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Friday, May 10, 2013

The Third Child

I post much less frequently nowadays than I used to. Maybe you've noticed, maybe you haven't. I've developed a theory that places blame squarely on the shoulders of the third child.

The third child throws all kinds of kinks into my life and daily routine that the presence of a second child did not. I'm not saying that my third child, Blue Eyes, is the issue. It's just the third warm body in general. Some days it's the Blue man, somedays it's Sweet B and many days it's Squirt.

But this is not a mommy rant. This is a post about the ways that my life is in fact richer and more wonderful because of that third child. Because for whatever reason, most people in our nation stop at two. I guess no one wants an only child and 2 is the bare minimum required to prevent that situation? One child is A LOT of work. Two children is exponentially more. But three? After 13 months of experience, (insert snorts of laughter) in my humble opinion, three children is truly only a bit more work than two.

On any given day my children have two playmates at their ready. In our home, the oldest two are the always the first ones up and they keep one another company while I have a chance to caffeinate. They entertain one another in the car almost as often as they annoy each other. Generally speaking, by the time you are able to incubate and birth a third human being, your first child is at least two and a half - possibly three years old. This is a wonderful age for being able to entertain a baby while mommy heats up a bottle, packs a diaper bag or reads a book on the couch. Four is an even better age. Don't judge, but the Squirt supervises Blue Eyes a lot while I run to the other end of the house to do whatever it is I need to get done. It's really nice to have a little tattle-tale on hand.

When I only had two children I was under the impression that I could control all the children all of the time. I had two hands after all. And when B Daddy was home we went man-to-man and generally kept the insanity-factor below ridiculous. Once the third child entered the picture, I had to let go of the tight grip (both literally and figuratively) I had on my kids. It was official, I was outmanned, out-armed and out-done hourly by the three rascals. It was actually HUGELY freeing for me. I've admitted defeat in some areas. We cannot do anything quickly. I have a gym class that starts at 10, the gym is 15 minutes away and we try to leave around 9. Which means we start moving towards the car at 8:30.

I do ONE possibly TWO "things" (activities a non-toddler-parent adult would consider a productive use of time) a day because it's exhausting to do any more with three littles. We spend a lot of time at home and I've learned to love it here.

I also can't watch all of them all the time. When we're out playing in the neighborhood and I find Blue Eyes eating chalk after losing track of him for a minute or two - I'm completely unfazed and grateful it's not poop. When I leave our dog outside after we come in for dinner and a neighbor returns her to me, we share a chuckle when I exclaim, "you can't expect me to keep track of all my kids AND the dog!"

I'm convinced however, that while the work is not exponentially increased by the third child, the JOY is. Had we stopped at two children, I think I would be under the impression that our boy was the way he is and our girl was the way she is because those were the only two possibilities resulting from the combination of mine and B Daddy's DNA. Our first two are in many ways complete opposites. I find it SO beautiful and amazing, so "wow God - You truly are the Creator who is not limited" that we have this third child who shares a sex with our first child and the laughter of our second and yet is uniquely his own creation. That FLOORS me.

We laugh harder and more often as a family now than we did when we were four. My heart is filled to bursting almost every day at the love I witness between siblings. Our floors are crumbier, our dinners are WAY crazier and our understanding of our own limitations and need for God's grace is much deeper thanks to the third child.


 
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