Parenthood! Filled with near-death experiences and challenges around every corner. Like Survivor, but nobody wins. Anyway, here’s how you handle parenting crises with your first baby versus your last.
1. Baby sitting at table with open Windex bottle, smiling.
First baby: Call poison control on your way to the ER, clutching the bottle and your child’s blankie.
Last baby: Sniff baby. If she smells cleaner than usual, skip bath.
2. Baby ate something on the sidewalk.
First baby: Pry open her mouth, scan area for poisonous mushrooms despite being on a city street, cry.
Last baby: Skip snack.
3. Toddler calls out from her crib when you’re having sex.
First baby: Jump up, dress, throw pants at your husband in case toddler has to go to sleep in your bed because he had a nightmare.
Last baby: If the crying continues after you’re done, tell your husband to check on him.
4. 2-year-old chips her tooth on the coffee table.
First baby: Call the dentist, save the piece of tooth, bemoan your parenting.
Last baby: Your mom notices the tooth two weeks later. You thought she was looking like a ragamuffin, but attributed it to learning to dress herself.
5. Child hates the doctor.
First baby: Read books about the doctor, engage in pretend play about going to the doctor, download an iPad app about the doctor, make up a song about the doctor.
Last baby: Tell her you think they have stickers at the end of the visit, but no promises.
6. Child doesn’t walk by a year.
First baby: Read three different books about childhood development and ask your pediatrician about ways to encourage mobility.
Last baby: Your prayers worked. She still stays in one place. Hopefully you can get a few more months of this by praising her for sitting quietly and looking at board books.
7. Child wants 15 bedtime stories.
First baby: A little genius! Have your husband hand you the books so your walking to the bookshelf doesn’t disturb your little Proust when he’s in the zone.
Last baby: Ha ha! Ask your sister, she’s memorized Goodnight Moon by now.
8. Child refuses to eat what family eats for dinner.
First baby: Arrange smorgasbord of different steamed vegetables and different shapes of pasta.
Last baby: Guess she’ll be hungry for breakfast!
9. Child hits playmate.
First baby: Make child apologize. Purchase Hands Are Not for Hitting. Apologize profusely to playmate’s mother. Berate self as parent to friends, partner, therapist.
Last baby: What? I was just over here reading on my phone. Why’s that kid crying?
10. Child has no pink shirt for Pinkalicious day at school tomorrow.
First baby: Run out to Target, skipping dinner. Purchase shirt. Castigate self for not remembering till the last minute.
Last baby: Give her your top from New Year’s 2005, and reflect wistfully on how hot you used to be before kids. So what if it’s red. Red and pink are in the same family, tell that to your first grade teacher.
Related post: 15 Differences In The First Child Vs. The Second