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.