When Super Toddler entered our family, I first contended with the villain Three. Three is a mighty villain who specializes in subtle juggling; just a little more, you can do it. Go ahead and carry the butter dish and the plates and the milk jug to the table all at once. Nothing is gonna happen. Nothing like the cat racing through the kitchen at this precise moment. No, no. Don't worry. You can do it all. Three has crept up on me time and time again these past 2 years of adjustment; he is such a creeper. A big ol' creep. And he always wins. He always fools me. He always convinces me that going to Target with all three of them will be a good idea this time. He always gets the upper hand and wins the battle. I used to think that it was just me and my awkward ways, but it turns out that this happens to other moms as well. Three is just that powerful.
So, imagine my nervousness as I awaited the villain Four. If Three is so hard, what on earth does Four have in store? (And I don't think lame rhymes are gonna do much against him, eh?) Well, Super Baby is here; he's actually 5 weeks old. We have been a family with four children for over a month. And Four has yet to show up.
Or maybe he has. Maybe Four is so big, powerful, and scary that my little mind couldn't take it and I have retreated into my own imagination; creating a reality for myself where things are actually okay, I actually posses some parenting skills, and chocolate bars grow on a tree in my front yard. Could be, but my Emma Frost powers never were very strong and what normal woman can pull off that outfit anyway?
No. (Seriously, with that outfit, just no.) What I think is really going on is that Four really did arrive. Four is here and has been here since Super Baby eased himself into that hospital room with a tiny little peep and a bemused expression.
It's like this: let's pretend you are walking around in a new city, all alone, and you are lost. You take a wrong turn and you are in a dark alley. You turn to leave, but a huge, heavily tattooed biker is standing in the way. It is shadowy and you can't see his face, but his chains start to clink in a menacing way as he walks toward you. You scream and flee. He chases you. You hit a dead end. You turn around and prepare to fight him with what little strength you have before giving up completely. All hope is lost. You look up into the face of this monster, who smiles sweetly at you and says, "Miss? You dropped your wallet back there. Here it is. Do you need any help? You look a little lost."
Four is no villain; he's a Hero.
Despite appearances, Four is not here to make me crazy or hurt me in any way. Four is here to help me enter this next phase of my motherhood, and this phase appears to be a calm, gentle place full of acceptance, balance, and good-enough-ness. Which makes so much sense, if you think about it. Three is the number of things that set the world on fire: the Trinity, trimesters, dimensions, Bee Gees. But what comes in fours but items that bring balance to the force and beyond; seasons, square sides, directions, mutant turtles, winds, card suits, wheels, A-teams, elements, states of matter, and, most importantly, Beatles.
You know what else comes in Fours? Fantastic Fours. And this too makes so much sense to me. Each member of my fantastic four has entered my motherhood journey at just the right time and with just the right personality.
The Fantastic Four is here to stay. Believe the hype.
At least, until Awkward Mom and Dad decide to see what a fifth child would bring to the family. There is always a danger with odd numbers, as you then create a bonafide middle child. However, with 5, the middle child would be this one:
They'll probably risk it.