The Middle Child, It's A Hard Life....
I feel like this blog should sometimes come with a disclaimer that some concepts I come up with, or language I use about my children may be shocking to those of a sensitive nature. But then I think, my children themselves would be shocking to those of a sensitive nature! I obviously adore them with my whole heart, but sometimes (and it is usually Rufus) I am pushed to the limits of my sanity, and then, well any sensitivity I have goes flying out the window!
Rufus came into the world pretty simply, and very quickly after I had given birth to my first, Hector. I was pregnant with Rufus when Hector was just 8 months old. He was a good baby. He put himself to sleep with ease. With Hector I had struggled to ever get him to sleep, and would sit letting him hold onto my finger for hours at a time till he fell off. In fact I have a distinct memory of being about 35 weeks pregnant, sitting in the darkened room, on the floor. Hector was twiddling his fingers around my little finger. I had lost feeling in most of my body and I mused over whether just cutting off my hand and giving it to him would have been the end of this ridiculous routine I had gotten into. I obviously didn't. I obviously sat there practically sobbing as the last percentage of my phone battery died and I was just left there, sat, like a whale, in the dark.
So Rufus was good, he was mild natured. We moved house when he was only 5 months old, he didn't moan at all when he was plonked on the floor with some biscuits and a couple of toys, whilst I moved furniture about. As long as he was fed he was fine. This carried on I would say until I was pregnant with Evelyn. Almost as if Rufus could feel the impending change in the family dynamic it started slowly, just the odd strop here and there. It would be a little amusing almost, this bright blond curly haired angel remonstrating over something silly. A cuddle and some kind words he would be back on track. I thought to myself at the time, 'I've got this, it will be OK with three under 4'. Pah!! How wrong I was.
He is still a lovely little boy, somewhere inside there. So I am definitely of the opinion that it is actually a change that has happened to him. The Middle Child Syndrome! He will still sneak into my bedroom first thing, before anyone else and tell me he loves me and pucker up to give me a kiss. I try and hold onto this thought when he is full on terrorising me later in the day. Or sometimes worse than direct terrorism....the absolute silent stare out!
Things that have been a problem for Rufus at one point or another (and this is not an exhaustive list):
- he threw his pirate
- he could only carry 7 cars
- he washed his hands
- he wanted Doritos and I offered him mini Cheddars
- I offered him juice but he wanted Doritos
- he picked his nose (scared of bogeys apparently)
- he wanted his batman socks (this is the current one, if you times this by about 67 times over a day he will ask for his batman socks. He has only one pair, I was unaware of his love for them until it was too late, and it was a strong, deep love....and the shop that I got them from didn't sell them anymore!!)
- he wasn't in the middle, or at the front (he is usually just standing in a room, nowhere near anyone to be in the middle of or in front of!)
- I asked him to smile at the camera
- he wanted to make an origami dog
- the origami dog was too much like a dog
- I said that something was going to be fun
- the pretend sheet tent wasn't a pretend sheet waterfall (one of the more confusing ones)
- I took him to the aquarium
- I took him to a butterfly farm
- I took him to Jack Wills
- he opened a banana and then it touched him
- I only made him four play doh dinosaurs
The list does go on, and expands every living, breathing second of each day!
(On a side note - It is also worth mentioning the particular cry he does about these woes. A dull, but piercing cry/moan. One that enters my skull and chips away my brain. My ears fill with blood and the hairs on my neck bristle. I imagine similar noises are used in illegal interrogation circles. He could break the lowest and lurid criminal).
Then there was the knee problem. We joked for so long that it was like PTSD from a bad fall he had had maybe in the play park. Like a recovered veteran still haunted by the memory of grazing himself on the wood chippings, or taking a tumble down the slide. The truth is there was no reason for his knee to 'hurt'. However the more he stopped mid-walk and fell to his knees when I was out with him, the more I thought that maybe I was being too harsh and there was something. It progressed so much so that I took him to the doctor, and then he had a referral to the hospital. There was an X Ray and a couple of examinations. Thing is, there was nothing wrong, there never was. This was just Rufus being Rufus. He had realised that he had got a fair amount of attention with this new trick. I stopped paying attention to it, miraculously the problem went away!
The dynamic he has with his brother and sister is quite specific. He will follow Hector around, imitate, irritate and try to impress with feats of physical prowess/stupidity, or act the fool to get a laugh. It is obvious it is love! Hector does a lot to try and shake him, he very rarely reciprocates the love, but when Rufus is not around he is missed.
His relationship with Evelyn is where the problem lies. He DOES love her, he just goes too far. He is in her face, shouting loud whatever word comes into his head, following her around and playing too rough. Pawing at her too much, not wanting her to touch anything of his, but happy to snatch her toys from her. Even though she is only 1 year old, she has grown wise to him. In her formative months she would visibly adore his attention. Now I fear if she could roll her eyes when he is scampering up to her, I think she would!
I look at him now (he hasn't had any issues yet today, good times!) and in many respects he is just a clueless boy, that will probably grow up into a clueless man. He just wants a simple life, and a constant supply of snacks. He is a stubborn lad, who bears a shocking resemblance to my grandfather, a thousand yard stare of the bluest eyes. He is gorgeous but he cant help himself, after all....he is the middle child!