Certainly, for most people, Baby #1 is a big adjustment. The newness. The change. This Other Person to care for. Life becomes very different. But really, after a while, you realise that Baby #1 doesn't really cramp his/her parents' style too much. If you want to go out to a friend's house on a Friday night, just take her along and put her to bed there. Pack and plays are a mother's (and a father's) best friend sometimes. The best invention ever, if you ask me. Even better than sliced bread (because I've mastered the art of slicing my own). For us, getting ready to go out, to church for example, only required an extra 45 minutes in the morning, feeding time included.
It's a whole different game when 3 become 4. You would think that with 2 parents and 2 kids it's easy to divide and conquer. And usually it works out that way, with the baby being the easy one - feeding, dressing, napping, transferring to car seat, leaving. Done.
It looks so good, so easy, on the page. But it's exactly when it looks and feels like it's going good that suddenly it just doesn't.
You're all ready to walk out the door and Baby E has a diaper blowout or a massive spewing spit up. So much for the groceries.
Or all 4 of you are sitting the car, dressed in Sunday best, on time for once, and the car won't start. Because someone, and we're not mentioning any names here, bumped the back hatch light on while heaving the buggy into the car the previous day, after a walk in the park. So it stayed on all night. So of course the battery is dead. So much for church.
Or you're putting your daughter's shoes and suddenly there's a puddle on the stairs. "Mommy, I peed." No, really. So much for being at Grandma's on time.
You see where I'm going with this.
One lesson I have yet to learn well is that when life throws those OOPS moments at you, there's only one thing to do (only one thing you can do, really): laugh. My tendency is to stress over it. I tend to take life and myself just a little too seriously. But I have come to realise that sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can't get to church, or the grocery store, or the park, or so-and-so's house, on time because kids do pee and puke and cry and cars do break down or batteries die at the most inopportune moments. There will come a time when I will probably be able to get to places on time because I won't have shoes to tie, coats to zip, tears to dry, or accidents or spills to clean up... and I know that I will miss it.