Andrew and I are both 3rd children. Andrew does like being put in a box but I’m sorry. There’s a box and we both fit very well in it.
The third child has major issues. By the time your parents have you everyone’s rolls in the family are set. You have the mom and the dad and the capable intelligent elder child along with the genius quirky second child. It’s hard for the third child to feel at all original or …needed.
So the third child makes goals for themselves secretly. They decided that they will be the first to _______ (fill in the blank). They are extremely competitive even with things that really have no grounds for competition like, “Oh I got my flu shot first and I didn’t cry.” Ok… And even though they tend to be quite good at most things that they try they still have horrible self image problems.
But the third child can also have a wonderful capacity for creativity…and therefore messiness.
I’d like to take this opportunity to give credit to my husband who takes a large majority of the good photos you see on this site. Though Andrew works in the physics department of a local college, he still finds time to do wonderfully creative things like photography or painting or building a bed or constructing a retaining wall for our yard. You know…the usual stuff. He won’t ever admit this but he also has a lovely tenor voice.
So back to the mess. Two creative third children got married. Both Andrew and I had expected to marry very neat people. We figured our spouse would help us with our little problem of untidiness.
We were wrong.
Let me explain what happens:
The day starts. The two of us have all these things in the back of our mind that we know we have to do to maintain a healthy happy house without rodents. In the morning we fully intend to do all those things. But the minute we wake up we also have a list of creative things we were hoping to accomplish that day.
I could do the dishes or I could sew some bloomers for Clare. Andrew could rake the leaves or he could make a diaper bag of old plastic bags.
We, of course, always pick the more creative venture and by the end of the day when we remember that there were chores to do we are too exhausted from a hard day spent doing something else that we fall asleep and leave it for the next day.
Mess doesn’t really bother third children. I remember always having a pile of clothes and other little things on my dresser even as a little girl.
When I was 8 I kept my room clean for a whole year but only because that was the requirement for getting my ears pierced.
One year of clean and it hasn’t been clean a day since then.
The problem is that we just don’t see it.
I didn’t see the clippings of my hair that I left on the floor during college when I would frequently give myself “hair cuts”. Andrew doesn’t see the mountain of tupperware in the back of his car. I don’t see the crumbs on the counter or the dust on the shelf.
When we had Clare we knew we would have a challenge ahead of us. Imagine two third children having a first born. What will we do? How will we even know how to relate to her?
She already HATES having a dirty diaper and she refuses to poop and pee in the same one. We’ve gone through double the diapers just because Clare screams until we change her wet diaper so that she can instantly poop in the clean one and scream until we change that one.
She is so serious when she is awake. Jokes are not funny. Not funny at all.
I feel as though in Clare’s short life she is already helping me with my third child issues. Seeing her beautiful face and the similar features we share makes me want to love myself more – the less critical I am of myself the less critical she will be of herself. Andrew and I have both started to clean more and brush our teeth more consistently and do laundry more often.
I suppose that now that we have had Clare…all our other creative pursuits seems small compared to her – our biggest creative pursuit.
Speaking of which I need to stop writing this blog and go put a load of laundry in, change a poopy diaper, make my bed and do the dishes….Clare told me to.
In other parts of my world: Went to PA this weekend. Forgot to take pictures because I’m a genius…ugh!