Sunday, May 04, 2008

Apparently, I'm Easy

No, this has nothing to do with my relationship with Batman (yes, I consented to his desire to be forever associated with a freaky loner wearing black spandex and playing with toys and gadgets). Even if I were "easy" in that respect, rest assured I wouldn't tell you about it here.


Eh, who are we kidding? I probably would.

But no, this post here is for three lovely ladies who are soon to be blessed with their second children. And apparently, the rumor goes that the second one is the easy one. Well, as always, I'm in the minority of guest for this virtual shower, being a non-parent. But fortunately, I am myself a second child, so I guess I can consider myself a sort of expert here.

Is the second one really easier? Let's examine the evidence:

My older sister...
- Was quiet and well-mannered
- Was smart (she began reading on her own at age two)
- Was gentle with friends and family
- Was small and light (easy to carry)
- Was obedient
- Was much loved by the parents

- Was loud and obnoxious
- Was... not stupid?
- Was rowdy and rough with everyone around me
- Was FAT (oh, the rolls upon rolls of baby chub)
- Was disrespectful and rebellious
- Was (in spite of it all) much loved by the parents

Yes, it's true, I was a bit of a hellion. At family gatherings, my sister sat quietly, observing those around her and answering her elders politely and simply. I, on the other hand, ran around yelling, jumping on things, and whining about whatever it was that I wanted but was not currently getting. Out in public, my sister stayed close to my mother and did as she was told; I went up to random strangers to strike up conversations, with no attention to my own safety or my mother's frayed nerves. Not being a parent myself, I can't say for certain, but I'm pretty sure that I was not a child one would term "easy."

I'm sure my mother had quite a tough time adjusting to having two girls instead of one. With one, she could nap when the baby napped; with two, one was always awake, even when the other was not. It's hard, of course, but it begins to pay off when you see the two together. My sister and I were best friends for years, playing together, sharing secrets, laughing at inside jokes. As we got older, we got other friends too, but what we have together is completely unique. And while my mom may have suffered some sleeplessness for the first couple years, just think of all the time she had to herself once we were playing with each other and ignoring her!

Actually, come to think of it, maybe she didn't always want to be ignored. Sorry, Mom!

But seriously, there is one thing that I do want you all to know, from the perspective of a grown second child. There will be times when you will be a mess of guilt, because you will have to choose one child over the other. Now, I'm not talking about Sophie's Choice or anything, but the time will come when one of your children will need you more than the other, and you will have to give your attention unequally. It will pain you, but I promise, it's okay. All you can do is your best, and your children - who may feel unjustly served at the time - really will understand.

You are all such wonderful mothers already. Having a second child will only expand your hearts to make room for more love, and I am excited to read along with your family's new adventures.



Any of you readers have some thoughts about having two kids? Are you an older child? Second child? Parent of two? Please, do share with these lovely ladies.


flutter said...

This is lovely

Amy said...

I'm the eldest, and I always tease my siblings that I never got over being an only child. But can I say? Between you and me? I love them dearly.

This was very useful advice, from the perspective of a daughter. I hope my girl can be as self-assured and kind when she is your age.


Mayberry said...

My 2nd is much like you describe yourself, and yet I'm still jonesing for a 3rd ...

Anonymous said...

I'm the second child and I am the nutty one. Always in trouble, always!

Anonymous said...

Older child here, and I was the handful. I was very stubborn and wanted to do things my way, and would make it happen as such, regardless of what it was.

My sister was more mellow. Strangely enough, though I am more energetic than she is, I've mellowed out, and she's become more cantankerous.

Hanlie said...

I am the older of two girls and I was the difficult one.

Wolf Lover Girl said...

I'm the oldest of 3. Me and my brother were the closest since we are 11 months apart. Sis and I are 8 years apart. I'd say we're all jokers and none of us were really any trouble makers.

~ Wolf Lover Girl

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

My sister and I are best, best, BEST friends. But we don't fit into traditional older sibling/younger sibling molds. What was it Forrest Gump said? You never know what you're gonna get? ;)

Thanks for this!

BetteJo said...

It was only the birth that was easier. :)

Lara said...

bette jo - sadly, my birth was also more difficult. i was much fatter as a baby, with a much bigger head, and let's just say some tearing (ripping, shredding) might have occurred in my mom's hooha area. er, sorry mom!