My baby turned 11 months old on the weekend. At 11 months, Boy 3 is proficient in crawling, mess making and sausage munching. In a few short weeks, he will officially become a boy, and most likely will celebrate by walking away from me.
The past 11 months is a huge blur of sleep deprivation, kinder drop offs and trying to survive being housebound with 3 children under 5. On the weekend I spent some time sorting photos taken since Boy 3’s birth in order to finally
complete start his baby album.
Everything they say about no.3 child is true: there are less photos. There are virtually no photos of the child just by themselves. There is no baby album. But I’m determined to prove this last one wrong.
Its true, I haven’t had much time to enjoy this baby. Just after he was born, I had this overwhelming feeling of “Oh God, will I ever rest again?” My answer was to get up and get on with everything. It’s hard not to when you have 3 young children who take turns demanding attention, or even worse, when they all demand my attention at the same time (we call this Poo O’Clock: when everything hits the fan). And then there’s the fact that he’s the third boy in only 4 years.
De ja vu?
While I was pregnant with Boy 3, every stranger who asked his gender said “Oh dear, another boy?”, suggesting that somehow he was a poor second to a prized ‘pink’ baby. “Oh, you’ll have to try for number 4, see if you can’t get a girl next time”.
These people could not be more wrong. Everyday I am surprised by yet another way in which all three of my boys are different, completely unique and quirky and sometimes downright alien.
Although Boy 3 is number 3, he is lucky to have not one but three people to care for him everyday. When he wakes in the morning, his babbling crackles through the baby monitor and one or both big brothers rush upstairs to be the first to give bubby a kiss. When he plays on the floor, he is surrounded by colour and movement and noise. There is no mess, there is only endless opportunity to play. And when we go out, he is like a little prince, driven around in his private throne, surveying the world as though his own kingdom to explore.
Boy 3 may wear hand me downs, never need a new pair of pyjamas, and will certainly never be in a photo by himself. The truth is, he is never left by himself. He always has someone to talk to, play with, follow around, or just be near. He is enclosed in the warm, soap smelling cocoon of our house, busy and messy but safe and loving.
It’s been a hard year for our family, but to watch our baby growing and thriving makes it all worthwhile. Though I’m disappointed he doesn’t get the same level of attention his older brother’s did, I do wonder if he’ll be a stronger person for it. One thing’s for sure, he certainly doesn’t mind sharing me with the vacuum cleaner. There have been times I’ve wondered if he didn’t think this strange beast was his mother, as the vacuum and I have a fairly intense relationship.
Though he’s still a baby, I’m pretty sure there’s more to Boy 3 than just sausage munching and mess making. We’re all pretty thrilled to share the journey to find out what this little chunk is made of.
What’s your take on birth order? Where do you come in the ranks, and how do you think it influences the person you’ve become?