I have three beautiful, wonderful children. After our third was born, I knew that our biological family was complete. She has so much life within her. She is bold and vibrant and absolutely adorable. I often tell people that I’m thankful she came last because she is such a handful that I really needed the experience under my belt before her arrival. Harper is almost three now. She’s cute as a button, recently yells “EMERGENCY” when others would calmly ask for help, and prefers her curly locks to look like those of a cave woman, rather than letting me run a brush through them.
And she is my baby. I nursed her the longest, I rocked her the longest, I have held on the longest. Every time my house is quiet, I know that Harper has found another bottle of nail polish and is hiding behind a chair somewhere making art on her little hands. Every time she has a boo boo I’ve given in to putting on the less than necessary band-aid. Years of parenting prior to her arrival have made me the patient parent that she’s needed.
Harper will be three next February. My firstborn at three had been potty trained for an entire year, slept in a big girl bed, and could write her own name. You can probably guess where I’m going with this. Harper is uninterested in potty training. She still sleeps securely in a crib that she is quickly outgrowing. She can’t even say her own name correctly, let alone write it.
I’ve had countless people tell me that this is just how it is with your third child. That life gets busy and things just take longer. But I know that subconsciously I am trying to hold onto baby a little bit longer. I’m going to enjoy the snuggles and let her need her paci to go to sleep. I’m going to give in to her demands to rock in the middle of the night, and I’m going to join in on her dance parties. And I am going to try as hard as I can to see the world through her eyes.
Time goes by so quickly. It’s OK to hold onto baby just a little bit longer. So mama, next time your toddler is doing something totally crazy and driving you mad, don’t close your eyes and wait for it to pass. Hold onto it before it’s gone forever.