Third man

My third child is discovering nursery rhymes. For the first time ever, I sang Baa Baa Black Sheep for him this week – he will be two years old soon, so this is not something to boast about.

I also showed him Round and Round the Garden for the first time – he loves it. And I’m teaching him animal sounds – so far he is mixing them up completely so that lions sound like birds and “woof woof” is his answer to almost everything else.

At the same age, his two big sisters knew their animal sounds, their nursery rhymes, and could do Round and Round the Garden blindfolded (I never blindfolded them, just for the record).

My third child is wearing a top today that I bought a year ago – it still fits, though it’s a little snug. He gets new clothes when he really, really needs them. His sisters got new clothes every time a season changed or they moved into the next age-range as prescribed by Mothercare.

runs just as well as a blue trike
runs just as well as a blue trike

My third child has a pink tricycle. He loves it. He doesn’t seem worried that his boy-buddies might laugh and point at his girlie trike. Anyway it goes well with the pink pyjamas that he wears when his parents lose control of the laundry mountains again.

He eats food that has dropped on the floor, and we don’t wrestle it from his mouth. He slides down the stairs on his belly and we laugh. He tips his uneaten dinner onto the table because he has been raiding tomatoes and cheese from the fridge all afternoon, and the world doesn’t end.

He has no daytime routine to speak of and he ends up in our bed most nights. He’s addicted to Mickey Mouse and he loves cake. His big sisters hardly knew either existed at the same age.

Our standards have well and truly slipped. In fact they’re on the floor, along with his food.

Yogurt rubbed into hair, nice
Yogurt rubbed into hair, nice

But this third child is the centre of our family, the centre of our universe. He smiles all day, he keeps us smiling. His sisters forgive him every slight, over and over; broken dolls and torn books notwithstanding. His dad melts when he hears the familiar, delighted greeting on his return from work – “daddy! daddy!”. And all of us would do anything for a hug from this cuddly, fun-loving bundle of charm.

He is snuggled and hugged and held and carried, he is showered with love and attention and kisses. We forgot about nursery rhymes this time around, but I think we’ve finally worked out what’s important.

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23 thoughts on “Third man”

  1. Lovely post-sounds like ye’ve nailed it completely with whats important. Your little man sounds like a ray of sunshine. Enjoy him-plenty of time for nursery rhymes at school!

    1. Thanks Aedín! I think he’ll be fine too – at least until I read some new study that says nursery rhymes are the central key to all future health and happiness 😉

  2. Beautiful post! I don’t know that I have ny excuse though, my standards are very low and this is only my first child :-p

  3. i read this post earlier and it gave me a much needed smile! Your little boy looks and sounds just perfect.I have four so you can imagine what it’s like. Our eldest two are at college so she is witness to gangs of 20 year olds plus gathering to have a few drinks before going out, she knows what a “shot”is and mixers, all of which I am uncomfortable about even though they are relatively discreet.
    There is also the matter of us discovering some nights that it is past bedtime and she is still up! However she is a breath of fresh air. I wrote a similar post once and in it I said she effectively rears herself and to be honest is doing a better job than we did on the other three. 🙂

    1. Oh I love that – rearing herself and doing a better job! But I do think there’s something to be said for letting go and then being pleasantly surprised when it doesn’t all go wrong and perhaps goes better – that’s definitely what I’m finding

  4. Love it… and so true. I bought my first child her first official book at six months of age and read to her non stop …. I’ve probably only read about five books to number three but his big sis is a whizz reader now and loves to read to him.

    When I started spoon feeding my first child I literally “sterilized” the spoon between mouthfuls… number three practically eats off the floor but oh what a happy bundle he is and how he makes all our lives shine ;0)

    1. Oh you put it so well Naomi – I love “how he makes all our lives shine”! And yes – starting solids with baby number one is so funny in hindsight – I’d guess this is true for pretty much everyone 🙂

    1. It is, isn’t it! I’d love to have known how to do this parenting stuff in a more relaxed way the first time round..

  5. Stop this at once! I’m done with two, and this is making me broody for something I already have! A charming little messer that everyone indulges because why the hell not…

  6. This has brought tears to my eyes as captures my family perfectly! 11 month old boy with 2 big sisters , 6 and 4. I was just thinking if he was ready for the pink trike earlier today! What a wrecker he is pulling the doors of their dolls houses off their hinges and their pictures off the walls but adored by us all. A friend of mine’s mother (who had 8 kids herself) said ‘no one should ever have a first child’ and I think its so true – if you knew on the first what you learn along the way parenting would be so much more enjoyable! (and there would be lots of unemployed marketing experts at baby product companies!)

    1. That’s it isn’t it. The baby is always going to be special, regardless of gender or age-gap, it’s just a special place in the family. My guy is five now (the post was written when he was almost two) and NOTHING has changed! He still wrecks the girls heads, hearts and dolls, but then two minutes later, they’re cuddling him and telling him he is the best boy in the world. The things he gets away with!! Perhaps as your friend says, no one should ever have a first child, and we should all have the luxury of being last children 🙂

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