I love how the times have changed. When I had my first baby, I took exactly one million pictures of him. From the moment he was out of my womb, the camera was flashing on him. Capturing every single goo-goo-ga-ga. Every single first. His first poopy diaper. His first spit-up. He even had to have emergency surgery at five weeks old. All caught on film. I was crazed. I couldn’t get enough. I plastered the walls with these pics. They are still the only pics on my walls. Even though I had three more kids.
When I was pregnant with my second, I swore I would take just as many pics of her. I wasn’t going to be that mom that only had pics of her first born. I was the second child and I remember needing to bring a picture of myself as a baby to school. I couldn’t find one. My mom finally produced a picture and sent me on my way. I later learned it was really a pic of my older brother. That was not going to happen to my daughter. I was not going to be a negligent mother like my mom! Until the second baby was actually born and it took me all of two seconds to realize why there are no pictures of subsequent children. There is no freaking time!
Another thing that has totally changed is the parties. My first born had a blowout first birthday bash. We hired a hotdog cart and a man that comes with a train and gives rides to all the kids. The next year we had a combined first and second birthday party for the two kids since their bdays are sixteen days apart. Again, a blowout. There was a jumpy. The train guy came again. Food galore. Two cakes. Pinatas. The whole nine yards. When our third child turned one we ordered a pizza. And I’m not even sure if we sang to our poor fourth child on his first birthday. Because guess what? They’re turning one and have no freaking clue. And there was no way I was cleaning up another damn smash cake. What a mess.
When my first two were little I liked to dress them up so cute and buy them all sorts of new clothes. Not any more. Hand-me-downs? Yes, please! A cousin of Beau has the greatest wardrobe and is one year older than my daughter. So we get all of her clothes when she outgrows them. It’s like Christmas. But I’ve become a little obsessed about it. When we’re at a family party I find myself following this poor girl around making sure she doesn’t get her clothes dirty because I know they will be my daughter’s clothes one day. Are you sure you want to eat that red popsicle, sweetheart? How about a nice glass of water instead? Oh no, honey, don’t be playing baseball with the boys, we don’t want to get that pretty dress all grass stained, now do we? Pretty sure this kid can’t stand me.
The hand-me-downs I don’t much care for are toys. I have enough of my own crap. My cousin Shelly loves to unload her junk on my kids. She’s well aware of my feelings about it. But she thinks she’s a real riot and has become very creative in her ways. When my kids are over at her house she tells them they can take the toy they are playing with home with them. A toy they could care less about. A toy that I will trip over later that night when I’m on my way to the bathroom without my glasses on and will scream so loud that I wake the entire house. A toy they will undoubtedly never play with again. Um, no thanks. You can keep your crap.
Shelly really got me yesterday. I get a text that says, I left a bike in your yard. Now we had talked the other day that my older daughter needs a new bike. Her birthday is coming up and she will probably get one. Shelly said oh I’m sure we have one for you. I told her, under no uncertain terms, that we didn’t want one from her. Because I knew she didn’t have one for a soon-to-be six year old girl. Apparently Shelly has issues with retaining information. The bike she left here was for a small child and it was a Spiderman bike. Without training wheels. So this bike was useless to every child in this house for one reason or another. But now it’s in our yard and it’s new to my kids, so they’re very excited about it. The two younger ones, who can’t even ride a two-wheeler, are now fighting over the bike. Makes for a fun day.
When my oldest son learned to ride a bike I have pictures of it. I believe there is even video of it. It was a momentous occasion. We probably even celebrated with ice cream. Yesterday, when my third child was crying because she wanted to ride the “new” Spiderman bike that dear old Aunt Shel had left, my exact words were something like this, if you want to ride that bike you’re going to have to teach yourself. And I went back about my business. Sure enough an hour later, when I give a little looksee outside to make sure they’re all still accounted for, I’ll be damned if my third child isn’t riding that two-wheeler. All by herself. No pictures. No video. No ice cream. Just having the time of her life. Wind blowing her golden locks back as she flew past me. When I said, Oh my God you just taught yourself to ride that? All she said was, yeah ma. And kept on riding right into the sunset.