I often find myself challenged by the demands of parenting 3 young children. However, there are so many joys and I feel like recording them here.
My firstborn son was my first blood relative so extra special to me. My OH already had 3 daughters so I was over the moon to deliver his first son. I was overwhelmed by this little person who was so much himself from the start. I had thought he would be a combination of his parents. Although he shares some our traits and looks, he is unique. When my Mum visited us in hospital, she said she had never seen a new baby look around so much obviously fascinated by the world. I admit that I did not have a clue about looking after a baby and am so grateful that Mum was there to help and to support me in those early years. I went back to work and in her seventies, Mum learned how to put a disposable nappy on and celebrated her first grandchild with a huge passion that continues to the present day. My son is sensitive and states that friendship is the most important thing in the world. I know I am biased but people are mesmerised by him - teachers, fellow pupils, everyone. He hates writing but loves reading, mathematics, science and geography. Like my OH, he adores all things ICT and has to be dragged away from his Wii games. I don't have the faintest idea what he will become in later life apart from the fact that he will love and be loved.
My daughter, currently sporting a zillon spots due to chickenpox, was born after a really difficult labour. I now knew what women complain about having sailed through my first one with pleasure. Her saving grace was that she was a girl so as soon as that was announced, all was forgiven. She had really red cheeks and liked to sleep lots in the early days. I knew her Daddy was smitten when he brought her a lovely pink outfit to take her home in. He is not usually that sort of bloke. He started a trend there as she remains obsessed with fashion and all things pink.
She is very slight in build and tall with a lovely skin and my mad hair that shoots off at all angles. She is blonde which was a surprise to me. Although I started blonde, this did not last long so I expected her to have brown curls not blonde ones. There was lovely moment when she was little when our black labrador walked past her in her little bouncing chair. Then our golden labrador walked past her in the opposite direction. It was hilarious to watch her face as it was clear in her world, the dog had just changed colour. My daughter sends much of her time on another planet in her head and has a vivid imagination. When she was tiny, we worked out that she loved making her mark with pencils and crayons. Her interest in arts and crafts is huge and she also has an eye for design. Her other great love is music and dancing. Like me, she enjoys the power or words and her teachers report that she has beautiful handwriting. She wants cuddles all the time and why not?
Son number two was a real challenge for me. Like my daughter, he was not planned and he came very quickly after her. I reckon having your second child doubles the tasks you need to do but your third quadruples them and son on. I had the strange pain-free birth this time with an emergency Caesarean in the end. Twenty minutes and a pirate-like person was rubbed against my cheek by the midwife. Apparently this was to help me bond with him but it just irritated me after a long night. I was exhausted and in and out of sleep. I heard him crying, wailing and remember thinking that there was clearly nothing wrong with his lungs. I sensed excitement as I went into a recovery ward. It turned out he was a bumper baby so everyone was scurrying around to see just how heavy he was. Suffice to say, he was twice the size of the baby in the next bed when I was moved to the Maternity Ward. I went back to work two weeks later after all the awfulness of pain and immobility that followed the Caesarean. My OH became a house husband for that period. I wish I had made a different decision. I was being bullied at work although I did not realise that at the time. I was struggling with postnatal issues and I was not bonding with my baby at all. Then on a day out, I suddenly noticed he looked deathly and we rushed him to hospital. It was only tonisilitis but I was convinced that he was dying. Something clicked and I have loved him deeply since that day. I think he knows on a level how I originally felt because he clings to me more than the others and we have a very close bond. My OH says I let him get away with more but I reckon after the false start, he deserves that from me. He remains big although not chubby. He is full on and boisterous. He seems very sure of himself for a youngest child, quite clear that he fits in totally ith our family. He has the wickedest sense of humour - very slapstick and with a great ability to pull funny faces. At nursery, he acts like a cherub and is loved for his gorgeous smile and sense of cooperation.
Aren't I the lucky one?
Which is not to say that I don't struggle with parenting ever day but know in my heart, that it is totally worth it.