Thursday, 7 June 2012

My Baby Is Five

By the time you get to your third child, you think you've pretty much got this parenting thing sorted.  By the last few weeks of my pregnancy with Issy, all I could think of was getting whoever it was, the hell out, so I could stop having reflux and being enormous.

Because I already had a girl and a boy, I thought no more surprises were in store.  What on earth could possibly happen.

And then...Issy happened.

She was born in a storm, early on the morning of the same day the Pasha Bulker ran aground at Newcastle.   Mike had to chase our umbrella down the street near the hospital after it was blown out of his hands.

Meeting the baby sister.
People said the third child is a piece of cake, they're always so easy going.  But Issy needed human contact whenever she was awake.  Meaning she spent a lot of time crying while I tended to the other two, and a lot of time in the pouch.

If you tell the other two to do something there's about a 60% chance they will do it eg. make bed, clean room, pack lunchbox.  If they don't it's because they've vagued out (Sarah) or can't hear you over their own ka-pow noises (Joshie).  Issy has about a 20% hit rate, simply because she doesn't see herself as part of the normal universe.  Special rules apply.  Just to her.

She has an answer for everything, she knows everything already.  I suspect she has been here before.

She has abounding love for everyone.  I've lost count of the laps she's infiltrated, the hugs she's wrangled, the general hand holding she gets away with.  At school, she's like a celebrity.

She has frightened me more than the other two combined.

Once when she was just under 2, she left the house at twilight without me knowing, wearing dark purple, almost invisible, rolled under the closed driveway gates and headed up towards the busy roundabout at the top of Ethel St.  It was only because our neighbours son was walking back from the shops and saw her, that she is still with us today.  He, only 10 years old, walked out into front of a car with his hand held out in a stop gesture, and then pointed at the tiny child he was about to save the life of as an explanation for his mad behaviour.  Naturally the car stopped!  Then he brought her home to me.  By this stage I was hysterically screaming her name on the footpath, not sure which way to start running.

Spending a day with Issy is like spending the day with a scrap of sunshine.  She sings, she dances, she twirls, she twinkles, she hugs, she kisses.  She relentlessly asks for food, toys, lollies, attention.  Mostly I just give them to her.

Don't let the heartbreakingly beautiful smile fool you.  
She has never been easy going, but she has been something better because she shakes us up if the other four of us are in any danger of being a bit too predictable and conservative, and by joining our family has guaranteed our lives will never be dull, because she adds the extra bit of madness, chaos and unpredictability we need.

I look forward to finding out what she becomes.  But not too soon, because she's my baby.

Happy 5th Birthday my joyful little Issy Belle.