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Thoughts about having three children

brain after three

The thoughts pinned down here are not random. They have moved in.

Someone said to me once that if you are thinking about three, you have to go for it. This is not exactly how things happened for us, the story behind the story is long but fascinating and for another discussion over wine. After one weekend of surprised shock (read freaking out) we are now super excited. (These days everything is ‘super’ in our house, Kai (4) calls himself super strong and Bailey (3) is just super pissed off about life most of the time). I do believe what my friend said to be true though, if you are thinking about three you need to at least move into a space of seriously considering it. It is about so much more than simply being outnumbered. Right now my headspace is a jungle of questions….

The first and most obvious one is the question around transportation. Will I need a massive ship of a car that will be difficult to steer and that will make people hate me for monopolising three parking bays during school pick-up? I furiously researched booster seats and baby seats that are as narrow as Kim Kardashian’s brain and you will be surprised how many sites there are out there to advise you on this. I seem to not be alone in my dilemma. I found this site especially useful:

‘That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’. Perhaps not, names are important to me. Just before I returned from maternity leave with my now youngest I had my kids’ names tattoo’d on my ankle. Two names, on an ankle as narrow as you need that booster seat to be. I had this done on a sunny day in Durban in a tiny little place where people trade their lobster catch of the day for a tattoo, over a strong whiskey. Needless to say there is very little space left for a third name. But I already love this new baby the same as the other two and he will get no less, so we will just have to come up with a strong three letter name for a boy. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

The dreaded Middle Child Syndrome. For a few moments I nearly cried over poor Bailey being forced into this position of possible neglect and losing her ranking as youngest and cutest. Then she started talking to her dolls and every word was like a small dagger attacking the air and I was reminded how strong this child of mine already is. Being a middle child will hone her negotiation skills. She will be protected by two boys and will always have a companion, not to mention a very varied dating pool one day. In the book ‘The Secret Power of Middle Children’ the author calls them trailblazers with some worthy examples like Charles Darwin, Nelson Mandela and William Bell. They apparently grow up with a unique combination of risk-taking and openness to experience. Middle children are also justice seekers, remember what I said about the importance of names? It must be poetic justice that we named Bailey after a bailiff. She is already like a tiny little legal officer. In fact I feel sorry for the two boys of mine. And if we unpack this thing called middle child syndrome and we look at it as a form of neglect, then really a single child can suffer from middle child syndrome as easily as an actual middle child.

Will I be able to handle the sensory overload? This is one of my biggest concerns. You know what toddlers are like; from when their little eyes open you stand in a firing line of questions and demands, it comes at you simultaneously and without mercy. And the correct answer or action is expected, because you are, after all, mom-who-should-know-everything. This concern dawned on me as one to take seriously the other day when, right as my 4 year old called me to wipe his bum, the three year old demanded to know if the dog ate the birds’ feet. I did not even know which bird she was referring to, or which dog for that matter, but she was very upset that I did not have the right answer. And the honest ‘I don’t know’ simply is not an answer. Are you being ridiculous??

At this stage it all is assumption of course. And all of us, especially parents, should know by now that assumption is the mother of many things. For example, I’ve always believed that pirates wear eye patches to hide a missing eye, and then recently learned that actually, the clever pirates wore eye patches to help their eyes adjust between light and dark. It takes up to 25 minutes for your eyes to adapt from bright light to total darkness – something that pirates needed to do quite often, as they moved above and below deck. I’ve been teaching my kids all the wrong things about pirates, you probably have been too, now you know. And so we will only know when baby number three is here. It could be so much easier than I imagine. Possibly it will be so much harder and I’ll end up consuming even more wine than ever before. But one thing I know for certain, he will bring happiness and laughter. A new dynamic to our family. The other part of the soccer team for my husband. And many, many life lessons.

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