The Youngest Child.

I often question how my parenting has gone so askew with the youngest child.

The youngest child who may be twelve before he learns how to tie his own laces, for there is always some sucker who’s in more of a hurry than he is.

The youngest child who will be presented a plate of pasta, often, maybe too often, because you’re just not ready to negotiate today.

The youngest child who will show you how he can hang from the monkey bars, again, and again, and again, you’re not watching, “Mum! Did you see?” and again.

The youngest child who will arrive without a jumper or sweater, baffled that no-one else thought to grab one for him while they were getting theirs?

The youngest child who refused to go to swimming lessons, gymnastic class or tennis, and then did them all with ease on his own.

The youngest child who is never in a hurry – for when the world revolves around your immodest axis, you know that “they” will always wait.

The youngest child who was carried a little longer, and stuffed into a tatty overused stroller, or wrestled into a shopping trolley with a back breaking clean and jerk – because it was just faster, easier.

The youngest child who got to watch the movie, while everyone else was made to read the book first.

The youngest child who will crawl into your bed in the middle of the night, and place your hand on his heart and hold it there. “Feel my heart” he will ask in a sleepy tone with his eyes half closed.

You will whisper “Are you okay, are you scared? Is your heart beating fast?”

And in a tiny, almost inaudible voice he will say “No, just feel my heart, let’s lie really close and feel each others hearts while we sleep.”

And before you can speak another word you will hear his gentle snore, and stroke the stray lash from his cheek.

And you will remember that he’s not just the youngest.

He’s the last.

Anyone else guilty?

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