Learning Murphy’s Law of the Second Child
I had been warned that the first child is so good that they trick you in to the second child. And watching my friends’ second children, I started to notice that the second one was a bit spunkier than the first. They all teased me that the second one was going to give me a run for my money because my five-year-old is a very good kid. She is polite, listens, follows the rules, does well in school, and just sweet to the core. She is so prissy and pink I never had to worry about her doing wild or crazy things because she was too afraid to hurt herself or ruin her princess dress.
When I was pregnant with my second child, I couldn’t imagine how number two could be different. After all, in my case, the second child comes from the same parents, same house and the same rules. I would rub my belly and imagine what she would be like. She was mostly like her older sister in my mind. And, of course she would like the same things. I even bought the same pacifiers, lovies and favorites that her sister liked.
But from the second that she entered this world and I held her for the first time, she has been blazing her own way in this world. She has been showing me that she is not her sister and that she is her own little unique person.
However, as cute and spunky as she is there are quite a few things that I have learned in her one year in this world. I now understand the Murphy’s Law of the Second Child. She is teaching me about it every day.
- I shouldn’t have expected number two to be like the first. Or, like any of the same things. I had to buy all new bottles, a different brand of diapers, and establish a completely new bedtime routine. New kid, new tastes, new favorites and new stuff for sure.
- My previous parenting skills won’t help. So I figured with number two I had this down. But then after she was born, I realize that she was a different child and needed to be parented differently. So then out the window went my past experience. She is different in every capacity. She has a different schedule, eats differently and is even sick differently.
- I need to keep my eyes open. A few emergency room visits later I realized I needed to up my game. She is so little, but number two has NO fear. She jumps and expects someone to catch her. She doesn’t care if she gets hurt. She is more upset that you stopped her to put a Band-Aid on. She is a daredevil and I am scared.
- It will go much, much faster. And, it is because she does everything earlier than her sister did. It is adorable as she watches her older sister and studies her. I quickly learned after number two started walking at 9 months and climbing attic stairs (very, very swiftly) at 10 months that she was not going to be the baby for long. She considers herself a five-year-old just like her sister, so she just can’t understand why I won’t let her play with markers too.
- The rules will be broken. What is it about the baby of the family that the rules don’t apply to? Is it the fact that she is my baby? Is it the fact that she smiles at me with that mischievous twinkle in her eye? I feel like I am parenting her the same, but some how the results are not the same. I say “no” and she laughs.
I know my friends think it is funny to watch as I am learning how to parent number two. I am adjusting my parenting ways to adapt to a new personality and the new challenges. I am understanding what they have always said about the second child. I now get the jokes and can relate to the frustrations. She is not who I thought she would be. She is more and she is her own person. I am deeply enjoying her lively spirit and I can’t wait to see who she becomes.