Dear Beloved Baby,
You are the third child to grace our family. You are our second daughter. You aren’t out of the womb yet, but I have this feeling I should start making apologies to you already. I mean, your nursery will never be featured on Pinterest. Your first years will be very different from those of your sister, our oldest child. There will be so much more noise, so many more hard knocks (from children who love you, they really do), so much less holding. I’m preparing myself for that, but there’s no way to prepare you. I can only pray you’ll be a happy baby (or that you’ll loooove the Baby Bjorn). Things will be different for you, but as I think this through, I’m realizing there are lots of perks to being a third child.
You will get to watch TV at a much earlier age than your sister. Probably like two years earlier.
You already have a monogrammed baby blanket and towel waiting for you. With your sister’s name on it, but still. Monogrammed!
There are already hand painted masterpieces on your wall. My personal favorite is a Melissa and Doug paint-with-water painting of an ice skater. It is inspired. It’s right next to the light switch that is pre-smudged for you with Easter chocolate candy.
We will never put your infant rolls and kinks into Baby Gap jeans, or any other kind of jeans. You will wear comfy, cottony clothes until you’re old enough to need something tougher to protect your chubby little knees. You’re welcome.
Your toys are pre-approved. We already know which ones babies really like, so you don’t have to worry about having six different kinds of rattles shoved into your face in an hour. We know you will like the caterpillar with the crinkly wings because two babies have already loved that toy. (We also know the only thing you really want is keys. Sorry. Maybe some metal measuring spoons will do?)
You won’t have to worry about us turning on the light every time we feed you or change your diaper in the middle of the night. We are expert parents in the dark, which is not an accomplishment to sneeze at.
We do not own a copy of Goodnight Moon. We’re more partial to Big Red Barn. You can thank me later. (Note: I don’t really hate that book, it’s a great book. I just hate reading it more than once a week. Maybe it’s the mush?)
You will be so much better entertained than your older siblings. Would you prefer me telling you about the steps I take when I do laundry, or your brother and sister galloping around you on horses/brooms named Maximus and Daisy? That’s what I thought. Even given the occasional accidental knock you’ll probably get from the horses, it will be a fun world to live in, I guarantee it.
We will never call you an accident. When that guy in the supermarket who thinks he’s so funny looks at my shopping cart that’s more full of children than food, he’s going to say, “Ma’am, you do know how this happens, right?” He’s a hoot. But I’m not playing along. I will be the killjoy who’ll respond, “Yes, we’ve hoped and prayed hard for all our babies.” Not because I want to ruin his fun (okay, I kind of do), but because I want you to know, beyond a doubt, that you were longed for just as much as any other child in our family. We had a girl, we had a boy, and we still wanted a you. And you will have the privilege of allowing us to verbalize how treasured children are in our family. I hope you’ll feel honored and loved. I’ll try to stop embarrassing you by age 12.
So dear baby, your pre-washed clothes are washed once again, folded in your closet and waiting. Your bassinet mattress is currently under the rocking horse, in hopes that it will flatten out enough to be used again. Your hoards of baby shoes are lined up on a shelf for those three Sundays you’ll fit into them and I’ll feel human enough to take you to church. Your walls will be washed free of crayon marks and chocolate in the next day or so, I promise. We are anxious to meet you, our greatly desired third child. And there are four of us instead of just two of us who can’t wait to hold you in our arms. We hope you like your world.