First baby – Our cat, Janvier
We doted on that cat. He got treats and attention whenever he wanted. We scheduled our lives around his schedule. We always took his needs into consideration, going so far as to sleep in strange contorted positions so he wouldn’t be disturbed. It would never have occurred to us to let him be outside once the sun went down.
Second baby – Our oldest daughter, C
She took over our lives in the sweetest, most unassuming way possible. One day we were footloose and fancy free, the next we had this little bundle relying on us for her every needs. We bent over backwards to make sure she was always fed, warm, and happy. We would take turns eating dinner so one parent could rock her while the other ate. She was our baby, the center of our lives. We never forgot anything at home and never ran out of essential supplies. She got diapered regularly and we never, ever put her to sleep without burping her.
The cat was still around, not quite as doted on any more, but still very much in our minds. We played with him when we could and cuddled when we had a minute or he was willing to brave the baby. We were a little more relaxed about the time he spent outside, rationalizing that he was happier outside, away from the baby.
Third baby – Our youngest, Little L
For four days Little L was the center of my life, then they discharged me from the hospital. It’s a good thing she’s nursing or she would spend all her time in a bouncy seat or on the couch. We change her diaper when we remember and she gets a bath when we can’t stand the smell of spit up any longer. Instead of scheduling our days around her needs, we schedule her needs around our days. She’s my baby, but she has to share me with her much more demanding older sister.
C’s needs are still being met, but maybe a little less zealously. Her baths are more sporadic, her dinners a little more packaged. As long as we can sit and read some books and have a few hugs here and there I’m pretty satisfied.
The cat? He’s still here. There hasn’t been much playing, but at least he’s still getting fed and brought in at night. Well we almost always remember to bring him in before we go to bed… Poor cat. It’s a good thing we’re not having any more kids any time soon…