Three Things The Second Child Gets To Do First

People are always complaining on behalf of the second child.  The first child gets the most time, love and attention.  I’m guilty of it too.  I imagine there will come a time when my oldest won’t need me to do every single little thing for him, but it hasn’t happened yet.  Somehow his needs always trump those of his little sister.

Today, as I wheeled my kids home from the playground in the dark and the cold eating ice cream (I had a weak moment where I NEEDED an ice cream and since I don’t share, I had to buy one for each of them), I realized there are three things my daughter will do before my son.

1.  Go to the dentist.  I was so vigilant about my son’s sugar intake.  He didn’t even eat cake on his first birthday.  It wasn’t until his second birthday that my mother beat me down and gave him an ice cream sundae.  I was too pregnant to care.  My daughter?  She had Haagen Dazs before she was done nursing.  She eats gummi fruit snacks and cookies and she’s not even 20-months old.  It’s not a regular occurrence but the truth is I can no longer get away with serving these treats to my son without the second child getting the benefit.

2.  Get her vaccinations.  I had a perfectly mapped out, evenly spaced, appropriately delayed immunization schedule for my first-born.  I went in to my daughter’s two month check-up and asked, “can’t she just get them all right now?”  Second children get to enjoy all the germs the first child treks home from school.  I wanted her to be protected against every virus he carried on his grubby little hands.   My first-born had two years to build up his immunity to those silly viruses, my daughter was exposed from day one.  Ok, she didn’t get all her vaccinations at two months old, but I fear she needs more protection than my son who was allowed to slowly and naturally build his defenses.

3.  Go to therapy.  That is, if we decide to have that third baby and she becomes the middle child.

No, I’m not pregnant. But I did recently find C’s hospital hat which is smaller than the palm of my hand and gave me a tiny case of baby fever.
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About Carinn Jade

Mother, lawyer, yogi, writer, non-sleeper. Published @NYTMotherlode. Contributor @Mommyish @Moonfrye @HuffPostLive. I like beer (not wine) & tea (not coffee) & being a contrarian.
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8 Responses to Three Things The Second Child Gets To Do First

  1. I thought this was very funny; it gave me a nice giggle 🙂 We’re doing a lot of things with our first one like what you describe here, and I can just picture us doing things exactly as you describe them here with a second child if one were to come along. It’s funny to think about it like this 🙂

    • You are way better off than I am. I would have been appalled reading this before I had a second. I would have sworn I would do it all the same. If the kids are really close in age, it’s very hard. There’s only so much of mommy, you know?

      • We’re hoping to stick to our guns with the next one, but I hear what your saying; this parenting stuff takes a lot of energy 🙂 But, we’re just doing our best as we go along. “Aim for the stars, and you should at least reach the moon” is what I always say.

  2. Oh those hospital hats can do it to you. Go hide it until you’re really ready. You’ll notice even more of a change with the third. They get what ever they want just to keep them quiet while the other two banshees are causing a ruckus.

  3. Few things get me as misty as sorting through my kids’ baby clothes. Gets me every time.

  4. Bindu says:

    Interesting! I just posted something on similar lines, but our opinions differ a lot.

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