Tag Archives: three kids

5 Ways My Third Kid Gets the Short End of the Sibling Stick

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus.

It’s no secret that having multiple kids can really split your time, efforts, and finances. It can also weaken even the strongest parents’ preconceived notions of how they’ll raise their children. Here are a few ways my third babe has already been

1. He can’t talk yet. His siblings do all the talking (over him and for him) and sometimes they don’t interpret correctly. He doesn’t get to request what he gets for snack, or what to watch on TV. He can’t communicate about whether he’s cold without pants on, or that he hates wearing shoes (well, that I actually did figure out). He can’t tell me when he needs help reaching something. He can’t even tell me when his brother hit him, when brother said he didn’t. He’s just gotta roll with whatever punches are thrown (no pun intended).

2. His birthday isn’t getting a big to-do. Sorry, third baby. Your first birthday matters, I promise. But it really snuck up on me, and I don’t have a big party planned. I don’t expect I’ll buy you 400 gifts or plan activities for you and your baby friends. In fact, I bet your siblings will be the life of your party, if only because they can actually demand attention. But I promise you’ll at least get some cake. (And in case you’re wondering, his first birthday is this Saturday. Yesterday I asked his grandparents if they were free that day.)

3. His schedule gets interrupted. We built our lives around the schedule of baby #1 for a while. With baby #2, we at least made sure his naps happened. With baby #3, he naps in the stroller, car, or carrier more often than the other two did, combined. Sometimes he’s gotta sacrifice his sleep to do fun things with his sibs. To the movies or nap? To the park or nap? It’s really not a question.

4. His diet is far from organic. Feeding three kids, even small ones, is no joke – in terms of effort or of money spent. So D learned a lot earlier to eat things like hot dogs and Chick-fil-A. And not that I’m saying there is anything wrong with those things; we all eat them a lot! A friend of mine said it perfectly: The first baby eats organic vegetables, and the last kid eats French fries from the floorboard of the car (which actually happened today).

5. He’s basically never worn new clothes. This might be an exception if it’s not the first baby, but still the first of that gender in the family. But my little guy is wearing hand-me-downs from his brother AND cousin, and still growing out of them like he’s a teenager. There are a few exceptions, since he has generous grandparents, and because my older son is really hard on his clothes. But the vast majority of what he wears has been a little stretched, has been washed 100+ times, includes some sort of stain, and/or harbors a tiny hole I refuse to recognize.

But I must say: even if he gets a little less work put into his diet and wardrobe, and has to learn to do things himself (like eat and walk and defend himself) a little quicker, he is not a bit less loved. Every single person in our tribe loves him as much as they’ve ever loved either of my other kids, including the siblings themselves. There’s a lot of love to go around, and my last baby isn’t shorted on affection!

5 Reasons Having 3 Under 4 Is Awesome and Terrifying

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

Having small children is amazing. It’s amazing if you think endless piles of laundry and cabinets being emptied out onto the floor is amazing. It’s amazing if you think snuggles all day every day and being able to make all their sadness go away is amazing. I’ll let you choose which definition you think I like more.

With three children under the age of four, I’m challenged with keeping little bodies safe, fed, clean and happy. They depend entirely on me for those things. You take for granted how easy it is to keep yourself safe, fed, clean and happy – especially if you’ve got a messy child, or a child going through a growth spurt, or a child who is too brave for his own good. Here are a few reasons I think that having three little children depending on you is difficult:

  1. Mobility. You’re always trying to keep track of who can reach what and how quickly and in what way. I’ve got a three year old daughter who basically has her run of the house. There’s pretty much nothing she can’t get to. If she’s too short, she moves a chair to give her a boost. I have an almost two year old son who is a thief. He can find pretty much anything I hide or keep out of sight. I have a two month old son who is completely immobile… for now. But the first time he rolls over? Gone are the days of sitting him on our bed while I get things done. When will he roll over? I hope I don’t find out the hard way.
  2. Car Seats. I’ve got three children in large, five-point harness car safety seats. That means I have to drive a car big enough to accommodate this. Just before we had our third, we sold my Camry (2003, baby!) and got a (large-ish) mid-size SUV, complete with captain’s seats and a third row. It is enough room to fit all three seats, and even hold another adult back there somewhere, but I’m realizing how annoying it is that not a single one of my kids can buckle themselves in. I have to strap in each and every one of them when we get in the car, including the ones in the back row. Heaven forbid I’m wearing a dress, or the neighbors get a show while I’m getting the kids in the car.
  3. Meal Time. This, all things considered, isn’t as bad as it could be. Most of the time, my big kids are great eaters. They eat what Hubby and I eat, almost without fail. My youngest is obviously not eating, but taking bottles, so he needs someone to feed it to him, unless we time it to happen right before or after. But when the rest of us sit down to eat, there are two main issues. My threenager can’t sit in her chair for more than 90 seconds at a time (We end up threatening to throw her food away. She knows she has to be finished to get up, so if she’s up, we “assume she’s finished” and tell her we’re throwing the food away) and my not-quite-two year old eats great for most of the meal, and when he’s done, his plate and the rest of the food hit the floor immediately, with no warning. Hubby and I share meal duty: one is always convincing EK to stay seated, and the other is always on the lookout for flying food/utensils from J.
  4. Lack of Self-Sufficiency. Sometimes, I take for granted how self-sufficient EK is. At 3 1/2, she usually goes to the bathroom by herself, she can dress herself, feed herself (if I make the food, of course), move herself around (with less concern about her running off) and basically entertain herself. With J, I’m still changing his diapers, dressing him (he’s at least getting more helpful with that), making sure he doesn’t run away, fall off something, or spill my favorite nail polish all over my bedroom floor (oh wait, that happened last week). And D? Well obviously at two months old I’m doing everything for him. I don’t mind – really, I don’t. But sometimes, it’s nice to go out to lunch with mygirlfriends and not have to order their food, ask them not to spill their water in their laps, and keep them from throwing the plate in the floor when they’re done. I don’t even have to take them to the potty!
  5. Bedtime. Every single one of them needs (or thinks they need) a long one-on-one with both parents at bedtime. They all also need (or think they need) to go to bed around the same time. We end up tag-teaming. We have a pretty good routine, but especially now that we’ve added a third kid with the same bedtime into the mix, we have had to get creative. Rotating through rooms, lullabies, soothing promises of tomorrow, and a little extra screen time have saved us from heartache, but also lengthened the time between family dinner and grown up freedom considerably.

My family is good crazy, needy and wonderful. Each day is an adventure, full of giggles, snuggles, messes and walking really slowly. Just surviving a day is the most hilarious, challenging, and heartwarming thing I could ever do.

5 Predictions About Life With 3 Kids

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!
As I’m down to my last couple of weeks before baby #3 arrives, I am forced to think of what life will be like when he gets here. With a 3 year old, a 1 1/2 year old, and a newborn, I think it’s safe to say craziness is about to ensue. Here are a few more predictions of what might be happening:

There will be an (obvious) increase in laundry. I already do approximately one load per day with the four of us. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I do one complete load every single day… it often means I do five loads in one day, and take a few days off. But it would seem as though adding a person (no matter how tiny) will make it even more so. For instance, if this kid is like my other two, there will be one more swaddle per day to wash, and that’ll basically be an entire load a week of just swaddles. Sheesh.

There will be fewer showers/baths. I’m guessing I’ll cheat on the kids’ bedtime routine some nights (usually we do baths just before bed) and take baths out of the equation. I probably won’t shower as often, due to another person clinging to me. All around, that’s some water saved (that we’ll use on laundry).

We will be eating more takeout. What can I say? It’s just easier. Am I right? We can try to keep it healthy… you know… takeout salad and such.

I will be (even more) forgetful. I’m fully prepared to enter into the stage of “Did I brush my teeth today?” and “I thought I put my car keys right here!” and “When exactly is the last time I shaved my legs?” This pregnancy has been an indicator of that. It happens a little more with every kid, they say (at least I think they do). Pregnancy brain is nothing to joke about, but when I’m keeping up with three younguns, I just can’t be surprised that I’m still looking for the… for the… well, for whatever it is I’m always losing.

My heart will be too full to describe. Y’all, I already know this one is true. I’m already full-to-bursting with love for these little guys, so I can’t imagine what meeting the next one will do. I may just explode with happiness! You know, after I remember where I keep the coffee cups and wade my way through the umpteenth load of laundry. Love. It’ll all be about love.