Third children are known to be easy going and laid back sorts of people. My third certainly seems to fit that description. She rarely cries, she’s always smiling, and she’s never fusses when her schedule is disrupted a little because we have to go somewhere.
Of course, it’s very clear to me at this point in my mommyness, why third borns have those personality traits. They have to. The second they are born, they are waiting for two other demanding little monsters people. Penny’s needs are almost always taken care of second or third. She needs a diaper change. Well, if she’s the only one she gets it. Otherwise, I have to prioritize. If Sammy’s on the potty, she can wipe her own pee, but if I don’t get to her and she wipes #2, I have dirty panties to deal with. (Yuck) If I don’t change Ella’s diaper promptly, she removes it herself and leaves it, usually dirty side down, on the floor. Oftentimes she plays with it. (Double yuck.) So Penny is last.
At mealtimes, if I don’t feed the older two first, the world ends. Or so they would have me believe. They clamor at my feet, grabbing for food like I haven’t fed them in a week. It takes about 10 minutes after their plates are in front of them to stop asking for things. (Another glass of milk, fruit, a new fork, another serving because they dropped the first and the dog ate it.) Finally, I can feed Penny. Even when I’m just nursing her, I have to make sure the other two are duly occupied or they interupt.
I’m also more laid back than with my first two. Samantha didn’t cry a lot. Mostly because I held her all the time. I hated hearing her cry. It was very stressful for me and I’m sure I passed the stress on to her. Now I realize babies cry. They just do. Not all the time, but sometimes. And I’m okay with that.
Penny’s laid back attitude was very apparent at yesterday’s nap. She fell asleep on the floor. She was playing one minute, babbling away. The next time I looked, she was asleep. Her big sisters were playing loudly around her. Had that been Samantha, I would have freaked. First, I would have never put 5 month old Samantha on the carpet without a blanket down. We have pets and there’s always hair and dirt on the ground. Second, Samantha would never have been on the ground long enough to fall asleep. Third, she fell asleep on her tummy. A big no-no. I would have rushed over to Samantha, picked her up, waking her in the process, to make sure she hadn’t just died from SIDS. Then spent a half hour trying to get her back to sleep. Finally, the toys around her are not age appropriate. Of course, I didn’t have those toys around when Sammy was a baby. I tried hard to keep them away from Ella. I don’t try too hard now. If it’s not small enough to be choked on, she can play with it.
With Penny, I just left her. She slept her normal hour and a half nap on the floor with the other two running around her. They covered her with a blanket (another no-no) and spent some time staring at her with their faces right next to hers. Ella even poked her a couple times before I told her to stop.
I would have had some serious mommy guilt about the whole situation if that had been Samantha. With Penny, not really. She got her nap and woke up happy. She’s fine.
Anyone else with a third think they’re laid back too? Are you more or less laid back about your second and subsequent children than you were with your first?