kids with their sister is heart meltingly sweet. They turn to sugar around her, and she knows it. She may end up rotten for it, but I’ll take rotten over wallflower Emo any day of the week.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go puree some organic applesauce for my sweet baby.
Just kidding – I’m gonna go make myself another cup of coffee and pop open a can of Gerber Stage 2 Sweet Potatoes, then plop a box of Rice Crispies on the table for the big kids.
I win motherhood.