At 25 I gave birth to daughter number two. She was a fairly easy pregnancy thankfully because I was dealing with a soon to be 5-year-old at home. We were told early on she was going to be a boy and the husband was delighted. We had a girl already so a little boy would have been perfect, but on the day of her arrival when the doctor said “it’s a girl” I looked over at my hubbys face prepared to see disappointment and to my amazement there was a look of wonder, joy and excitement mixed with a tinge of green around his gills…and I gave a huge sigh of relief. Truth be told I wanted another girl actually. I was primed for girls already thanks to daughter one. Had this been a boy it would have been like starting over with a new “test kid”.
By the time we got her home I thought I was ready to jump back in to the “mommy” roll because I had “been there and done that” so it was sure to be easier the second time around right? Ha…the people that wrote all the books forgot to tell any of us about “second kids” and the ones who had eagerly stepped up with all that “sage advise” before, now just grinned and shook their heads.
Second kids are no longer “test kids” they are more “practice kids” as they seem to understand that they are not going to get the same level of attention the “test kid” got most of the time. As the Mom I was still a bit of a worry wart but every little thing didn’t feel as much like an emergency and thankfully this second child was easy-going so if I didn’t get to her the instant she made the first sound, she would give a yell or two and then occupy herself until I got there, most of the time. I didn’t feel the need to change her clothes every time she burped up a bubble. I didn’t worry if she slept 10 minutes longer at nap time than usual. I didn’t worry that if I gave her solid foods to early she would develope allergies. I didn’t worry if she got her hands a bit dirty crawling on the floor and I didn’t run to boil her pacifier before giving it back to her. I realized it was ok, to change her clothes 4 or 5 times a day, let her sleep a few extra minutes without poking a mirror under her nose to make sure she was breathing, give her a taste of real food now and then and run her pacifier under really hot tap water. I was slowly learning that it’s pretty hard to screw it up most of the time.
I spent time with playing games and reading stories to her but not quite as often as I had with daughter one but she didn’t seem to mind. My focus was switching to just staying ahead of daily chores a little more and a little less on wanting to wrap this one in a plastic bubble.
By the time this one was crawling, walking and talking, which she did at an early age like her sister, I had begun to relax again. I could put her in her play-pen and she would play for hours by herself, or she would spend time watching every move her sister made. What I didn’t realize is that there was a bond between these two that I would not understand until much later. They spoke their own special language and that was going to prove to be my undoing.
Daughter number two was also more of a Daddy’s girl than the daughter one had been. She was totally happy to lay on his chest and sleep for hours on end. He seemed to have a connection to her that I didn’t have and I will admit that at times that got under my skin, but at two in the morning, well I was glad they connected so well.
By the time she was almost 2 and daughter one was almost 7 we found ourselves once again preparing for a new arrival. The “test kid” and the “practice kid” had both survived so we were feeling pretty confident that we could handle number 3. I mean how bad could that be?…sigh…bad…really bad, but I think they had planned it that way!
Copyright 2010 Theresa Allen