I have three children.
It's quite shocking every time I say or write that because I don't feel old enough, nor do they feel like they belong to me.
I've done this mother thing for nearly eight years now and I've started to notice how I have changed. It really doesn't help that I am much older with The Toddler and, as The Husband dryly remarked, am suffering from "Lazy-itus" (yeah thanks for that). The term Third Child Syndrome doesn't necessarily relate to what The Toddler is going through. It's more a definition of my mothering state. Basically, I can't be arsed anymore.
With The Tweenager, I was on top form. I never forgot a nappy or a meal time. We have plenty of photos and even a completed baby book. The Tomboy arrived and I was still doing pretty good, although with an element of stress. Baby book half filled and usually a functional changing bag. I have barely acknowledged The Toddler's existence within our family. He has three photos, all taken before he was 18 months. The older two's collection is growing with school pics, but The Toddler still has three. And no baby book.
I suck, big time.
Luckily, my third child seems to have low standards. Because that's only what is offered to him. I often change a pooey nappy with one wipe because that's all I have left. He has three outfits which are probably aged 6-9months. His buggy is caked in crusty remnants of Ye Snacks Of Old. As revolting as that may sound, the odd slimy fruit flake comes in handy when I have forgotten to pack any munchies. And his needs being at the bottom of my organisational ladder, this happens quite often.
Don't even mention the highchair. The Husband practically gagged recently when he tried to give it a clean.
It's all so unfair.
Luckily The Toddler doesn't seem to mind. To go with the crusty hand-me-downs, he sleeps in our bed most nights, has biscuits for breakfast, makes up his own rules and gets away with murder.
Seems like fair trade to me.