When my son was born, our house transformed from a chic, yuppie house to all things baby boy. A barrage of toys-for-boys filled the rooms, an indoor slide, a maze of parachute tunnels and a mini-basket ball hoop dominated his playroom. His closet broke a rod holding the dozens of blue outfits he had been given and I had bought. Every day I was off to the store to get something he needed, and whether it was the latest baby gizmo or another have-to-have baby accessory, I managed to find something new and necessary for him.

His scrapbook was brimming over with firsts. First bath, first tooth, first time eating prunes, first time at the beach–every milestone was marked and documented. By year one I had over 3000 photos, and now at age three I have 5700 pictures stored on my external hard drive of all his firsts, seconds and thirds. When he was baptised we had a party of 150 people, rented a hall, a band and had a three-foot-long teddy bear cake custom made. His first Christmas was a landslide of toys, books and clothes. Like most parents, our first child got it all, and being the first grandchild only magnified the number of new things, extravagances and indulgences he’s enjoyed.

Baby number two has now arrived. My girl, beautiful and sweet, is much easier and more content than her brother. Thank goodness, because her room was still under construction when she came. I had painted it blue for my son, who at the 11th hour decided he didn’t want that room and switched to the other one in the house. Her crib, once his, stood beautifully in the room, despite a few dings and scratches. Her closet was bare at first; only hanging there were unisex garments I had recycled from him. Her toys were all his that I removed from a box had put away years before. She had all good toys, perfectly still-useable clothes, but it wasn’t until a month after I recovered from her birth that I went out to get the pink items she deserved.

Being a pictureholic, I would say her photo gallery is well into the hundreds, but not nearly as full as my son’s. I still make an effort to mark all of her milestones, but they are scribbled on a calendar in my office waiting to be transferred into the baby book and scrapbook that sits fragmentarily filled in the cupboard. With my son I took a professional photo every two months and sent handmade cards to 27 of our friends and relatives. My daughter’s one professional photograph sits waiting with the colored cardstock it will one day be on. I try to write in her journal, but the pages are slim, I stamp her foot print, but not every month like I did with him. He was in music classes, swimming lessons, Gymboree, and eventually sports ball, things I keep telling myself I will get to with her.

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