When I was pregnant with Second Kid, I would have mild panic attacks when trying to fathom how I could possibly love that child as much as First Kid. It did not seem possible to me. I felt like First Kid would feel cheated because she had literally been the center of our universe for a couple years. I thought First Kid would think we abandoned her in favor of a new baby. I thought all kinds of things, quite honestly.
When Second Kid arrived, those fears were promptly squashed. I don’t think anyone can explain that to a Mom before it happens. We ended up having another girl and seeing the strong sisterly bond that continues to grow between them is amazing. So while that is all hearts and roses, what I also quickly realized is Second Kid is getting shorted on a few things.
- Breastfeeding: I was a champ with First Kid. We went a full year, and she would have gone even longer. Second Kid was a different story. We struggled big time in the hospital because my milk hadn’t come in so we had to do that tiny tube thing that is almost as confusing as trigonometry to me. After two months, Second Kid decided she was done with nursing and only wanted bottles. I was definitely NOT ready for that because that meant I had to step up my pumping which I quickly discovered is not easy when you have a 3-year-old in the mix. I was literally locking us all in a room together and praying that they would stay in there with me for 20 minutes so I could pump. Needless to say, I threw in the towel at seven months, and we switched to all formula. I am a firm believer in the “Fed Is Best” motto.
- Birth Announcements: I had hours to design the perfect birth announcement for First Kid online while she napped during the day. It was adorable, and I sent it out to everyone and their dog. Safe to say Second Kid did NOT get that. Or really anything other than an official Facebook post that was photo bombed by First Kid.
- Bedtime Routine: Poor Second Kid’s bedtime routine is not nearly as involved as First Kid’s.First Kid gets bath time, books, a story made up by me, back scratch, kisses, prayers. She really gets the red carpet rolled out. Second Kid gets bath time because I can throw her in there with her sister. After that, we basically get her in her pajamas and dump her in her crib with a favorite blanket and her sound machine because we have to deal with First Kid’s elaborate bedtime routine. We are clearly dealing with the fallout of probably babying First Kid too much when she was Second Kid’s age but what can you do.
- Clothes and Toys: Second Kid rarely gets new clothes or toys because everything that was First Kid’s becomes hers. It has saved us a lot of money and is actually fun for me to put her clothes that I loved with First Kid. But I really noticed that Second Kid might realize what’s up during her birthday party. She was overwhelmingly excited to get toys and clothes that were actually hers. Like so much so that it made us feel a little guilty. Oh, well. Second Kid will be overly appreciative for new things so that will be a nice trait.
- Walking: Second Kid started walking at 10 months. What is that about? First Kid hung out and crawled until she was 15 months. Second Kid must realize she has to keep up or she might get left behind.
- Sanitary Situation: I am far from a germophobe but quite a few things I did with First Kid have gone out the window with Second Kid. The 5-second rule has become something more along the lines of a 5-minute rule. Those super handy plastic disposable placemats that stick to a restaurant table so the baby doesn’t have to eat straight off the table? Always had one at the ready with First Kid. Not once with Second Kid.
- Attitude: Second Kid is wild and is completely unapologetic about it. She eats like we’ve never fed her before. She screeches at the top of her lungs to get our attention. She is the happiest baby we’ve ever seen and we are unbelievably blessed to have her in our lives. But she quite honestly often amuses us and terrifies us all at the same time.
So while Second Kid may definitely get shorted on more than a few things, we are not short on how much we love her. Besides, eating dirt and constantly getting manhandled by a sibling builds character, right? I guess we’ll cross our fingers and find out in about 18 years.