Well, today is the day that the youngest family member turns three. An age that firmly sees him out of baby and toddlerhood and most certainly a little boy.
I can barely remember a time before H arrived, I can simply remember being tired from the pregnancy and him being here. The joy of those early days to have such a happy and content baby; a contrast from the hard time we had with Daniel when he was first born, and Emma who didn’t sleep!
And, of course, those comparisons to the older siblings are as inevitable as they are unhelpful; Harry is beyond compare! He is so very very different from his older siblings and we joke that, had it not been for the fact he was born at home, we would be slightly worried he’d been swapped!
Harry is an absolute ray of joy. He is unrelentlessly happy and, quite simply, a smiley and joyful little boy. It’s a characteristic I hope he retains. He is happy and full of fun and joy and adores his older siblings. Emma dotes on him, and he returns this affection by seeking guidance and assurance from her as he branches out into new activities. He watches Daniel and copies him endlessly, although Daniel is, mostly oblivious to this.
He is the opposite of Daniel, who will happily sit and observe before getting involved and lets others test the waters. Harry is far more of an extrovert and happily dances and shouts and makes his views known, eager to jump in and get involved, even if he isn’t quite sure what it is he is getting involved in – he just doesn’t want to be left behind.
Perhaps it comes with being the youngest child, but he certainly makes his views know. He’ll often tell me not to forget him (which I hasten to add there isn’t a precedent for!) and he will shout and shout to make sure his opinions are heard. He if far more forceful than the older two.
Daniel is reflective and would much rather read about how something works, whereas Harry will spend time watching and playing; taking time to investigate how things move and work, how things fit together and function. He is a whizz at jigsaws and has endless patience for sorting the pieces and fitting them together, it never fails to amaze me when I watch him working on them.
Like his siblings and I, he LOVES his books; current favourites are Monkey Puzzle, Night Monkey, Day Monkey and anything train or digger related. Bedtime is often a negotiation of how many books we can read, as he snuggles into bed with his beloved ‘beach’ monkey.
He is also everything you’d associate as stereotypically ‘boyish’. He is strong and physical; will run whenever he can and jump, climb and clamber around at all times. He enjoys his football sessions and I am sure will delight in joining in at his older siblings PE and football sessions when the new school year starts. He is very physical in a way that Daniel and Emma never have been. I wonder too if that is a youngest child thing – it’s a way of communicating frustrations and I’ll often catch him giving Daniel a push as he walks past him or just taking things away from Emma. It’s a hard balance to find sometimes to not chastise too much when he is simply trying to get himself involved.
The biggest difference we notice between the three children is that H takes after his father’s side of the family in one very key area – his love of sleep! I’ve written not too long ago about Daniel and Emma taking after the Burns side of the family and our love of early mornings. Harry, however, is much more like his dad and doesn’t need much encouragement to go for a sleep, and certainly sleeps longer than the other two. To have a child who, at three, still takes a reasonably regular nap, even if it is only a power nap in the car is something of a novelty given how early the first two dropped their naps.
Above all, he is a sociable and happy little thing – he adores his sibling’s friends and can usually be found lapping up the attention of his sisters’ friends, which means plenty of cuddles. He enjoys seeing them and I love how he is accepted and included in their games.
Today, we mark his birthday. A day where he has asked for no particular gift; other than just a cake with Jam. I’m sure the cake my mum has made him will more than fit the bill.
Happy Birthday, Harry! Enjoy your year of being three!