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High Expectations

Do we set higher expectations for our firstborn? Now that we have a newborn in the house, Fussypants seems like such a big boy and I find myself less likely to let him “slide” on certain things, like him telling me he can’t get himself dressed or brush his own teeth without my help (he most certainly can).

It took a new baby to make me realize that my 3 year old is no longer a baby.

Don’t misunderstand, he will always be my baby. I love snuggling with him and I think it is sweet that he sucks his thumb when he is tired or unsure. But I have less patience when he wants me to carry him because that means I cannot then carry the baby or he regresses and wets his pants because that gets him attention (it’s only happened twice but it seemed intentional).

I now expect him to act his age, whereas before I just let him be. We’ve gone from “he’s only 3″ to “he’s 3″.

I myself am a firstborn and my younger brother certainly had it easier growing up. My folks were much more lenient with him. I asked my dad once why they were so easy on him and so hard on me and he said that it wasn’t intentional, but rather they worried more about my brother because he wasn’t as independent as I was, that he didn’t make friends as easily and wasn’t as confident, so they tended to give him more leeway. It made sense in a nonsensical kind of way and I appreciate that my folks took a tougher line with me because if they didn’t, I would have gotten myself into a lot more trouble.

While I know these are the formative years, and that my son thrives on structure, I do sometimes get tired of hearing myself tell my son no or what not to do. And with a new baby in the house, I find I have higher expectations for him to act like a big boy. But I know in my heart I am not ready for him to grow up too fast and I need to let him be just 3 for a while longer.



  1. Very touching… I love the line:
    "It took a new baby to make me realize that my 3 year old is no longer a baby."

    I have often wondered about the feelings I'll have towards a second child. I can't imagine loving anyone else as much as I love Lucas.

    Also, if you think your brother had an easier go of things, there are almost TWELVE years between my sister and I. Talk to her about getting away with it all! Geez!! Glad I could pave the road.

  2. T-I was right there with you, not knowing how I could possibly have enough love for another, when all my heart belongs to MZK but God/Life/whatever you believe in knows what they are doing with the 9 months it takes to grow a baby…I loved her so much before she was born that it was easy to share that love once she arrived. Having patience with the firstborn is what I am working on now!

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