“Two tired big kids safely tucked up in bed by 7.30 ... Then the Duracell bunny arrives home!”
So ran My Boy’s
status on his Facebook page the other day. It was accompanied by this picture of the Duracell Bunny – aka sixteen month old Morgan. I love the manic look on his face, the clear intention that, whatever his older brothers may be prepared to do, there
is no way he is going to bed just yet.
Mr B says he knows all about living with the Duracell Bunny. I stop hopping about the room for a moment to ask him
exactly what he means by this. He replies that he knows where Morgan gets his Duracell Bunny-ness from and it isn’t from his Grandad. I don’t know what (or who) he can be talking about....
However, after a moment’s pondering, I begin to consider the startling similarities between Morgan and me.
am the second oldest in our family; he is the second youngest. OK, OK, the pedants among you are already arguing that this isn’t a similarity. There is, however, a certain symmetry at play here. Next - we are both Third Children. Now this is really,
really important because our position in our families definitely influences our behaviour. For better and for worse.
According to a very wordy document called
“Family Dynamics and the Third Child as Outsider”, the Third Child spends his or her life trying to fit in with the family unit into which he or she is born. A family unit, moreover, which is already perfectly formed before we were even born. We
Third Children have to learn to wheedle our way into the centre of things or we will be cast in the role of outsider. This makes us diplomatic, people-pleasers, excellent negotiators and potential psychologists. There was a lot more of the same woffle but
I got a bit bored of family dynamics after the first couple of paragraphs. Probably if I’d been a First Child, I would have conscientiously read right to the end.
If you feel the need to gently admonish our Morgan - perhaps he has thrown his dinner on the floor or unplugged the television set – then he will beam at you, even as you scold him, and clap his hands, thereby signifying that you have
completely failed to register the sheer cleverness of what he has just done. This is called Turning a Negative Into a Positive and both Morgan and I are rather good at it. It is a Fine Art (if not a decorative one) and will stand Morgan in good stead
for the rest of his life. It is a Little Known Fact that, if you demonstrate complete confidence in what you are doing / have done, then the majority of people will believe in you. Even if they don’t, they will be assailed by vague feelings of
unease that perhaps they are wrong and you are right after all. Morgan is but sixteen months old and he has already perfected the art. The clapping, it must be said, is all his own idea but works a treat.
Morgan does have a secret weapon which, sadly, is missing in my arsenal of charms. Dimples. A Duracell Bunny with dimples is doubly difficult to resist. Regular readers may remember me bewailing the fact that I always
yearned for dimples. As a child I sat at my school desk pressing pencil ends into my dimple-less cheeks in the hope that, by some miracle, they would create attractive indents. It was actually quite painful as well as being completely ineffective.
I have told Mr B, on more than one occasion, that I only married him for his dimples and in the hope that any children we might have would inherit them and so satisfy my
desires vicariously. It was not until the Youngest of the Darling Daughters was born that my wish was granted. Like Morgan, she is a Third Child. Needing to wheedle, negotiate, please – dimples are a Major Asset to a Third Child.
My Duracell Bunny of a Baby rarely stops moving. Nor do I. There’s always something to do, a place to be, a person to visit, a toy to knit, a story to write, a song
to sing, a meal to make, a puzzle to be solved, a game to be played. Mr B says I make him feel quite giddy. Young Morgan, for all his tender years, has made an excellent start, seizing life in both hands and demanding the attention that we Third Children crave.
That’s my boy!