Alex arrived into the world…and at the time I never could have imagined what a complicated little boy he’d be. He spent his first two weeks of life in the Special Care Nursery at the hospital (he was 6 weeks premature) and he was tiny and quietly cuddly. All that changed as he grew older. He didn’t keep those gangly chicken legs for long. Once my boy got his appetite he grew bigger and stronger by the day. By 12 months old he was in the 90th percentile for weight and height and he has consistently stayed between the 90th and 95th percentile ever since. After his most recent growth spurt Alex is now up to my top lip in height. I predict he’ll be as tall as me in 12 months time, that thought scares the crap out of me!
I don’t know if I’ll ever truly understand how Alex’s mind works. He leaves me stumped on a regular basis. Ages and stages seem to be flying by and new obstacles appear as we get old ones under wraps. He’s a special little boy and I love him dearly…maybe we’re getting the hard stuff out-of-the-way now. Maybe he’ll learn all the hard lessons about actions and consequence now and will be that much wiser and strong-willed when those teenage years come a knocking? Maybe wishful thinking?
I suppose it’s often like this for parents with their first child. Subsequent kids parents are capable of taking a step back and seeing normal kid-behaviour for what it is rather than over reacting to the little things. We expect too much from our first born’s, we often expect adult logic and maturity that’s just not going to happen in a little boy. I give a hearty laugh when talking to Mitch and reminiscing on back in the day when I thought the “terrible two’s” were hard. With three kidlets under our belt (and I have waddle quite literally under my belt to attest to that) we can appreciate how innocent our two-year-olds truly were. By our third child we appreciated him being little every step of the way and honestly I don’t know when he’s going to stop seeming little to me, he’s 4 for crying out loud and sometimes I scoop him up and find myself holding him like a baby for just a moment before he wriggles and tells me, “Mummy, I’m not a baby!” and climbs down.
It saddens me a little when I look at little James who has just turned 4 and I recall how much I expected of Alex when he was 4. I thought he was so much bigger then he really was. I thought he was well past the baby/toddler stage and expected far too much from him. My expectations were way too high but then at the other end of the scale, I have to wonder if I expect enough of youngest? Where’s the balance? Maybe it lies in our middle child?
I remember reading years ago that ultimately middle children are raised most prepared for the real world (away from Mum and Dad). Middle children aren’t the ground breaking, jet-setting first child who paves the way for their siblings with all the parents unreasonable expectations burdened upon them. Nor are they given the free rein and doted on like the youngest child who grows up thinking the world loves them and pays them attention just for being themselves because their parents and older siblings have always thought the world of them. Middle children aren’t the first on the scene and nor are they the last. They had their moment of time in the sun when they were the new baby but it ended abruptly and there was no going back. Middle children have to fit in where they can (too young to do certain things with their older sibling but feeling too old for the activity their younger sibling is doing instead). They don’t get the power rush of being the first with greater responsibilities (like watching your brother whilst Mum pops round to the corner store for some milk) yet they aren’t the littlest who often gets off scot-free because your too young to know any better and your brothers should have been looking out for you.
I wonder how our three will turn out. In some creepy way I’m kind of glad we have three, it feels kinda like a social experiment we’ve concocted and now we’re just sitting back and observing over the next 9-14 years and see if the theories on first, middle and youngest child ring true.
So anyway…random tangent over…
Alexander’s 9th Birthday!
We moved to London this weekend so I was unprepared for cake making to say the least! In the end I scrounged up a muffin tin, a small round cake tin and the ingredients for a yummy chocolate cake (and loads of chocolate icing to cover up my rush job!). Mis-matched chocolate finger biscuits to hold up the top of my tower and give it all a bit of shape and 5 packets of go-go’s to finish the whole thing off.