My eldest daughter complained the other day “You didn’t raise [her siblings] like you did me.” My response? “I sure hope not.” With every child, we learned more about parenting than we knew before. Then I got to thinking about just how much we’ve changed…
When we had our first child:
- Bottles of formula were marked with time made and thrown out exactly 45 minutes later.
- If she spit up, we grabbed rags and cleaning spray to neutralize the area.
- Outfits were color coordinated with accessories
- We sterilized everything with bleach and boiling water.
- We saved everything for the next baby.
- We couldn’t wait for her to talk.
When we had our second child
- Bottles of formula were marked by the day made and thrown out at night.
- If she spit up, I called a dog over to clean it up.
- Outfits were correct for the gender.
- We sterilized things that went in the baby’s mouth.
- We salvaged what we could for the next child.
- We taught her to talk and smiled as she said her first words.
When we had our third child
- Bottles of formula were occasionally disposed of if we didn’t remember making them.
- The dogs followed us around hoping he’d spit up.
- Outfits were occasionally the baby’s.
- We sterilized nothing.
- We realized that nothing we salvaged got used.
- We let the older two teach him to talk.
When we had our fourth child
- Bottles of formula found under the couch were considered good unless they had floating bits. If they did, it was a free antibiotic treatment.
- If she spit up, we tried to rub it into the fabric when the dog didn’t beat us to it.
- Outfits included diaper.
- We sterilized ourselves.
- It wasn’t like there was anything left to salvage.
- And we realized if we taught her to talk, she would never shut up.