And Baby Makes Four (And a Whole Lot More)

This post is part of a series of "vintage" posts I'm reposting from my now-defunct Facipiers and Stinky Toes, my very first blog. This post was originally published May 16, 2007.

 I remember clearly the day I found out I was pregnant with my 4th child. I wasn't at all surprised, but reluctant to tell my husband. He was lying on the couch relaxing after a day working out in the yard. His jaw dropped when I told him, and I believe for a moment he actually quit breathing. Our anxiety over our quickly expanding family was met with many responses from family and friends, but the one we heard most often was, "It'll be OK. Making the transition from 3 to 4 is no big deal."

Alright, I'll bite. So I foolishly believed this line. It wasn't until 2 weeks after the delivery, (as I was continually thwarting little toddler knees and elbows from gouging me in my sutures during story and naptimes), that I realized how dumb I was.

Sometimes, this is the only kind of naptime you get with a big family

3 to 4 is as easy as 1 to 4. No amount of prepping will do. There is no easy way to transition to the big "quatro." In fact, I have compiled a short list of things you need to consider when making this leap. (This is not to discourage those who want to grow their family in love. Just don't believe the hype that there was an easy way to make it happen as you are crying your eyes out at 3 in the morning.)

1) Everything is bigger - really:

What's one more little onesie in the wash, or a tiny baby spoon in the sink? You would think that the addition of a small person into the routine wouldn't cause much fuss. But imagine the devestation that a diaper blow-out or spit-up bonanza can cause to your laundry load. The sheets, blankets, towels, rags, bibs, pants, socks, and shirts are endless. And this is just if you use disposable diapers. My eco-friendly counterparts are in for even more work. The same theory holds true for the dishes.

My oldest holding our now 9-year-old when he was born

2) A Traveling Circus Came to Town:

Think you can still drive that nice sedan you bought last year? Or maybe you were hoping to save on gas money with that trendy little hybrid. Think again! Our family only rides in the minivan, and even that gets crowded at times. With 6 in the family and the van sometimes on the fritz, we often put in a call to Grandma to watch a kid or two while I run to the store. Or we just round up the motorcade and ask Grandpa if one of the older kids can ride with him. You will soon need a special class of driver's license to haul your own brood!

3) It's Alright to Cry:

And everyone will. At the same time.

4) You Will Need a Vacation from Vacationing:

Assuming you find a date that works with everyone's schedule to take a family trip, there are some logistics that need to be considered. Aside from the aforementioned transportation scenario, there is also the lodging to be considered. Have you ever booked a room for 2 adults and 4 kids? You can't even do this online! And most places will force you to get 2 separate rooms.

What do you do? Get adjoining rooms and split up the folks? Buy the rooms and then all sleep in one? Apparently it has more to do with fire codes than profit, but I'll believe that when you can tell me how adding 9 pounds of newborn to a motel room somehow decreases the chances that all 324 guests will escape a hotel fire unharmed. My math doesn't add up.

Any large families out there know what I'm saying?