That prams and art are not mutually exclusive.

No. 3, with a sausage

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?

18 Responses to “No. 3, with a sausage”

  1. Lucy

    My birth order is far too complex for myself – I have half siblings. I am a bit of a middle, a bit of an eldest and a bit of the “baby”. It baffles me.

    BUT, your summary of your boy being the third sounds remarkably similar to my experiences with Lexie as a third.

    Like you, I felt that I didn’t have time to enjoy her baby days. (We were just hell bent on surviving the utter chaos that is three under three…)

    BUT, now I have the elder two at school, Lexie and I have lots of time together. I find myself enjoying her SO MUCH, more than I did her siblings at the same age – as I am not distracted at all by a new baby. She gets me, totally.

    xx

    Reply
  2. Michelle Higgins

    There are so many gems contained in that one lovely post. You are truly in the whirl of parenting young kids. I love your notion that there is no mess, only play. I might put that up and frame it – well, at least plan to!
    All my kids are really different from each other, there very own temperaments, nothing to do with gender. I have noted that attitude towards boy children and really bugs me.
    Michelle

    Reply
  3. Rhi

    A lovely post!
    Your three little boys are lucky to have each other..
    I haven’t even got beyond the first two weeks with my FIRST child’s photo album yet, and the second child hasn’t even made it on to the wall or mantel yet :/ Eeek.
    🙂 Rhi

    Reply
  4. Green Mama

    Love this post. When I had my second daughter the number 1 question I heard was ‘when’s number 3 so you can have a boy?’ I love having two cherubs with the same gender- their personalities are total contrasts. That said, now I’m having the dialogue in my head about managing three cherubs- I’m not sure I’m finished with babies…

    Reply
  5. Beware of Falling Coconuts

    I think the further along in the pecking order the are, the more life skills they naturally obtain. They get the smarts of their older siblings – already pre-worked out – as well as the flexible nature of someone who knows they’re not top dog and they have to share their Lego. I think it must be lovely having three boys – shared toys, clothes and interests, and a shared general vibe in the household. And you’re right, each personality is SO different, every day is an adventure. Beautiful post. Happy 11-month birthday, Baby R!

    Reply
  6. InkPaperPen

    Lovely Karen. I like your take on the whole “oh, another boy?” thing…I find I get this even after having two boys, if we have another baby, and it turns out to be a boy, there will be no disappointment here. Plus, my partner is the third boy in a family of four and I love the closeness he has with his brothers…and his younger sister. They DID get a girl on number 4 birth…

    I am the first born, I have just one younger brother, I think the birth order makes a big difference!

    Gill xo

    Reply
  7. Megan @ Writing Out Loud

    Oh, your baby boy is gorgeous!

    I’m the third of four kids – but I’m more of a youngest child than a middle (the next in line is 10 years younger than me). I’ve read that third children are intent on being ‘different’ and carve out their own ways to get out of the shadow of their older siblings. True here!

    Reply
  8. Courtney

    What a lovely post! I have 4 kids. The first two are closer in age. There is 3 years between no.2 and no.3 and almost 3 years between no.3 and no.4. That being said its always an adventure with kids! Like Forest said, you never know what you’re gonna get! You have to roll with the punches, but the best way to make it work is enjoy it. Its seems like you are doing this! I have baby albums for the first two but no baby books ever for any of them! How terrible is that! I have pictures in frames around the house which is as good as an album for the other kids. When we found out that No.4 was a boy my daughter said, ” Can you have another baby so we can have a girl?” So 1 girl and 3 boys is what we got and we are happy with that!

    I am 4th out of 5 kids and I found I was always defending myself. My siblings like to tease me because I was gullable and unfortunately I still am a little, but my best traight is being a peace maker and that has come in handy over the years!! My husband is youngest of 6 and the stigma of being the youngest really rains true in his family, as it did in mine!!!

    Reply
  9. Tai Tai

    That little sausage muncher is superb! I think your spot in the order just means you get a ‘different’ experience, not a worse one. I’m in the middle, and had a very demanding older sister, so think that has made me more independent and certainly less comfortable with attention! Great post xx

    Reply
  10. MultipleMum

    This is such a wonderful post TRM. I completely agree. My third came at the same time as my fourth so it is absolutely impossible to find a picture of him on his own! But he gets so much love from his older brothers and twin sister that I don’t feel bad about it. He is also my Mummy Hog who manages to find time with me. I don’t know how he does it but his little hand will find mine at any time of the day or night. I wrote a post on birth order you might enjoy? http://pilesofwashing.blogspot.com/2010/08/birth-order-debate-does-it-really.html xx

    Reply
  11. Jennie B

    I am completely terrified to have a third child. Yet, I know I’ll do it anyway. Somehow you just make it all work. I was the third in my family, but having two older *immature* brothers I fancied myself the eldest. Still do. (I have three younger siblings so that’s perfectly okay.) I don’t think it matters so much when your born but how interact with your siblings or parents. Someone may to choose to say “I’m the youngest therefore I am spoiled.” While I would say my first is probably more spoiled than the 2nd.
    Anyway I could go on and on, but I won’t bore you. Thanks for stopping by my blog, what you said put a smile on my face. Maybe I should head to the library too, just for some peace and quite! 😀

    Reply
  12. Deer Baby

    Great post – what a cutie! I have an intense relationship with my vacumn cleaner too. He follows me about everywhere.

    I think there is a lot to be said for birth order but I also think personality plays a major part and so the stereotypes of what you’re meant to be like according to birth order don’t always follow. I think gender plays a part too. I have been the youngest of two when there was just me and my sister, then the middle one when my younger sister came along after 7 years and then the oldest suddenly when my elder sister died. And my younger sister is far bossier than me. There’s a big age gap between mine – it’s almost like having two only children sometimes.

    Reply
  13. littlewinter

    He sounds so lucky to be number 3 – who needs individual photos when you’re surrounded by so much love! And gosh what a beautiful newborn babe he was. Kellie xx

    Reply
  14. Kellie

    OOPS, accidentally left that comment still logged in as my friends wordpress blog …. anyway just wanted to say thanks for visiting and commenting on my little blog! Kellie xx

    Reply
  15. sassandspice

    Oh Baby 3 is so cute. I’m 2 out of 5 (my youngest was a surprise :)) and I noticed that I never had a hospital photo album or a 1st birthday party (13 months difference between my brother and me).

    I agree with you about Baby 3 being lucky to have more people to share his day to day life. He might not get endless amount of time with you but I’m sure he is enjoying the interaction he gets from his siblings.

    Reply
  16. Kym Piez

    Oh your boy number 3 is adorable! And what is people’s fascination with needing to have boys AND girls? I’ve been asked plenty of times, “Do you think you’ll try for a girl?” Um, no. And I have no interest. My boys are so diverse and there’s never a dull day!

    I have been pondering this very thing recently, and have pulled out my camera while big brother is at kinder. Just so there’s photos of just him on his own!

    Great post. And always, beautifully written!

    xx

    Reply
  17. Madam Leash

    Dearest Karen,
    With the birth of Boy#3 (who still does not have an in-utero-nickname beyond the blantantly obvious ‘#3′!!) coming ever closer, this post of yours has tears streaming down my face while trapped at my desk behind the fish-bowl window that allows my colleagues to monitor every emotional rollercoaster I ride. Thankyou, gorgeous girl, for the hope and for the inspiration that you pass on to all who read your words – and thankyou for reminding me that this new little bloke will have an abundance of love and cuddles and kisses from his big and bigger brothers in addition to holding the hearts of his parents. He’ll be dressed in the best of his brothers’ collective wardrobes (and the best that the opshops in Geelong have to offer!) and will probably struggle to understand the concept of ‘mine’ since everything he will have will be shared, but I hereby promise to ensure that we document his life as an individual as well as his life as a sibling. Love to you and yours, from me and mine. xxxxx Leash

    Reply

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