milestones

My baby turns two next month. I know I shouldn’t really call him my ‘baby’ as he’s clearly a toddler but he’s my third, my youngest and my last and I can’t really think of him any other way. He’ll always be my baby even when he’s a great, hulking teenager I suspect.baby hand hold

I think my reluctance to give up thinking of him as a baby also has something to do with my experience of motherhood third time round. It’s felt different this time in many ways: more relaxed, easier and with no sense of urgency about getting to the next stage.

I remember with my first son I was so excited at all his achievements and keen for him to move onwards. A walking, talking child is so much more interesting than a baby, after all. With my second son I felt completely ‘in the thick of it’. There’s two years between my first two and the demands of looking after a baby and a toddler were such that I was happy to just get through it. There were many happy moments but I had a definite sense of wanting to move onwards and upwards rather than wanting to slow things down. Day to day life was really tiring!

Third time round it’s been totally different. There’s three-and-a-half years between my youngest and my second-born and since my middle son is an August birthday, he started school mere days after his fourth birthday when the baby was only six months old. So I’ve had plenty of time to sit back and really enjoy baby number three. We’ve ambled through days contentedly (well apart from the extreme sleep-deprivation but I’ll gloss over that) and while I’ve delighted at his development I’ve felt no urge at all to hurry things up. In fact I’ve often wanted to hit the pause button because he’s been such a poppet. He’s been totally doted on by the four of us  – he’s our baby and I sort of want him to stay that way.

So when it comes to thinking of his second birthday I feel a bit odd. Nostalgic almost. I know birthdays are a time for celebration but, well, I’m not sure how I feel about rejoicing in this particular milestone.

So I think I’ll focus my attention on other things. Like what a good fit he is for our family. He’s my third boy and you might assume I wanted a girl this time round (believe me, I’ve been asked that by complete strangers – there’s a whole other post I could write on that particular subject!). While that would have been nice (I assume), the fact is when I considered (while pregnant) the attributes that – in an ideal world – I’d like my third child to have I was unknowingly imagining his personality.

He’s laid back, contented and affectionate, he adores his big brothers, thinks my husband is the funniest person alive and, of course he’s my mummy’s boy regularly racing towards me for ‘a cudooo’ (cuddle) :) The last two years could have been so much harder if he’d been different. He’s awesome. And my older boys have welcomed him into our family with open arms. They’re thrilled to see him every morning and every day after school, they call him a “cutie boy” or a “sweetie”, they taught him to draw, help him build lego… my oldest has even written poetry about how much he loves him! The three of them are an amazing little team. I adore them all and I’m so lucky.

Now that’s something to celebrate.

Linking up with #ThePrompt over at Mum Turned Mom. This week it was ‘celebration’.

mumturnedmom

18 thoughts on “milestones

  1. Nicola Young

    Aw, I feel so emotional reading this. My third baby is six now and he is my only boy, so he will be a proper mummy’s boy all his life!! It’s nice to have been able to enjoy the baby stage. It is definitely to do with being more relaxed third time, but the gap and having the others at school definitely helps.

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      If only I could have been this relaxed first time round! But my first born was much harder work and way more highly strung. He’s now a lovely, sensitive, emotionally-intelligent child but those qualities meant as a baby and toddler he was exhausting! I often wonder about the influence of birth order on personality though – is my third born more laid back because I am? Hmmm. xx

      Reply
  2. Jo Winwood

    What a lovely post. My son is a singleton, towers over me, is bearded with a deep voice but he’s still my baby! It would have been great to have more babes but it wasn’t to be so now I snuggle with furry four-legged babies! Always good to celebrate what you have, not moan about what you don’t …

    Reply
  3. Dana

    Oh this is so lovely Maddy. I think age 2 for a second or in this case third child can definitely feel bittersweet. Especially when it’s your last “baby.” That’s how I felt for my son. Two was such a sweet age, but now my son is 3 and has reached full toddlerness :) still my sweet man, but he’s growing up and away. Enjoy all your moments with your baby. Sounds like there certainly is much to celebrate.
    P.S. Please write that post about people’s assumptions that you wanted a girl, I’d love to read that and actually think that is a hot topic that is very publishable on some of those big mama blogs like Scary Mommy, Motherlode, or Brain Child.

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks Dana. I’ve considered writing the post before but it all ties in with my views on feminism/gender equality and expectations about kids personalities as well as casual insensitivity so I’ve never been able to work out how I’d make it into a sensible post! I may try though! xx

      Reply
  4. Reneé @ Mummy Tries

    Your kids sound utterly amazing, complete testament to how much of a good mum you are :) Littlest one will always be your baby Maddy, even when he’s heading out the door for good. I’ve been feeling a bit like this as my toddler approaches three and my baby approaches one… time just flies doesn’t it, one minute they are newborns in your arms and the next. xxx

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Thanks for the compliment Reneé. I don’t always feel like a good mum but I guess I must be doing something right somewhere. I got so broody when my youngest turned one – but three kids is enough! Time does fly though, sometimes it feels like only days since I became a mum! xx

      Reply
  5. Sara (@mumturnedmom)

    Oh, I know just what you mean, although with my little madam about to turn three I’m more inclined to look forward to her moving up and away, just a little :) My boys adore their sister and she idolises them. It’s wonderful to see and a lot of fun! It is bittersweet with the youngest and last, I have a lot of moments where I realise that it’s a last time. Thank you so much for sharing with #ThePrompt and don’t get me started on the ‘are you hoping for a girl’ conversations…!

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Sounds like your kids have lovely relationships too – seeing my boys together is one of my favourite parts of parenthood. Of course they fight too (the two older ones anyway) but the good times out weigh the bad so I’m happy.

      I’m glad I’m not alone in having dealt with those ‘do you want a girl’ comments (well, not glad that you’ve had them too but you know what I mean). As soon as we knew (after the scan) that we were having another boy I told people when they asked because I figured I’d rather deal with the ‘never mind, you can always try again’ comments (which, I have actually had!) while pregnant rather than while holding my gorgeous new baby. I don’t think people think before they speak! Thanks for commenting and hosting Sara. xx

      Reply
  6. Emily Organ

    What a lovely post. My third is a girl, after two boys, and I’ve had endless people saying ‘I bet you were pleased you had a girl at last’ – as if that was the reason I had a third! As you say, a blog post there all on its own. I think the youngest is always the baby of the family. My daughter started school last September and I thought I would enjoy the freedom of having them all at school. Instead it felt like a huge wrench – I was gutted! It took a long time to adjust. Until Christmas really. I prefer the children being older than little babies and toddlers, it was tough when they were small. But there are moments I miss too and it’s important, like you say, to enjoy those days. I crammed my three babies into four years so I never felt I had the sit back and enjoy it moment!

    Reply
    1. Maddy Post author

      Three in four years! Sounds exhausting! I think I’ll miss my youngest when he starts school too – though it will give me more time to write. And the third child thing – people make a lot of assumptions and I really wish they wouldn’t express them – the idea that my youngest is a disappointment couldn’t be further from the truth! xx

      Reply
  7. mummyshambles

    Beautiful post!
    I still call my boys ‘my babies’ even though the older two are 27 & 23 this year. And I was always Ma’s baby despite me being 41 when she died. ;) X

    Reply

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