While mothers everywhere may hem and haw, convincingly dumbfounded, confounded and perplexed by the overwhelming research on birth order, deep down we are not surprised, not one bit. Researchers struggle to understand this supernatural phenomena while mothers snicker to themselves and remember. I remember...
My first son arrived a month early and was in and out of the hospital for jaundice not once, but twice before he was two weeks old. I was thrown into motherhood a bit sooner than I expected but is there ever enough time to prepare? After the one second of joy at the double pink lines, the worry begins. It is a wicked cycle and after ten years, I have yet to see any possible end in sight.
This tiny baby needed to be fed often, every two hours and of course I woke him up per the doctor's instructions and he nursed cozily, falling asleep off and on for the one hour feeding in those first few weeks. One hour of sleep and one hour of feeding. We moved and slept as a unit, our best rest from 6 to 10am each morning. Why not? There was no hungry two year old, no four year old to get to preschool, no kindergartener to ready for school, signing book logs, preparing lunch, unearthing shoes from beneath the trampoline. Every hour the tiny baby ate for one hour and two months later, the time fell to thirty minutes. I remember the sense of relief for that seemingly short thirty minute meal. I got up and fed this baby three to four times per night the first six months of his life. Once per night until his first birthday. I can not believe I am writing that and it is 100% true. The mystery of birth order does not shock me one bit.
This baby did not like to ride in the car. I still can not drive the two and a half hours to the beach and subliminally take note of each place I would stop to feed my first born son. If not uttered aloud, I would quietly mumble the locations to myself, able to ignore the annoying lyrics of Scooby Doo that never failed to suck in the four people in the back of my car. Yes, there was the barn, the gas station, fruit stand, travel park, deserted storage into, random strip center, Target- now we had at least made it to New Bern and only 45 minutes to go. We would go inside Target to let the poor devil stretch his legs since he had been confined at least 20 minutes at that point. I would carry him in my baby Bjorne and buy him a new toy, another in the search to quiet the hysterics of my first born son. Another goal scored for the mystery of birth order.
This baby detested riding in the stroller, a souped up yellow BOB jogger, purchased with visions of lots of walks and a happy in-shape mother and her cooing baby, pointing at nature and happy to gnaw on his own chubby feet. This was the cruelest joke of all. Just ask my new friend and neighbor that suffered the howling that was ear piercing and brought a new mother to tears more than once. Her own baby asleep within the first ten steps and mine screaming by that point as he realized the dreaded walk was here again. I recall my voiced concerns and explanations....He must be sensitive to movement from his early birth, feels like he if falling, certainly scared. Score!
The game ended 3:0. This baby found out he was going to be a big brother days before his first birthday. The new baby, a blip on an ultrasound photo, took priority and the old baby was encouraged to learn to walk, forced to sit in the d*** stroller, turned around in the car seat and given a big bag of Cheetos. This big boy was told night night, not to expect any midnight snacks and his mother turned off the sound and lights baby monitor and got a wonderful night of sleep. Yes, the mystery of birth order solved.