My assessment of our parenting our three children:
-First child everything needs to be perfect – in your eyes. All eyes on you and you’re new baby, especially when it’s the first grandchild. As much as you completely and totally adore your new addition, you try to make it perfect. It’s impossible not to try to impress your 35 year old ideals on this new person that you bring into the world. As a result you (and I use “you” loosely as not to directly call out that these were all MY actions – makes me feel better) you tend to put a lot of pressure on this little guy and they understand the pressure. Reilly is a sensitive, perceptive, thoughtful, FUNNY, yet high-strung and critical little guy. He’s so wonderful, yet I see some of the results of my actions and have a better understanding of where they have come from now that we have a #2 and #3.
As for #2, you have a better understanding of how things are going to be okay. You ease up on perfection and you adapt more to this dynamic. It’s not perfect and you no longer think it needs to be – it’s okay to work with what you have and enjoy. You still pay attention (but not nearly as much) to benchmarks, percentages, schedules, but not nearly as much as before. It’s obvious with #2 that life was a bit more relaxed. Kate is relaxed, has not a visible concern in the world UNLESS THINGS ARE NOT GOING HER WAY – then she has a very audible concern. 🙂 She is spunky, goes with the flow, does what she wants when she wants and on her own schedule. This independence is sooo cute, although it woudln’t have been appreciated the same way with #1.
Then comes #3. Being pregnant with two young ones just changes the whole tone of life and family. No one really acknowleges the pregnancy because there is much more to be dealing with in the household. Number three comes along and she just blends in. She’s here to go with the flow and round out our family. We adore our new family of five and we learn to just enjoy every moment of our new baby. She smiles at you, loves that you are there. Loves #1 (Reilly) and cowers at #2 (Kate). I don’t think she trusts Kate – she looks at Kate and realizes that if she gets to close to her without any adults around, it’s likely she’s going to get hurt. Kate WANTS to treat her like one of her dolls. It doesn’t usually go so well since her dolls are scattered around the house, some clothed some not, but most of them forgotten about until she happens to “pass by”.
We just love having three children. It has changed the family dynamic in a wonderful way. Shea is a blessing to have and allows us to make and take the time to appreciate her and the others and their every changing personalities. Having a third permits you to really take that extra minute to see through the eyes of a child but with a refreshed perspective.
It’s awesome…. just awesome. Everyday is still new. Some days are good for one and not so good for another but it keeps it fresh and we love watching them all grow, in completely different ways each day.