"Parenthood is magical."
"A new baby changes your life in such unexpected ways."
"Everything is different after you have a baby."
If you are having your first, precious, lovely, perfect child these words will likely be repeated to you over and over by well meaning adults.
If you are having your second child, the conversations get much more fun. So to all my Mommy friends about to have second babies, this one is for you.
Problem: wakefulness at night due to wet diaper/clothes/bedding
First kid: Changes diapers every time he wakes up, research best cloth overnight diapers, spends half a paycheck on cloth diaper stash, spends the next two years getting ammonia build up out of supposed "best diapers ever", design and make wool/cashmere pjs to promote wicking and keep sheets dry, washes lots of wet sheets
Second kid: Buys overnight disposable diapers, puts baby to sleep on a washable pee pad, goes back to sleep.
Problem: Bath time
First kid: Buys multiple baths, bathes only in the tub killing back and knees, bathes baby multiple times per day, sews apron out of an old towel to keep clothes dry, buys special soaps, combs, towels, washcloth puppets and toys, everyone hates bath time.
Second kid: Gets a bath when stinky, in the sink, with generic nighttime baby wash and a duck.
First kid: buys multiple teething necklaces, buys Sophie the giraffe (who must be sanatized constantly), makes a leash for Sophie so she won't get lost, spends days wearing baby when he won't nap, rocks baby all night, sings, cries, prays, develops baby biscotti recipe using whole grains, organic fruits and veggies, buys assortment of teething toys, washes, sanatized and refidgerates toys three times a day, makes homemade organic freeze pops to be consumed using specialized mesh bag feeder which is impossible to clean.
Second kid: hands baby three teething tabs, a wooden spoon, and the duck that lives by the kitchen sink. For sleeplessness, puts baby in baby swing in a quiet room.
Problem: introducing solid foods
First kid: Conducts extensive research about feeding theorys, formulates a plan that incorporates the best of each, buys organic farm share, makes homemade baby food with farm share veggies, feeds homemade purées for the next six months, makes homemade yogurt, buys multiple styles of bowls, plates, spoons. Sanatizes everything.
Second kid: Must survive on Cheerios, bagged shredded cheese, peeled grapes, and bits of food from nearest adult's plate. Served on high chair tray, which is cleaned at the begining of each meal with a baby wipe.
Problem: Sleep & feeding schedules
First kid: Research, research, research. Read multiple books, websites, theories. Talk to other parents, lactation consultants, pediatrician's. Develop a schedule. Worry when it fails. Stick to schedule NO MATTER WHAT. Lets schedule dictate everything.
Second kid: HAHAHAHAHA!
Problem: Diaper changing drama
First kid: Buys changing table, sings songs, hangs mobile above table, sews thick strap vest thing to secure baby, has different cloth diapers for different needs/times of day. Spends a small fortune and most of remaining free time washing diapers in a variety of expensive soaps and detergents.
Second kid: After initial newborn phase (during which diapers were washed with Tide free and clear) buys generic target disposables, changes baby quickly, either mid-air or on the floor.
Problem: Outside time
First kid: Must be dressed carefully in spf shirt, hat, pants and shoes. Sunscreen is applied a full 20 minutes before leaving the house. Outdoor time is carefully monitored and nothing enters baby's mouth. On the rare occasion that somethig enters baby's mouth, poison control is contacted immediately. Outdoor time rarely requires a clothing change, but cute indoor clothes will likely be applied to child after going back inside.
Second kid: Dressed in a t-shirt, pants and shoes optional. Sunscreen happens once remembered. Five to six rocks are removed from child's mouth per outing. Live beetles, pill bugs, and worms consumed are counted as protein. Children are stripped naked in the garage and mud is removed via hose.
To all the beautiful second children out there, congratulations on your survival. Mommy loves you dearly. You will have better stories than your older, more uptight sibling. You are welcome.