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.