My baby girl turns one today. She’s able to stand on her own, and is figuring out the walking thing. She took a step and a half on her own yesterday. It’s also really cute to watch her big brother hold onto her hands and help her walk — and much more comfortable for my back than leaning over myself! She’s got a few words and a great laugh. She’s changed so much from when we welcomed her home a year ago.
Her first birthday also marks the end of my first year of being a mother of three. I have a few observations on year one of having a brood:
1. I still maintain that going from 0 to 1 is harder than going from 1 to 2 or 2 to 3 (or 6 to 7). People who claim going from 2 to 3 is hardest are falling into the present bias fallacy, thinking that how they think now is how they always experienced things. When you have three kids, toting around only one seems easy. But one was the lifestyle change. By the time you’re adding the third, your life revolves around kids anyway.
2. As for that line on switching from man-to-man to zone defense? The people who utter this are probably not the primary parent spending time with the kids. A parent taking care of two kids has already figured out zone defense. It’s only the parent who always has a partner around when he/she is with the kids who thinks three is the big change.
3. Kids are different. My older two kids never went to bed early. The baby goes down earlier than the boys ever did, but they all seem to be thriving.
4. I haven’t seen much in the way of inherent gender differences, though, when looking at toy choices or anything else. My daughter loves cars and trains, most likely because she sees her brothers playing with them, and she thinks her brothers are awesome.
5. I am reminded, again, of how silly the statement is that having full-time childcare amounts to having someone else raise your children. There was a day last week where I was up at 5 with the baby, hung out with her (and then the other kids) until 9, worked from 9 to 5, then was dealing with kids again from 5-9 pm. If you have 45 hours of childcare a week, why are the other 123 hours per week considered irrelevant?
6. I have had to be very aware of my hours at times, and conscious of how I use them. But this has been an amazing year. I’m enjoying having this spunky little girl along for the ride.
In other news:
I have a column in today’s USA Today called Backyards are Over-rated, based on the CELF study from UCLA I’ve written about here a few times.