The evolution of motherhood

I hope this column doesn’t need an explanation. If you’re a mom, I’d like to think that you’ll agree with every word.

Delivery

First child: You are determined to have a drug-free birth, so you alleviate the pain by breathing in and out.

Second child: After 15 hours of hard labor you finally break down and ask for a “little something” to dull the pain.

Third child: You start asking for every legal pain killer you can think of – one week before your delivery date just so the hospital will have enough time to stock up.

Preparing the nursery

First child: You sponge paint pink clouds on the walls and put up bunny border. You buy a matching comforter and sheet set, also with bunnies. You hang a bunny mobile and stencil bunnies along the top of all furniture.

Second: You faux finish over the clouds with light blue paint and replace the bunnies with lambs.

Third: You make room for the bassinet somewhere between the entertainment center and recliner.

Choosing a sitter

First child: You only accept babysitters who are older than 35, have successfully passed a background check by the FBI, performed CPR and have degrees in both child development and physiology.

Second: You accept sitters who are at least 16, are good students and have three references from people you know.

Third: Provided they’re available Saturday nights, you accept anyone without a criminal record.

Your stomach

First child: Your stomach doesn’t show until sometime in the seventh month and then, afterwards, it goes right back where it was as if nothing much happened.

Second: You begin to look pregnant about month three. After having the baby, you do approximately four hundred million sit-ups a day to get it to go back where it came from.

Third: You look pregnant the very moment of conception. After having the baby your stomach flaps around below your ankles and won’t go back up without the use of a girdle or power tools.

Choosing a name

First child: You read lists and lists of names until you find the exact one that embraces your child’s inner personality.

Second: You choose an old family name that links one generation to the next.

Third: You pick a name you can yell in the park three times in a row without getting tongue tied or attracting dogs.

The first day of school

First child: You walk them into their new classroom and help them find their desk. You meet the teacher and all of the other kids and their parents. You go home and worry if they’ll make friends or fall in with a bad crowd. Or if they’ll be able to go down the big slide or find the restroom in time.

Second: You bring them to the classroom door and wave to the teacher from across the room. You go home and re-wallpaper your kitchen.

Third: You drop them off in the front of the school and yell, “See you later,” as your car screeches away from the curb.

Then you go home and cry.

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