It was silent again. The big kids were playing in the family room and suddenly I noticed...no Noah...again. If you know us well at all, you know that Noah has gone missing many times. Before he could walk we started "losing" him. He's not actually lost, he just wanders off to mischief. In fact, when Elijah had his seizure, Graeme put Noah down to attend to Elijah and promptly forgot about Noah because of the suddenness of Elijah convulsing, etc. A few minutes later, I started to panic once again because, you guessed, Noah was lost! He hadn't wandered far however, he was just at the wheel of a parked golf cart nearby. He loves to "dive a ca" (drive a car), so he seized the moment! The golf cart was actually right next to the train tracks...oops.
When I realized Noah was lost I started the normal "routine" for when he is lost. Check the car in the garage, one of his favorite hiding spots, he loves to "dive". No Noah. I kept calling. School room? nope. Top bunk in Elijah's room, another favorite mischief spot. No fits of giggles when I entered the room, so I knew he wasn't up there. I heard nothing until I came upon the master bath and saw this...
When I entered, he excitedly said, "I bush a tee", I bus a tee".
There sat Noah, perched on the top of our vanity, which both of our toothbrushes, putting them under the faucet, even though he doesn't know how to get the water out yet, brushing his teeth.
I take back any and all preconceived notions of how it was going to be when I was a Mom. For me the third child has been very liberating. Liberating of all former ideas, plans, and opinions. I used to have opinions on how I would labor, deliver, feed my baby, care for my children, what we would and wouldn't do, what my children would and wouldn't do. I knew how I was going to parent and the results of glimmeringly wonderful results of my perfectly primped and poised children. They would always answered perfectly when called, never wrote on walls, never so much as looked crossly at me or each other, never screamed in a store, and were always perfectly respectful and obedient. Of course I would accomplish all of this whilst cooking gourmet meals, and home baked treats for them. Oh, and they would never watch a video or say "boo" to another child. I would be calm and sweet at all times, and so would they, isn't that the way it ought to be?
Enter child number 3. I don't know what it is about my third one. It's not him really. He was a great baby and is a very easy going little guy, albeit he does get into everything. I think he has a natural bent to mischief, but he also isn't watched as closely as the first two, because, "there's only one Mommy" (my kids repeat this phrase to me...I must say it often. :)). My sister says, you only have to halves of your brain and the third one just confuses the brain, or I've heard, you have one hand for each child until the third. I liken the third to the children becoming a little herd that you have to corral. It's like all your pre-conceived notions are out the window when the third little blessing joins the troops. I thought I didn't have any left after the second, but now with Noah, it's all over.
I used to think it a terrible shame when a child fussed in a store, now I feel sorry for the poor Mama. When I heard of a child doing an outlandish thing, I used to wonder why the parents didn't get a handle on that child. Now I just laugh. When a child didn't treat my child right, I used to get offended. Now, I just chalk it up to the fact that they are a sinner just like my child is a sinner. Misbehaving in the nursery, tssk, tssk. Now, the poor baby needs its Mama or it's trying out hair pulling for the first time. I don't do all these things perfectly, but the third child has taught me a lot about acceptance. It's really a liberating thing. You're more free to love your kids and love others. Yes, the thirdborn crazies are a really great lesson in letting go of mantras, opinions, rigidness, and judging others.
I'm so thankful for my little monkey.