two 2 three, or 2 to 3, or is it too too three?

We’ve had some friends recently have their third child, actually several couples recently had added number three to their families. And since the Beautiful Bride and I were a few exits further down that domestic road, we were asked by many of them how going from two kids to three, compared to going from one to two.

For us, it was no comparison – going from two to three was much, much harder.

To break it down to its most simple form, you go from playing man-to-man to playing zone defense.

The analogy I always use was this.

"Just imagine a few years from now and all your family (now self-mobilizing) head to Wal-Mart for a Saturday morning outing…only after, of course, you have carted and carpooled the family and a gaggle of others to soccer and karate and swimming and dance and blah, blah, blah…

After all that trekking around suburbia, you are at Wal-Mart to buy a present for one of the kids to take to a birthday party that afternoon. All is well walking into the store, perhaps a slight disruption when everyone wants to get on the quarter-operated Elmo helicopter ride, and you proceed into the store.

Just after you make it in the store and as the blaze of retail cacophony dulls your senses momentarily, all three kids decide, for some still unknown reason, to take off in different directions. For the sake of our illustration, child number one heads toward the toys, the second veers toward the Icee machine, and the sweet baby, oh that angel makes a beeline for the candy aisle.

And as you stand there with your spouse, thinking ‘what did we do wrong?’…the "big question for the ages" pops into your head…

"which two do we go after and which one do we let

get picked up by a funny looking guy in a blue vest?"

This is the essence of moving from two to three. There will be times when the two of you cannot read a different book to all three at the same time, say prayers with all three at the same time, listen to the three differing sides of an argument.

This was(and is) the hardest part. It is not that I love any of the three any less…now there may be moments when I find them a bit less lovable…but it is in managing the intricacies of a "zone defense" that I really learned how hard it is to be a Dad.

To my friends,the best advice I can give is to get some "comfortable shoes" as you will be running for your life. But it will be amazing fun.

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Posted on March 25, 2008, in Dad stuff. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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