1 – That you will excitedly retrieve toys, gyms, walkers and ride-ons from their storage place for your new addition – but when you reveal them, the older child will look delighted with themselves and barely let their younger sibling touch them.
2 – That when you take your new baby home from hospital, your first one will have morphed into a giant.
3 – That the tiredness doesn’t just come from lack of sleep, but from the physical exhaustion of lifting two little people, heaving car seats and children into the car, trying to steer double buggies with a mind of their own, and then working out how to collapse them and lift it into the boot. It feels like you always have a person to lift, carry or push. And it’s true. You do.
4 – That if you own an iPad, there will be war.
5 – That there is absolutely no point trying to give your children different foodstuffs. And that you should practice cutting sandwiches into identical shapes, counting out blueberries, and carefully dividing snacks into half portions while you still have the time.
6 – That despite looking and acting nothing like your own siblings, you will be constantly amazed that your second is not a carbon copy of your first.
7 – That you will feel fiercely protective of your new cub from the moment they are born. And that this may include rugby tackling your own (precious first born) child when they launch themselves at the baby with a large toy tipper truck.
8 – That your youngest child will grow up so much quicker, mastering the art of a crayon months before their older sibling, wanting to eat the same food when he spots his siblings plate (baby food? pah that’s for babies) and getting the most enjoyment out of toys designed for children twice his age. And that baby toys will therefore gather dust and be completely pointless.
9 – That heading outside with both children on your own for the first time is as big a milestone as the first tooth or first steps – and that you will never forget the day you did it. And that the fear of doing it is almost always worse than the reality.
10 – That despite the constant chatter, laughing, whining and screams, you won’t realise quite how noisy the house has got until the children aren’t there – and then that silence sounds and feels very odd indeed.