Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Downside to Being Number 3

By the time I finally got around to having Ryan, I was 32 years old and I was more than ready to be a mom. Every little thing he did was a 'scrapbook moment' and I filled up several of the big 12 x 12 scrapbooks. Additionally it seems like I kept just about every little masterpiece he made. Things were saved from daycare, trips, Sunday School, school - you name it. Each and every event had some sort of memento and was duly noted in a scrapbook.

He was 7 when Emma came along and by this time I was a little wiser about not saving so many things. We were also pretty busy with his sports schedule and I no longer seemed to be able to fit in any scrapbooking time into my schedule. I still continued taking pictures but found that I was becoming less and less sentimental about EVERY piece of paper that was written on. Subsequently, I didn't keep nearly as many of the papers and keepsakes for Emma that we had for Ryan. At some point I was able to make one scrapbook for her that covered our trip to China and I also made her a lifebook. A scrapbook was started but never completed ... guess it'll be one of those things I'll have to go back to later.

Then along comes little Rebecca and at the same time we realize we have way too much stuff in our house. Her arrival was shortly followed by our beginning to deep clean and throw away a lot of the things we had saved/kept. Even after all the purging there are times I feel absolutely overwhelmed with the number of papers that come home for the two girls and in the back of my mind keep thinking that at some point I need to set aside a place for some of Rebecca's papers. I recently noticed how much she has progressed in drawing things and am a little sad that I haven't saved some of her earlier drawings so that we could show her how well she is doing.

A few other things I've noticed about number 3 vs number 1 (and even number 2 for that matter) - which makes me feel like a terrible mother:
  • Very few pictures are of JUST number 3.
  • The first child had all kinds of Christmas ornaments. First Christmas. First 5 Christmases. Grade school series. Ornaments made in preschool. Ornaments made in Sunday school. Ornaments ... ornaments .. ornaments. Almost as many for Emma since she was the first girl although the grade series has not been started. For Rebecca, don't even ask. Part of this has to do with her age at adoption and part of it has to do with me just not getting around to starting any of the series for her yet. I did make a point this year though of buying some that represented her interests.
  • Reading time - I read to Ryan while he was in the womb and continued to read to him every day for years it seemed. Which is probably why he scores so stinkin' high in the language arts category. While I read to Emma, it wasn't nearly as much as I did Ryan because it took a while before she would sit still enough to be read to. Thankfully she finally did get to the point where she enjoyed being read to and can now read to herself. Reading time for Bex just doesn't seem to happen much at all.

It just makes me wonder ... how do people who have LOTS of kids handle these things because I for one am feeling like a terrible mama!

So, my two main New Year resolutions are to:

1. Make a scrapbook for Rebecca, even if I have to do a digital one that is just for her. Since we have the basement cleaned up, I've noticed that all three of the kids have been enjoying getting Ryan's scrapbooks out and pouring over them so I think she would really enjoy that.

2. Establish a reading routine with her and stick with it!


Anonymous said... It is great for digital scrapbooks-- simple, easy to get the hang of, good quality and you don't have to spread out the scrapbooking mess and hope everyone leaves it alone till you're done. Plus lots of pretty backgrounds so you don't lose that scrapbook feel. As the mom of 2-- #1 having far more than #2 in all the same ways you wrote about-- I've found shutterfly to be a lifesaver.

Debbie Sauer said...

You are a great mom. No one has time to do all the things they want to, me included. Doing things with the kids is more important. Shutterfly sounds like a good alternative. Blessings