Mostly because I read all the right books, my son is coping beautifully with the new baby. To fairly give credit where credit is due, it probably also has to do with my flawless discipline routine, my unique ability to share my energy evenly despite the birth of a new child, and my generous and patient heart that allows me to calmly and diplomatically convey my concerns and wishes to my children. What I mean is, it’s really bad.
After my daughter and husband leave, my son and I basically dive into the high stakes live video game that is now my life that involves protecting baby from death/injury while nursing/recovering, as well as cleaning up elaborate I’m-bored-plus-everything-in-my-life-sucks messes. Some of these games include: Don’t look I am Burying Tacks in a Place We Go Barefoot, Let’s Use $25 Face Cream as Glue to Stick 50 Cotton Pads to the Changing Table, Break a Bunch of Crayons for No Reason and Throw At Baby, and Toss Pins From Pin Cushion Around House in Random Locations Because That is How Much I Hate My Life. The nursing is done mostly with him crawling on my back or dodging objects he throws at us. Also, his head injury count, which was already at a healthy boy-child level, has tripled, because, why not? It makes the video game more challenging.
At one point, he had two goose eggs on his head, plus a wasp sting that made his face swell on one side, and a bloody toe that he refused to let me touch so he ran around leaving blood dot art around the whole house. At the same time, he also chose to wear his favorite Disney princess velvet dress and refused to take it off day or night for 4 days. During this time I had to limit his outdoor sidewalk time on account of our neighbors out walking their designer show dogs being judgy. Obviously he was doing fine! He just looked like a 3-year-old on the worst bender of his life! Everyone is over-reacting! EVERYTHING IS FINE!
We did have a breakthrough though. After my sister came to visit and gave him some vocabulary to describe his behavior, he found a small dead lizard outside and decided to name him Happy Choice. He wanted to try this parenting thing out and completely threw himself into taking care of Happy Choice. He made him a taped pillow and a blankie out of Kleenex and he took him everywhere, to the complete horror of strangers he introduced him to, but it was a real game changer for me. He did try to show the baby Happy Choice a few times by shoving it in her face, but he was really busy taking care of him for a least 3 days. And that meant it was kinda relaxing for a second in our house. So this is around the time when I learned having 3 kids is about giving up. On pretty much all the things you thought you would hold firm on and basically all your good parent fantasies. The real reason nobody has a lot of pictures of their 2nd or 3rd kids is because they were doing a bunch of shit they said “I would never…” for their first. And who wants a bunch of pictures of their kid eating Cheetos as their first food, riding a bike without a helmet, and napping with a tiny dead lizard on a Kleenex blankie? Then we could never pretend we didn’t mess up when our kids become parents.