It seems to be common for a third child to have something of a devil-may-care attitude.
Isaac, our oldest, has always been cautious. He carefully assesses any new situation for potential hazards and is rarely the first to try something new. On more than one occasion we have joked about buying him a hard hat, a hi-vis jacket and a roll of that red-and-white tape commonly used to cordon off dangerous areas for his birthday.
Toby is more of a – to use the technical term – nutter. When he started scooting, his tried-and-trusted technique for stopping when hurtling downhill at near-supersonic speed was to ram his front wheels in to the kerb and hope for the best. We joke about how he will be the first of our children to fall out of a tree and break his arm, while Isaac cordons off the area with his red-and-white tape. It hasn’t happened yet, though.
Kara, however, makes Toby look like a timid health and safety officer. I’m convinced that she would attach rockets to her scooter to make it go faster if she could. Many has been the time when she has hurled herself without warning off the third step of our staircase at home and expected me to catch her. We don’t joke about what Kara might do – she’d only go and do it.
So when Kara runs around in busy playgrounds, undaunted by bigger kids and determined to do exactly what they’re doing, we don’t worry much. Every now and then she’ll get knocked down or bite off slightly more than she can chew and require a cuddle and someone to wipe away the tears, but she’s soon off and running (and jumping and climbing and sliding down fireman’s poles) again.
Jumping off steps like the one in this picture? That is, literally, child’s play. A mere hors d’oeuvre. Barely breaking sweat. Some kids require encouragement and cajoling. Others need to be calmed down for their own good. Kara just is what she is.
Some of that is her adventurous nature. Some of it is us being more relaxed with our third child than with our first. Either way she’s a happy, adventurous child who needs little more than an occasional dusting down. That’s good enough for me.