Today is No. 3’s second birthday! All of our kids were homebirths. No. 3 though, was our only solo delivery. We called the midwives at the same time we always had, as contraction began, but No. 3 was ready to go. She arrived five minutes before the midwives. As I scooped her up, she was fascinated with chewing on her foot. What I really needed her to do though was breathe. She couldn’t have been less interested. Consequently, I took her foot away from her mouth. She very calmly, put it back in, and got back to work. We did this two more times before she became frustrated enough that she let out a yell at the offending foot and dad. Hence, No. 3 took her first breaths in the world!
Since then, she’s been a little cuddle monkey. Of our kids, No. 3 seems to emit the most endorphins/pheromones. She nuzzled everyone she met when she was little. They’d gasp, and then they’d start to cry; without fail. No. 3 is our tears of joy inducer. It still happens occasionally. Someone will meet No. 3, and by the end of the day, they’ll be happily weeping for one reason or another.
She’s been fiercely independent since she learned to walk. Boarding buses or trains, she insists on getting into her own seat just like her older sibs. When she was shorter, grabbing on to either side of a seat, she’d use her upper body strength—the kind only toddlers and gymnasts seem to possess—to literally pull her entire weight up and into the chair. Now, that she’s grown a little more, she attacks the problem a different way. She’ll fold into the seat from the waste up, and then swing her feet up and under her torso till she’s sitting on the seat backwards on her knees. She has to turn around, but she’s so proud that she’s got it.
Which reminds me. In addition to endorphins, she’s in possession of copious amounts of pride, and I for one think she should be. Each of her new achievement is celebrated with a giant grin, clapping hands, and a little dance. For the last two weeks she’s been psyched that she’s finally in a soccer practice all he own instead of just tagging along to the sibs’ class. She’s quickly picking up ball handling. As we navigated Chinatown this weekend, she’d find an interesting piece of garbage, and kick it up the street, all the while absentmindedly dodging the elbow to elbow people making their way along the sidewalk.
And did I mention her bravery, and aplomb? Plowing through the crowds on Saturday, she wanted to be carried some of the time, but as soon as something interested her, she was down and rooting. With me serving as a six foot tall safety flag standing right behind her for the more than occasional person who was in a hurry, and didn’t think to look down, No. 3 made her way through the crowd; stopping when she needed to; waiting for an opening; and then threading through with me close behind. Her sibs, having learned this game long ago were ten to twenty feet in front of us, checking out the parts of the street, shops, and people that interested them.
All in all it’s been a grand two years since No. 3 came into the world gnawing on her foot, and we’re all looking forward to what comes next!