I've shared before how I am the mother of three. My eldest is now 7, my middle child is 4 and my youngest will be 2 in the New Year. I was thinking this week how much we have changed as parents from child 1 to child 2 to child 3. With Child 1 everything was new and exciting and sometimes nerve racking. All stages were fascinating and we couldn't wait to move on to the next thing and note it down in the baby book. Moments were shared very proudly with grandparents, great-grandparents and pretty much anyone who would listen.
Now that we are on Child 3 and knowing that she is our last I am finding we are holding on to every moment. Not wanting her to get to the next stage just yet. For example - my oldest was in a toddler bed at about 18 months. It was exciting and he loved it. Our youngest is currently 22 months and still in her crib. I'm thinking probably around Christmas we'll convert her into the toddler bed, but there's no rush really.
We weren't nearly as relaxed with our first as we are now. With our oldest there were lots of calls and questions to other parents and my own parents and our doctor asking, "Is he okay?", "Is that normal?", "Should that be happening?". With our second and even more so with our third we would take note of their changes in behavior and think, "Oh that, you are doing that now". And with those more frustrating stages of parenting knowing that there was an end in sight and it would probably take X amount of time to see it through.
It's so funny when I think back to the excited, nervous new parents we were taking our first home from the hospital in disbelief that they actually let us take him home to now when we feel like we know what we are doing. We're now the people friends call to ask advice and ideas and spill their parenting questions to. Somewhere along the way, we found our way and have become the so-called 'experts' - funny what experience does to you :)