Today Middlest is ten…

Since he came into the world he has been a bit of an odd ball. In a good way.

I had a protracted experience giving birth to Eldest. So when the first twinges of Middlest’s labour began I set myself up for a long haul. I was having Middlest at home and was looking forward to trying to watch a bit of TV to take my mind off the pain in the early stages. And then using ambient lighting and moody music in the bits where any distraction would have been irritating. Before literally girding my loins for the inevitable hour or two of pushing.

It was quite a shock, then, when a mere four hours later he popped into the world after a paltry three pushes. Like a cork out of a bottle. He had to be caught to prevent him from rolling under the sofa. There had been no time to fix music or lighting. In fact there had hardly been time to call the midwife, whisk Eldest from the scene or remove my PJ bottoms.

In every way he was different to Eldest. He was completely bald. With jug ears. He was small. He had chicken legs and no sign of those lovely dimply thighs possessed by a new born Eldest. But he had the longest eyelashes I have ever seen and still does.

He fed quickly and without fuss. He slept for hours on end. Contentedly. With his hands behind his head like a sun bather.

He giggled early. Was happy sitting in his bouncy chair watching the world (and his big brother) go by.

And ever since he could speak he has always had a way with words. In fact even before he could speak English he babbled away ten to the dozen in his own language, very earnestly and with great inflection. Totally incomprehensibly. But adorably. Still nearly weekly he amazes me with some turn of phrase or inference which makes me stop in my tracks.

He has had his fair share of medical issues. Nothing major but enough to make me feel that he is the ‘runt’ of our ‘litter’. He has born them all with good grace and a fair degree of humour. In fact he is very funny. He sees humour in situations that could make others downhearted. He is brave and resilient. Taking new situations in his stride.

He is very tactile. He has to touch everything. All the time. His hands still go in his dinner on a daily basis. Which means his food is often down his front…He loves to lie face down on a hot beach and move his hands through the warm sand. Or lie on fluffy rugs or bath mats. He regularly drags his collection of ‘touchy-feely’ cushions down from his bedroom to lie on in front of the TV. He rubs special stones in his pockets, fiddles constantly.

He is a good sibling and friend.  He has the ability to lose. And to be self deprecating. And so he is popular amongst those not able to do so. And yet he has a strong sense of himself and will not be pushed around.

Despite being an August birthday he does well at school. Because he loves to learn. And because if he wants to do something he will do it. With absolute determination. After being a life long thumb sucker he decided to stop when he was about 4 after the dentist told him it was a bad idea. And he just made himself stop. Overnight.

He has a long held ambition to be a primary school teacher. And he would be very good. He has endless patience especially with his young cousins and loves to teach. He has spent hours today walking his siblings (and parents) through his three step process for learning to fly his new remote controlled helicopter.

And one of his most endearing characteristics is that he does not want to grow up too fast. He is happy to still be a little boy. He is comfortable remaining childish whilst some of his school mates, who in some cases are nearly 11, push forwards. He still likes swings, his cuddlies, hugs, bedtime stories. Yes he is reading teenager style fiction and watching Marvel films but he is also happy playing make believe with his sister, hiding in dens and dressing up, using their pet names.

Long may that continue. He is apprehensive about attaining double figures. I clearly didn’t share with him my own anxieties. That it feels like a huge milestone to me too.

But it is just a number. I am sure he will remain his adorable, quirky self. Just a day older.

Happy birthday darling Middlest. Love ya loads.

Always messy with food...Easter Hols 2008 102Holiday Norfolk Sept 07 071