If you’ve heard me talk about my kids, you might remember that I have Nasko, who is the oldest (nine), and then I have my two toddlers; Edward is four and Louis is every bit of two years old.
Despite the fact that I became a mom to all three boys within just three short years, my kids really are spread out over the span of seven years. With adoption, you get a bit more control over this fact, and we (somewhat) planned our family in this way.
In the past month though, I realized an error in my family planning.
I am currently raising five three year olds.
(Yes, three year olds. You know, that age where the kids have opinions but cannot be reasoned with? Where they think they can do it all, but they can’t put on their own shoes? Yeah. Three year olds.)
I know our family picture only shows three kids, so allow me to explain. I’m not the best at math (despite being raised by two math teachers), but I think you’ll come to agree with my formulas and calculations —
When I think about my boys, I know that Nasko and Edward both require a little extra “work.” They need me to be extra-intentional in parenting, attachment, medical appointments, planning, and school work. Because of their special needs, they require more. Not quite double the work (ok, maybe Nasko. If only he weren’t so dang fast!), but we can round up… I think I should get to count each of them as two.
So Nasko is two kids, Edward is two, and Louis (this week) is one. Five.
At this point in my explanation, I am the mother of five kids ranging in age from two to nine.
Now, for the next step of this complex math equation, the kids’ ages need adjusted.
Louis, who is two and sounding out words, completing 24-piece puzzles, and counting to fifty by himself, probably has the cognitive age of a three year old. (Or a five year old. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves too much…)
Edward, who is catching up well since being adopted, is socially functioning as a three year old right now. Have you heard the term “threenager?” It describes Edward these days. All the angst of a teenager minus about half of the reasoning skills. He wants to pick out his own clothes (stripes with argyle, neons with earth tones), talk on the phone, refuse to do chores, and I swear the other day he asked for my car keys. Threenager.
Finally, Nasko has made some great progress in his academics lately. He’s starting to retain the letters of the alphabet better. He can now identify 17 upper case letters consistently. (His teacher is also attempting to teach him addition using pictures of the school staff’s dogs… But that is neither here nor there.) Letter identification is a skill that many three year olds also possess. So, in this area, his academic skills are similar to a three year old’s.
So there you have it.
In our house, we have five three year olds. We have five opinion-expressing, fit-throwing, clothes-unmatching, pre-reading, angst-filled three year olds.
What on earth were we thinking?!