Baby I is coming up to nine months old now. He is amazing, even if I do say so myself, but his life has been so different to that of his big sister and brother. Little E went to baby music classes, baby massage and baby yoga; Little O went to toddler music classes and mother and toddler groups. Baby I spends half his life on school runs and at pre-school activities and the other half watching the other two fighting. Here’s his guide to 21 things that happen when you are the third child. Any other parents relate?
2. Your parents will regularly call you by the wrong name as they go through your elder siblings’ names before they get to you.
3. Bath and bedtimes will not be the calm and tranquil affair they were for sibling number one, or even the half-calm-half-crazy affair they were for sibling number two. You will sit in the bath while your siblings fight around you. Bedtime stories will often be drowned out by tantrums. No daily full-body baby massages and softly-sung lullabies for you, my dear.
4. You will go to lots of loud and busy toddler activities, soft plays and after-school big kid activities, rather than calming baby classes.
5. If you do have time on your own with mummy, you will spend a lot of time running errands while your siblings are at school/pre-school because it’s so much easier for mummy to do things when she only has one child with her.
6. You will have a lot of hand-me-down clothing. Even if your siblings are the opposite gender to you.
7. You will eat bad food way before your elder siblings ever did.
8. If either (or both) of your siblings are the same gender as you, your parents won’t have a clue what to get you for your birthday or Christmas and will wonder where on earth your toys will live. Their only request to friends and relatives will be “buy something small”.
9. You will sometimes find yourself crying for longer than your parents would like because they need to deal with your elder siblings.
10. Everyone will have an opinion on which of your siblings you look most like.
11. Everyone will ask whether you hit key milestones before or after your elder siblings.
12. Mummy will totally forget what milestones you are supposed to be reaching and will probably miss half your milestones because she is busy trying to stop the other two from fighting.
13. Mummy will not have a clue how much you weigh because the thought of waiting in the baby clinic for an hour with three children fills her with dread.
14. Strangers will continually tell your mummy she has her hands full (she will reply that’s better than being empty) and ask if you were planned (as if that is any of their business!).
15. In the next sentence, they will ask if there will be any more babies. (Again, as if that’s any of their business!).
16. You won’t bat an eye lid when you get prodded and poked and squashed by your big siblings. It’s a daily part of life.
17. You won’t have many friends your own age.
18. You won’t spend weekend mornings lounging in bed with mummy and daddy and going for brunch. You’ll be out the house by 9am going to your siblings’ rugby/football/swimming/ballet classes or watching from the sidelines at softplay.
19. And birthday parties. You will go to a lot of birthday parties. That’s the place where big kids poke and prod you, random mums coo over you, and everyone gets cake apart from you.
20. All the best toys will be too high to reach. Occasionally you will find something really exciting to play and it will be immediately swiped away from you.
21. Your big siblings will make you laugh uncontrollably in a way no one else can and for all the chaos, Mummy’s heart will melt when she sees that sibling bond.