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He Broke The Cliché – Eli #3 of 9


When I found out I was pregnant with our third baby, I thought, “This is perfect! I’ve always wanted three kids!” to get out of the stigma of just having a boy and a girl. I grew up next to my neighbors who had five children and I absolutely adored their family. So when we broke the boy/girl barrier, I was ecstatic, to say the least. And no…he wasn’t planned!

Elias Andrew came after the early morning labor pains and graced us with his presence that afternoon. He was born February 26, 2003 – number three of our almost ten children. 

Where’s his nose?!

It wasn’t about the fact that we have a healthy baby boy…no, we were looking at his chubby little newborn face and were trying to determine if those little nostril holes were indeed his nose!

We even went so far to ask the doctor if he could breathe while breastfeeding. Seriously, we thought we were suffocating our child. Elias had literally no little nose on his face compared to our first two children. I believe it’s natural to think that one baby will simply look pretty similar to the previous ones, but in this case, his nose was significantly smaller. It was so obvious that his nose was relatively smaller comparatively, it started the “look for the nose” trend with each subsequent child! 

The joys of bringing Eli home, breathing just fine, to introduce him to Ian and Chloe was a happy time. I may have had three children all under the age of 4, but it was a happy time. Of course, this little bundle came with his own personality.

He soon picked up the nickname Hair & Eyeballs – he had this full head of curls and these big, bright, brown eyes that would always find their way straight into your soul and melt your heart.

The silent giant, our Eli, has grown into a young man right before our eyes. He’s compassionate, funny as hell with his one-liners, and adores babies. He’ll be first to offer to take a fussy baby and soothe and calm her, no questions asked.

He’s also that kid who may not quite “get it.” Homeschooling him has brought out the best and worst of me with Eli. Sometimes, I can get racked with frustration, quickly followed by her cousin, guilt, for yelling in a condescending tone about him not understanding (from my perspective) the simplest of terms.

He doesn’t quite know why it may be more difficult for him, but we reached a point to where we’ll call it quits and do a “mulligan” the next day, or I’ll ask Dad to step in and try a different approach.

I love this kid.

As long as he knows that, it’s not all about academics and grades. It’s about my boy, Elias. He is that kid who broke the cliche of the family of four. He’s that kid who will quickly turn my mommie-anger into laughter. He’s that kid who would rather walk away and cry out his hurt than slug a bratty brother for being mean to him.

I love my family, there’s nothing I don’t like about them. I’m never alone and someone is always around to help me when I need it.

Eli is exactly 33 months younger than Chloe and 19 months older than Brady (coming soon) – the “second” child to complete the pair… unplanned.

It gets even weirder.

Eli may have been the child who started our path to breaking free from the boy/girl family of four clichè, but he’s also the child who got us thinking about ‘are we done now’? We weren’t practicing any contraception (I didn’t like medications, The Pill, and Jeff didn’t like condoms) methods, but the “question” came up. And neither one of us really, thoughtfully, or intentionally addressed it.

So… exactly 19 months later… A baby brother named Brady, after an affair came into the world. How do we handle this one? Talk about awkward! 

Photo Credits: AndiL.

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I am a father of three and my wife is a registered nurse specialized in children.

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