What Is It About the Third Kid?

Sonni Abatta with her third child

Our third baby was a surprise. For the longest time, I had nothing against the *concept* of larger families; I just thought, “Nah, not for us.”

What’s that saying about the best-laid plans? Yeah. That.

We are on the cusp of celebrating our baby’s (I only get another couple weeks of calling her that, so I’m going with it) second birthday, and I have noticed a few–let’s call them unique–things about a third child.

I’m curious if anyone else with 3 kids has noticed certain things about that last baby…

They seem to talk earlier.

Last night she sang me the whole “Johnny Johnny, Yes Papa” song. It would have been hysterical, but it was at 9:30pm and she still wasn’t asleep. Therefore, a smidge less funny. But just a smidge.

I attribute this whole quicker-to-talk thing to the fact that the poor thing literally has to fight for toys, snacks, the good car seat, etc.

They have no knowledge of their bodily limits.

I’m not saying she base jumps from the bed and various other countertop spaces like my older kids, but I am saying that she probably would if you put a cupcake on the floor there as bait.

Seriously–no fear.

As a parent, you trust yourself so much more.

I’ve talked before about how it took me a little while to get my sea legs underneath me as a mom. Like, I fought my instinct in order to listen to various “parenting experts” and the like. (For the record, I now believe all moms are “parenting experts.” And I could also be the poster child for good-enough parenting.)

But there’s something to be said for the own personal rhythm you find in your parenting by the time your third child arrives. No longer do I run to ask everyone else’s opinion before making a decision; now I immediately go with what feels right to me, because I know that ultimately, that’s what will also be best for her.

They are absolutely hysterical.

third child

Is it a result of the fact that I’m so much less inhibited as a parent by the time our third kid arrived? Is it because they witness their older siblings’ antics? Or is it because they are actually little SNL performers-in-training?

Who knows! But what I do know is this kid makes the most hysterical faces, and usually unprompted. (See above.) I have high hopes that she will be able to support our whole family someday as a massively-successful standup comedian.

Is it a result of the fact that I’m so much less inhibited as a parent by the time our third kid arrived? Is it because they witness their older siblings’ antics? Or is it because they are actually little SNL performers-in-training?

They make you realize how fast it’s all going.

I guess this could be said of any child that’s the last in birth order. I wasn’t overly sentimental about the passage of milestones with my son, a little more so with my first daughter, but with this baby, everything falls into Big Deal Territory.

I cry when she grows out of onesies. I cry now that her hair is long enough to pull into a ponytail. I cry when we stopped nursing. Cry cry cry. (Me, not her.)

Man, I’m a wimp. And it’s all because this little person is here, reminding me daily that it really does “go so fast,” like all those grandmas said while pinching your cheeks and patting your head years ago.

So yeah. Third kids. They’re pretty special. I’d say it’s the best surprise we’ll ever get.

SUN-LOGO-SMALL

What do you think about kids and birth order? Anything you noticed about your second, third, fourth or (God help and bless you) fifth child? I’d love to hear in Comments below!

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