motherhood, parenting, thoughts

The Second Child Conundrum: Do They Have It Better or Worse?

Here we are a few days away from completing our second week potty training our daughter. I can’t believe it. I really can’t believe it.

She is doing gangbusters!

I can’t believe how she’s doing and in turn, I can’t believe how I’m doing through this.

I am a wreak as a parent, a nervous, anxious, dry heaving wreck. Mostly the reason I started this blog, to be honest. But there are times I find myself, with my daughter, more at ease than I was with my son.

This potty training business is one of those times.

With my son:

“What if he’s not ready? What if I’m forcing him to do something he doesn’t want to do? What if he pees on the floor? What if he poops on the floor? Or in the carseat? Or the shopping cart? Or in the car built into the shopping cart? What if I loose my patience? What if he’s the only kid his age who’s still in diapers? What if? What if? What if?”

With my daughter:

“Meh, let’s give this a whirl.”

Which leaves me wondering, is she doing this so much quicker because I’m so much more relaxed going into this? Or is it because of all of the millions of other factors you hear: gender, watching older sibling, etc.?

Moments like these make me really believe that my second child has it way better than my first. There is more of a “been there, done that, bought the t-shirt” when it comes to her, concerning somethings.

But then I think, is that really a good thing? Sometimes it can trickle into other parts of her life where it might not belong.

Let’s talk about pregnancy. With my first it was all mystical and magical. I would watch his progress on What to Expect websites as he moved from blueberry sized to cantaloupe or ugly fruit. But with my daughter, I was doing janitorial work at night while pregnant with her.

Pregnancy wasn’t magical, it was frustrating.

I remember very well getting told that I wasn’t getting the road salt off the floor enough when I was eight months pregnant and thinking,

“I can’t even see my feet.” I couldn’t wait for her to come out.

The milestones were still amazing too, but I remember not feeling the urgency to help her with them.

With my son:

“How much tummy time has he had today? He needs more. He needs at least an hour. Put him on his tummy! Tummy time! We have to do tummy time! Tummy time ALL the time!!!”

With my daughter:

“Tummy time? Oh, yeah. I kinda’ forgot that was a thing.”

She is also getting a bit of the “we tried that with Henry and it wasn’t really worth the money. We’ll choose something else with Wren.”

With my son, he had baby music classes, baby massage, baby swim classes, baby psychotherapy (ha ha ha no, I wouldn’t have wanted to know the horrors I was inflicting on his psyche).

But Wren hasn’t had as full a dance card as her brother in the two years she’s been alive. Some days that makes me feel a little sad.

But Henry had to deal with full blown undiagnosed post natal depression between those massages and music classes. He had to deal with an overtired mom who was working third shift to put food on the table while drooling on a being told his alphabet for the hundredth time.

My son got the awe of his mother by being the first and my daughter got the wisdom by being the second.

No matter how many days I think I wish I could parent them both the same, I know it’s impossible. And maybe for good reason.

Some things I can safely say I’ve given both of them however, appreciation for a well timed fart joke, lots of love and the best part, each other.

They don’t know it yet, but they will need each other, more than they’ll ever know, if only to have someone to birch about Andy and I with.

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