So...... I always thought I’d have 3 kids. I’m the third, there’s six and eight years difference between me and my older brothers. I was the ‘surprise’ child. Because of the age difference between me and my siblings it sometimes felt that I was an only child, me and my mum were really close, and I’m sure I was spoilt rotten. Even as a teenager I knew I wanted to be a mum (thank goodness I waited), I also knew that I wanted a relationship but not necessarily marriage. And three, I definitely wanted three, thats what a complete family meant to me.
Life doesn’t always turn out that way though.
Tallulah my eldest came when I was 28 years old and she was a textbook ‘Angel’ child, she slept, she ate, she breastfed, she gurgled, hit every milestone that the books suggested. Then three years later came Missie (Du, du, duuuuur), and she was the polar opposite of Tallulah. In fact she didn’t sleep for a year. A whole year. The first time she slept through was on her first birthday no word of a lie. We tried everything, the controlled crying, not picking her up and stroking her in her Moses basket, nighttime routine of bath and massage, swaddling, in a cot, out the cot, but nothing could keep her sleeping through. We had thought after Tallulah that we were the perfect parents, why did everyone else struggle? They must be doing something wrong. Turns out that you get given the child you are given and it has NOTHING to do with whether you breastfeed or not, feed them pureed organic avocado or do mummy and me sodding yoga whilst only injesting food that you’ve grown yourself. They have a personality when they come out and you have to learn to deal with them.
The rows that me and Jason had in the middle of the night were incredible. Funny and ridiculous now when I look back, but back then, at 3.30am, having not had more than 1.5 hours undisturbed sleep in for 5 months, they were horrific. We battled about who’s fault it was, who’s turn it was, who had had more sleep. (it was definitely his fault, his turn and he’d had more sleep).
Unfortunately this whole experience took its toll on my longing for a family of 5. No f***ing way!!!!! We couldn’t go through that again, it was hell, torturous burny hell. So I topped up my contraception for 5 years and didn’t think about it again. Until the day those pesky hormones came a rapping at my door. The brain is a funny thing, it can trick you into all kinds of trouble. I rewrote history, it wasn’t that bad, surely, I mean she can’t really have not slept for a year. I had actually written a diary during the “bad time”, and it turns out she really hadn’t. Jason said no. Repeatedly. My daughters said no. Also repeatedly. A few more years passed and Jason’s hormones prickled, ‘Should we?’. By this point my career was flourishing, I was getting some great jobs, but far away from home, and after much consideration, the realisation that we had left it too late, we said ‘no more children...... but’.
And thats where my ‘third child’ came into play. Smith, my glorious gorgeous son that I never had. He has my potential son’s name and looks at me adoringly, exactly as I imagined my little boy would. His nose is a little wet sometimes, and I’m not a huge fan of him licking my face, but other than that, he is perfect in every way. He’s nearly 3 now and everyday he greets me like I’ve been away for months, he doesn’t answer me back, eats everything I put in front of him, always happy, keen and not too noisy. He really is the perfect child. Or should I say, the perfect Cavapoo.