I Didn’t Know…

Even after having three children within three years, I am finding out that there is a lot about my children and myself that I didn’t know. Leading up to the birth of Chloe a few days ago, I tried to prepare myself mentally for how the addition of a third child would affect Caleb and Hannah Grace. I prayed for them at night, for God to help them through this transition–that there would be little jealousy, and that love would abound. I had my own suspicions of how each child would react, but apparently I just didn’t know…

…that the potty training regression I knew Hannah Grace would experience would occur instantaneously, that she would give up potty training the exact moment we left for the hospital! My sister and brother-in-law came to our home to watch the kids, and from that moment on, Hannah Grace decided all she needed was a diaper. Sure, I knew that she would regress when she saw Mommy changing the new baby’s diaper, but my goodness! She hadn’t even met the baby, yet, and she had decided that she was done, finished, never to sit on a little potty again! Now some may question how well she was doing before the baby was born, especially considering her young age. Let’s just say that the three days prior to her having a new sister, she may have had a total of one accident. She told the ladies in the toddler room at church that past Sunday that she needed to go pee pee; now when I ask her if she needs to go, she replies, “Nope. Hannah no pee pee in potty. Hannah pee pee in diaper!”

Okay, so I didn’t get it quite right with regards to Hannah Grace, but I was even further off with Caleb. I just didn’t know…

…that he would give up sleeping after the baby was born. Why would the birth of a baby cause a three-year old to think it is okay to stay up until one a.m.! I knew I would lack sleep for having to feed my new baby in the middle of the night; I did not know that I would not get to go to sleep at all because Caleb thought Late Night with Jimmy Fallon was a show not to be missed! I had not prepared mentally for this possibility, so on Chloe’s third day at her new home, Caleb had his first official day with “rest time” instead of “nap time.” We’ll see how tonight goes.

Apparently, I didn’t know my kids as well as I thought I did, but I still have a lot to learn about myself, too. I just didn’t know…

…the capacity for love that I have. If I am honest with myself, I was a little nervous about having a third baby, even though Matt and I wanted another child. ”We have a nice family now; will she upset the happy balance that we have?” ”How will I love her as much as I love Caleb and Hannah Grace? I don’t know if I’ll have enough love to give everyone.” I should have know better because these same thoughts invaded my mind when I was pregnant with Hannah Grace, and after holding her in my arms, the thoughts left. When I first saw Chloe and touched her as the midwife placed her on top of my belly, I fell in love again. Each time she snuggles in against my body or makes one of her little baby sounds while stretching, I know she was meant to be a part of this family, and my heart overflows with emotion. I can only thank God for the grace and love He has given me that I can then share with my children. He has blessed me with a beautiful family, and while there will always be much that I don’t know, there are no other people in this world from which I would rather learn.

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