Third Child

They say the third child is the forgotten child.

The third child gets the hand-me-downs.  The third child has less baby pictures.  The third child takes naps in his carseat on top of the dryer while mom gets his older siblings lunch.  The third child wears hand-me-down soccer cleats for football (because they're CLEATS and why do we need a different CLEAT for every dang sport?).  We blinged them out with day-glo shoelaces and a good spit shine.  The third child never had a new football or a new soccer ball or ANY new sports equipment.  Or pajamas.  He does get new underwear.  And socks. 

Tate is my third.  He could care less about the fact that his clothes, toys and sporting goods are hand-me-downs.  Honestly, he'd even be fine with hand-me-down underwear.  He's the only one who actually poses for pictures when I want to take them, I just forget to do it sometimes.  He's very low-key and go-with-the-flow. 

And so is his brother.  The oldest.  Who, it would appear, has taken over as the third child if this week is any indication.  He is settled into middle school and doing his thang and he's easy.  So easy in fact that I feel like my attentions are turned elsewhere, i.e. his siblings, their schedules and homework, etc.  If he's noticed, he hasn't mentioned it.  Honestly, I think he's probably totally fine with less attention from mom lately as he, quite frankly, thinks I am flat nuts.  And I may or may not try to squeeze him too much.  Mama needs hugs. 

This week, I gave him physical forms that I had filled out incorrectly.  When we realized this and that he would need a new physical, I forgot to send the form with him to be filled out.  On my way to pick him up from his physical, I drove right past the middle school (where he was waiting).  As nothing was coming I backed up the street in front of the middle school and pulled in only to sit in the car for 45 minutes waiting for him when he was waiting inside for me to complete his forms. Today, I got lost twice on the way to his brother's football game, making us late for kickoff, and I kept accidentally sitting on his foot.  Then I got lost again on the way to his lacrosse practice, making him late for that.  Except it turns out we were actually early because practice isn't until tomorrow. 


It's a good thing I didn't just drop him off at practice.  He would have been stuck there and I would have had to endure another conversation about why he needs a phone.  And I'd be that much closer to admitting he might be right. 

The truth is, there's always one that seems to get the short end of the stick.  Sometimes it's Tate, sometimes it's Will and sometimes it's Meems.  Sometimes, kids just need you more than they do at other times.  They say the squeaky wheel gets the grease and it's definitely true in a family of multiple children.  It seems, despite my best efforts to the contrary, there's always an odd man out, or at least I feel that way.  Hopefully, they are blissfully unaware, or at the very least, and I'm sure in Will's case, aware but blissful to be left alone. 

That doesn't mean I can stop trying.  One of these days, he'll really need me and I'll really be there.  In the meantime, rest assured I will continue to squeeze him to reinforce to him that I haven't forgotten about him and that, yes, I will always be flat nuts.  


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