By CEAN BURGESON
As I sit on the precipice of becoming a father for the third time this April, I wonder what it will be like when all three children finally meet each other.
Our home is already like a combination between a zoo and an insane asylum with two children and the dog — getting the kids ready for school and daycare, drop-offs, pick-ups, hockey games, feeding time, bath time, bed time...
How will this new one affect the fine balance we have achieved in our household? Despite how mad it looks to outsiders, we’ve kind of gotten things down to a science. While it may not appear that way to the untrained eye, there is an order to things. But will this order be broken by the new youngling?
As we desperately attempt to potty-train my two-year old so we won’t have two children in diapers at the same time, my daughter fights us with every fiber of her being, determined not to comply. She also has a constant inner-dialogue going with herself, only it manifests itself as an outer dialogue — she continuously talks to us, herself, her baby-dolls, strangers at the mall, inanimate objects. And when she isn’t talking, she is screaming. This is one little lady who wants to be heard.
And while she loves her brother, and he loves her, they also both love to compete with each other. This usually builds to a crescendo of screaming, crying, and the separation of the two inmates into their own cells.
My seven-year-old son, while much easier to take care of as a rule, still refuses to ever stop moving, even to eat dinner. One foot is always on the floor, ready for him to sprint away at a moment’s notice. He runs from room to room of the house, or skoots around on his Heely shoes, rolling everywhere and spinning in the aisle at the grocery store.
When he isn’t running or rolling around, he plays hockey in every room of the house, with all manner of sticks, balls, pucks, and nets which are set up in various places. Keeping up with him is no small chore. And he wants to be an athlete when he grows up. So he plays hockey, baseball, soccer, does karate,... and I’m sure I’m leaving something out.
So how will our new baby boy, Owen, get the attention he needs from us? Will he be drowned out by his siblings and their constant bustling, chatter, and mayhem? Will he be a victim of third child-syndrome?
Maybe he’ll be the quiet one. The easy one. The one who is a dream to take care of.
Or — God forbid — he’ll become one of them. They’ll turn him.
The crazy Burgeson kids with their sibling fighting, yelling, screaming, tackling, and general high-level tom-foolery. The kids who scare telemarketers off of the phone when they call and hear my daughter shrieking at her brother to give back her toy, and him yelling back a her, to which the telemarketer usually says, “it sounds like you’d better go.”
I have to admit, at least it gets the telemarketers off the phone. And sometimes the grandparents.
Owen has to hear all of this going on outside of his comfortable little amniotic world.
What does he think of all of this?
I can feel him moving in the womb now, with the palm of my hand on my wife’s belly. He moves a lot.
I think it’s because he hears everything his crazy brother and sister (and parents, for that matter) are doing on the outside, and he’s getting ready. I picture him working out his little arms and legs like a boxer, readying himself to join the others, ready to defend himself.
You’ve got two more months, buddy. Get in shape.
Cean Burgeson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org