An unconventional approach to spacing children
Having waited so long to have this third baby, I am dealing with a newborn on the way, an eight-year old and a pre-adolescent 11 year old. What a spread!
Several months ago, I bought a book for my 10 (not yet 11) year old, called “The What’s Happening Body Book for Boys”. He smiled, thanked me, and tucked it away on his book shelf. Recently, however, he was looking for some joke books and pulled out the “Body” book. He started to skim through it, chuckling at some of the very accurate diagrams of the male and female anatomies. He looked at me cross-eyed when he came across the diagram of the female internal reproductive organs.
I have always used the proper terms for human body parts with my kids, so he uses them comfortably, as he should. I mean-everybody’s got either one version or the other of ‘private parts’. I think he feels pretty comfortable, albeit at times a bit embarrassed, about discussing certain things with his mom. The same is true, of course, for my younger son. I think it’s important for children to feel comfortable and normal about their bodies.
So, here we go, before I know it, my oldest son might actually smell after soccer practice and start to sprout hairs in new places. At the same time, I’ll be dealing with a baby’s sleeping, teething and digestive issues. I could be dealing with acne and diaper rash at the same time! It’s exhausting, thinking of living through so many developmental stages at the same time, through my three children. Having two in diapers several years ago made sense, but soon I will be dealing with kids between the ages of 0 and 11. It’s overwhelming in a different way than it was with an infant and toddler.
As people have pointed out, though, my boys will be very helpful with the baby-keep an eye on him if I’m busy, entertain him, fetch me a diaper or teething ring if I need it. By the time the baby is 3, my oldest will be fourteen: a built-in babysitter! (although, I promise not to take advantage of this too much).
When I’m exhausted, I can sleep in or lie down with baby and know that my older guys can occupy themselves and stay out of trouble. Overall, I think it will be easier than having two little ones close in age.
I’ve never been one to do things in a conventional sort of way; to follow any unwritten rules that seem to be followed by the majority of people I meet. Different plans work for different people. Many people reminisce about when their children were younger and miss those sweet days. I guess I’m just crazy enough to actually go back in time and experience those days again. I second-guess myself often for being careless enough to get pregnant again at this stage-but there’s no turning back now. Life is short and I have to remind myself that the new little guy who’s about to enter our lives was destined to be part of our family. I don’t think life is meant be micro-managed and controlled every step of the way. Sometimes you’ve just got to sit back and enjoy the ride!