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.
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’.