Kids in the Capital City

Kids in the Capital City: How to prepare for life's biggest change by not preparing at all

How to prepare for life's biggest change by not preparing at all

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Our family is going from three to four in just five more weeks. iStock / Getty Images Plus

We’re less than five weeks from becoming a family of four, and anxiety and excitement are abundant. But I've also been thinking just how drastically our lives are about to change and how to best prepare for it. Or, in my case, not prepare for it.

With your first baby, you nest. You decorate the nursery, fold the little clothes, and prepare for the unknown. With the second kid, it’s a whole different ballgame.

You know what’s coming, and so to some degree, you avoid it. Sure, the room is decorated. The clothes are hung. But diapers? Oops! Don’t have ‘em. Sleeping arrangements? We’ll work on that. Diaper creams? Don’t worry about it — you’ve got this! You’ve been there!

Just keep telling yourself that.

The big, lingering question I’ve faced is just how to prepare my toddler. Everyone asks, “Is he excited? Does he know what’s coming?” Typically, I nod yes, but the truth is — I have no idea.

My son accompanied me to an OB/GYN appointment last week and called it “visiting baby brother,” so I thought maybe it was sinking in. But he was more interested in watching Blippi (oh God, Blippi) than listening to his brother’s heartbeat, so the jury’s still out there.

More importantly, we're struggling with his transitions. At nearly two-and-a-half, he still wears a diaper. And as much as I’d desperately love to have just one in diapers (seriously, I’ve read books and bought potties, underwear, Pull-Ups, everything), I can’t decide if I’m doing it for him, for me, or just because.

So instead? I haven’t done anything. Every weekend I say I’m going to do it, and every weekend I choose to nap. This may not work out well. Send help.

A few weeks ago, he figured out how to crawl out of his crib, scaring my husband halfway to Dallas when he showed up in the living room unannounced saying, “Hi, Dada!” While some may have seen this as the optimal time to move him to a “big boy” bed, I panicked.

When I asked my pediatrician if I should move him to another bed right now, the doctor said, “Why the F*&# would you do that?” So, I got creative. We put a sleep sack on but he took it off. So, I turned it backwards, locking him into a straight-jacket reminiscent of an Elizabethan dressing gown. Checkmate, little buddy.

As I’ve said before, I’m confident we’ll find our groove and feel over-preparation isn’t the strategy here. It’ll all work out, right? Ask me in a month or so…