By Heather Keenan

Dear Number Three,

“Your third will be so easy!” “Your third will just go with the flow!”

These are the lies that were told to me when I found out that I was having you. Funny thing is, I believed them. I thought that you were going to join this world and be nothing short of the most cooperative human on the planet. You were going to be kind and loving all the time. You were never going to complain or want things to go your way. You were just going to be happy to be here. I was wrong, my child, oh so wrong.

I keep telling myself that all amazing things take lots of work. I tell myself this over and over again to keep my sanity while you are throwing a fit in the middle of the mall because your sister is getting new shoes and you want candy. I tell myself this when you are climbing to the top bunk to slap your sister in the face because that is how you want to tell her goodnight. I tell myself this as you stand in the booth at our favorite restaurant and demand your fish tacos “RIGHT NOW!”

I would also like to take the time to tell you that I’m sorry. Being the third is not easy on you all the time, I get that. I don’t have it in me to watch Elmo Goes to Grouchland anymore. You can thank your oldest sister for that, she watched that insanely annoying movie on the daily when she was your age and I can no longer stomach seeing Vanessa Williams sing about trash. You also get far less one-on-one time than your siblings did, simply because I am a little burnt out on singing the ABC song, and your sisters are more than eager to sing it for you, so I’m out. As far as your eating habits, at this point, I see nothing wrong with string cheese for breakfast, and it seems that you don’t either. Win-win.

All of this being said, it should be noted that I love you. I love you to the moon and back.You are sweet, kind, funny, strong, and brave. I know that while you may be munching on generic goldfish, rather than organic animal crackers from Whole Foods, that I had to take out a second mortgage to afford, you are happy. You love us with your entire little body, even when you are stomping around, arms crossed, declaring that you are mad at everyone. You are not what I expected, I honestly believed you were going to “go with the flow”. You are, however, way better than what I expected. You are you, and I wouldn’t change you for anything in the world.

I am more than right when I tell myself that nothing amazing is easy. Thank you for being so amazing Number Three! Now, how long before you start Kindergarten??