Watching your child learning to read to amazing. Erin has taken to reading and writing with ease since she started school. It seems for us, that being the third child she has made easy work of this Education lark. Is this because she is our third and has older siblings to motivate, challenge and inspire her or is it because she is November born and older in the academic year? Yet research last month suggested that third born children offer no more happiness to parents: The study by LSE shows first and second birth increase parents’ happiness level but by third birth, it seems the effect is negligible.
This surprised me somewhat and I wanted to answer back straight away but didn’t. However I have had time to reflect and wanted to share what a third meant for me.
Erin was very much wanted and completed our family. Prior to Erin I never thought and felt that my family was complete but yet there is quite a gap between my children. Again these gaps were all purposeful. Now there is no way I would purposely have another! Every child is obviously a blessing but for me three was always the magic number.
Erin has gained by being the third child, we have been much more confident with her. She slept well from a very early age. By six weeks she was sleeping throughout the night. I don’t say this to gloat but I am sure she was more content, relaxed because we had done the crazy parent thing of never just letting a baby be. Even though Erin has had more than her share of health issues we have been quite chilled out parents. I wasn’t on the competitive conveyerbelt with Erin, instead she found her own way. This was good considering she didn’t walk until gone 18months! I didn’t know this was due to ddh and hypermobility at the time but even so it didn’t faze me too much as I just thought she would be ready in her own time.
Yet maybe it is because of ddh that her fine motorskills developed and prepared her for the classroom. However what I do know is that she has brought us so much happiness. I made her teacher giggle at parents evening because she told me Erin was very very bright. One of the top in her class. She has taught both Chloe and also knows Dyl well, therefore I quipped that it was third time lucky! That is not a criticism of the other two but I know their strengths and weaknesses!
Erin has made me happy and complete. How it can be said that statistically a third doesn’t make you as happy as the first or second. I could even understand if research suggested first makes you happiest and second and third less happy but still happy. Afterall the first is more life changing, you become parent your identity changes. By the third less so but it doesn’t change your inherent happiness.
Erin lying in my arms as a newborn was amazing, was beautiful, was a miracle. I didn’t value her any less because I had done it twice before.