This morning I had to take Ben to the doctor for his two year checkup. I had purposefully scheduled the appointment when both Joey and Tommy would be in school so that I could devote my full attention to Ben and the doctor. Of course, you know what they say about the best laid plans? Yeah, they fell. Joey has been sick the last few days and yesterday we found out he has another ear infection. And last night Tommy got sick too. So, today both boys were staying home from school, and all three of my boys were dragged to the doctor's office with me. Such is life with three kids. Expect the unexpected.
I'm sure you've all heard it before. I hear it all the time. I don't know why people think it is true, but it seems to be the general consensus. --If you can handle three children, you can handle any amount.
Recently I was talking with my mom and that statement came up again. I wondered out loud why so many people say that. My mom (who has six children) seemed to think that the first three children are the hardest and then after that you just learn to loosen up a bit. I don't know. To me, it just makes sense that four children would be more difficult than three.
I do understand that three children is a magically difficult number of children. It has definitely been the biggest adjustment for the hubby and I. Going from a married couple to a married couple with a child was really not a difficult adjustment for us. I know that this might make some of you want to punch me in the head, but it actually seemed like a piece of cake. I remember commenting to my mom a number of times that I didn't understand why people thought that having a baby was so difficult. Of course, I should mention that I had the easiest baby on earth, and that everything always fell into place with Joey. He was a pleasant, happy baby. He slept through the night by 10 weeks. Nursed like a champ and then weaned himself at 12 months. Moved to a big boy bed and potty trained with no problems. And even though he had that weird fussy time from 7-10 o'clock every night until he was 3 months old, everything still managed to go smoothly.
I've also heard that going from 1 child to 2 children is incredibly difficult. I found that to be relatively easy as well, even though Tommy was not an easy baby. For the first 8-9 month of his life he NEVER slept. I mean, up every hour at night, would not nap during the day, kind of no sleeping. And because of that he cried a lot. But even so, Joey and Tommy immediately took to each other and life seemed to go along without much trouble. Other than the sleep deprivation, of course.
Now adding the third baby? Well. That's a different story. And while talking with my mom I think I figured out why. It isn't because the hubby and I are suddenly outnumbered. That never really seemed to be a problem. It isn't because Ben is the type of child that is always into something. That doesn't help, but it isn't the problem either. The problem is that it is always something.
With three kids, there is ALWAYS something going on, and it is difficult to keep up. You think you are constantly busy with one or two kids, and you really are, but add the third in there and it seems to blow up. Someone is always mad, sad, grouchy. Someone always needs to go to the bathroom. Someone is always hungry. Someone is always sick or tired. Someone always wants your undivided attention. Someone is always waking up in the middle of the night. Someone always has something to complain about. Someone always needs you to get a toy that is out of reach. Someone is always talking, yelling, screaming, crying, fighting, shouting, making firetruck noises. Someone is always falling down, breaking something, getting an ouchie, stealing a toy, throwing up. IT. IS. ALWAYS. SOMETHING.
So I guess that is why I am confused with the notion that four kids won't be any more difficult than three. More kids. More difficult. Right? Or is it that after the first three you just kind of throw your hands up in the air and say, "It is what it is"? Do you finally give up trying to control everything? Do you just let them be a little bit more? Do you give in to the noise, the chaos, the craziness? Do you really learn to let go?
I just don't know. But I'm looking forward to finding out. And when I do, I'll let you know. ;)
* For those of you that are soon adding a third child (I know there are a bunch of you out there recently), I hope I didn't scare you. I obviously LOVE having three so much that I want even more. It is craziness, but the good FAR outweighs the madness. :)