As the sun rose on Christmas Eve, our third little bundle of joy and snot had finally joined us.. 9 days after we had mentally occupied the stable. Had she been the Messiah, her timing would’ve been a farce and very awkward for the shepherds to manage.
As festive presents go, this little lady’s arrival is a special one for the family as her first official task was to help her now big brother and sister to leave a carrot for Rudolph. The period of the Christmas holidays has passed in a blur as we manage all the basics of keeping a new baby on the straight and narrow.
A few days after her arrival and as the firsts signs of calm had descended, I began to realise that normality (if we could ever call it that) in its infancy had begun to return to our home. The 6 and 3 year old stood perplexed in the kitchen with me as we pondered the imminent death or worse of the neighbour’s cat chewing the balls of fat and seed left out for the birds.
For the first time since their baby sister’s arrival, the other children had their old focus back. They were concentrating hard on the implications of the cat’s culinary decisions as I tried to eloquently explain how I hoped if it got a dose that it’d recuperate in its own garden and not mine. Normality had indeed crept back into our lives and with an extra beautiful little face among the ranks of the tiny, we couldn’t be happier.
Concerns that our senior little soldiers wouldn’t adjust to a new arrival never really emerged as all through the boss’ pregnancy we fielded questions and involved the children in different aspects where possible. Their quick adjustment to new normality, along with an intense desire to hold Junior the Third’s hand (the right hand seems to be top real estate going on today’s row) is music to our ears as parents. This littlest of ladies will work well under her older sister’s direction and her brother’s enthusiasm to lift things for her and sing in her face whether she likes it or not. It’s heart warming and a relief to see them settle quickly.
Normality, I remember thinking as a first time parent, is a relative thing. Its the sense of coping well with a sense of familiarity with the challenges that are thrown from day to day. Such a sense of family normality can only be emphasised by Junior 1 roaring from the other room that J2 is wiping his bogey in her pyjamas. That happens in every family…… I hope.
As a return to school and Montessori approached, the arrival in our home of the tooth fairy put the new baby onto page 2 of the news. The gummy joy lit the eyes of our eldest and sparked a small tear in Mammy’s eyes as her baby took another tiny step to getting a job, a car, making her own dinners and cleaning her own house. I quietly asked the tooth fairy if she might also bring a pause button so that I could spend more time watching these little moments and freezing them to memory. Its these little seconds that we’ll all try to remember best.
The emotion of the missing tooth soon turned to practicality with the tooth fairy’s battle to drop the cash and collect the goods. On a reconnaissance mission on behalf of the tooth fairy, I crept in to see J3 fast asleep with the wrapped up tooth held firmly in her grip. Her eyes snapped open and she whispered ‘She’s not here yet Daddy…’. Slowly I retreated to inform the tooth fairy that she’d need to be on her best form for this mission and she’d be better off opening tray two of the Dairy Milks. The transaction was completed a little later on.. the tooth fairy a little wiser now.
As I write, bundle 3 is fast asleep wrapped up in my left arm while I type very slowly with the other. Another little memory snapshot to add to her growing list. Next on the agenda will be to whisper goodnight as promised to the others who are fast asleep. I’d get away with that one but a promise is a promise, especially as J1 reported in a nightmare last night and needed a little extra TLC today.
In the dream, there was no ice cream. Other things happened too but with a backdrop of no ice cream, she can’t remember what they were. There was.. no.. ice cream in that dream. It therefore qualifies as a category 2 nightmare.
Normality is a simple, magical world with ice cream, and three is a magic number.