My #3 is a rambunctious little fellow, who has humbled me as a mother and taught me that I’m so much less in control that I thought I was. He came along, a singleton after the twins, and my husband and I said to each other, “This will be a piece of cake!!” And he is, but more like a piece of cake loaded with TNT and then detonated in a small room. Never had that kind of cake? Well, it’s not super popular at parties.
I partially blame one of my L&D nurses that I had when delivering the twins, who told me she had three – a set of twins and a singleton. She said, “that singleton was a breeze! We hardly knew she was there!” My #3 has definitely made his presence known.
He is the sweetest, most precious boy. He has completed and brought so much joy to our family, but we were entirely unprepared for him. Our twins were preemies so they slept constantly. He loathed sleep and vehemently opposed anyone in the household attempting to enjoy some precious shut-eye. The twins would “roll with it” and surprised us how well they adjusted to schedule changes and shifts in routine. He was stubborn from the start and completely inflexible. He liked to remind me who was in charge by regularly breaking routine and laughing at any schedule I tried to establish. If babies could punch you in the face, then this guy was Mike Tyson.
Prior to the arrival of #3, I had naively credited the relative ease of parenting my twins to my own parenting skills. ::punch:: While our parenting decisions and tactics matter, so do the personalities of the critters we are parenting. The feeding and sleeping schedules that worked so fantastically for the twins were an epic failure with #3. ::punch:: The baby-proofing we had done that had worked for 2.5 years and counting with the twins, was no match for baby Tyson. ::punch:: After getting socked in the face enough times, you’re either unconsious or forced to admit your strategies aren’t working. (Yes, I realize the metaphor I’ve just created is a boxing match with my baby. It’s accurate and I’m pretty sure he’s still winning.)
#3 is a precocious and ambitious child with no concept for his actual age or physical limitations. His mentors are a pair of clumsy three year olds with questionable judgment, so he’s fearless and constantly trying to keep up. All of his adventures and predicaments are topics for future writings, but one of my main mom struggles is his uncanny ability to open things.
Drawers, cupboards, doors, pens, baby gates, jars, Chapstick, it all started at 14 months. He sits and shimmy-wiggle-fidgets with things until he successfully learns to operate them. The most problematic item as of late is markers. He find them, since the 3 year olds are so great at cleaning up after themselves, opens them, and let’s his creative juices flow all over a long list of surfaces in my home. Since I’ve been victimized in the past by marker misconduct, I only allow ultra-washable markers under my roof. It’s a good thing too, since I keep finding places #3 has been tagging with his baby graffiti.
I have simplistically entitled the following album: Places my baby has colored.
Most of his work at this point is pretty abstract, but his technique of “press and smear” is flawless. I hesitate to use the term “brilliant,” but I think the kid has a real future. If you’re interested in a commissioned piece, please let me know.