We use the expression “he’s the third” in jest all the time. Like when he is on his 8th otterpop in an hour, “he’s the third”, when he shows up to a restaurant in a bright orange Halloween shirt that blinks (two sizes too big), camo shorts and boat shoes we say “he’s the third” but the more often I say it, I start to think, holy crap we do say that a lot. I do not in any way feel he is neglected; he is just… well the third. We are both the third child as well, so we have a huge soft spot for that place and quite frankly were not going to be satisfied until that spot in our family was fulfilled, and I could not have asked for a more perfect person to fill that spot!
But let me get back to my post, “the third” said by us all the time is a term of endearment, yet tinged with a sense of don’t judge me.
When I think about Lily in her first 2 years and it was just us, my goodness that kid was dressed so perfectly. Never did she ever not match, not even her p.j’s. And on top of her, ohh man I was in control, ok so not much has changed there, but Lily was our first. She was the most perfect thing that ever came to this world. And boy did we love her and treat her like she deserved. Yes she had health issues, yes we were heart broken over the way her life was unfolding before us, but we were determined to give her 100% of us.
Then when Andi Jane came it was like she was a first all over again in some ways. Her first words were sacred. Her first steps were followed and ohhhhh’d and ahhhh’d over. The camera followed her constantly and I even got enjoyment out of her first public melt down at Target. I took a picture to document it. Now her clothes weren’t matched as perfectly as Lily’s. And while she got all of Lily’s old clothes, she never wore them the same. She was/is anti-matching and in the beginning it bothered me, but these days I rather enjoy her and her willingness to be different.
When we added Andi Jane, I did feel a sense of loss with Lily. I felt guilty for not being able to give her every part of me like I had before Andi Jane, but when Andi was old enough to move, it was Lily who she moved to. It was Lily who she tried to feed when she could barely feed herself and in those moments I knew adding her was the best thing for Lily.
And here we come to “the third”, the kid we tried the hardest to conceive. The kid whose birth was nearly perfect, the kid who nursed perfectly and to this day the most handsome boy to ever walk this planet…. Just let me ok.
I did feel that same loss to Lily and the guilt in those first few months especially, but the same thing with Oliver as was with Andi, those kids love Lily and she loves them so I never doubt our bigger family even with a special needs child. I know they all benefit from each other and I quite frankly wouldn’t know what to do with my self if I didn’t have my chaos.
But as much as I love and adore him, I don’t have the time to be on top of him. I don’t have the energy to keep up with him, so yet he gets away with stuff. We laugh at things we never would have with Andi, and yes it probably isn’t “right” but I am writing this and sharing because I have a list of things that constitutes Oliver as the third and I am hoping others who are there, have been there can relate and even add to the list, so let’s go here are some of ours.
You know he/she is “the third” when:
1. you go get his shoe size fitted and you find out the ones he wore to the store were 2 sizes too small
2. his baby book is… where is it?
3. he jumps from the couch to the floor. all.the.time
4. he eats otterpops like he is in some kind of competition
5. you tell his sister to just let him bite you, it won’t hurt that bad
6. there are times when you realize he literally has no shoes that fit him
7. he needs a hair cut
8. he didn’t get a 2nd birthday party (I feel a little bad about that one)
9. we actually let him “cry it out” and to be honest he sleeps the best of all the kids
10. we find him “chooo choooing” his food to himself at dinner time.
Those are just to name a few, we’d love to see more and appreciate no calls to CPS. Thanks.