The curse of the second child

My entire life I have heard of The Curse of the Second Child.  It’s like The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb, but with less carnage and more apathy.  At least, that’s my take…

I can remember overhearing parents talk about it when I was a child, myself.  Then, as I grew older and my friends became parents, I would hear them joke about it.

The second child just isn’t as big of a deal as the first… they’d say.

Don’t mind so-and-so, she just has second kid problems…

The theory was that you had already spent all of your excitement/energy on the first kid, so when the second one rolls around it’s just not that big of a deal

As a first born, I had no first hand experience with this.  I never noticed anything growing up.  I just rocked on in my justified position as Queen of the World #firstchildprivilege.

Now, as a parent, with the second child imminent, I totally get it.

I get everything everyone has said… ever… but that’s another story all together.

When people would joke about how excited they were for their first pregnancy, and how the second was no big deal, I just didn’t believe them.  After all, how could the miracle of creating life somehow lose its luster?

I’ll tell you how, because you’ve already done it.  Also, it’s kind of hard to get excited about your growing baby being the size of an ear of corn this week when you have a very real child standing in front of you refusing to put shoes on because, toddlers are the worst.

When parents would talk about how the second child only ever gets hand me downs, I just didn’t understand.  Why wouldn’t you buy new stuff for the new kid?  I mean, don’t they need new clothes, toys, and furniture?  Doesn’t all of that stuff get used, broken, and end up out of date?

Um, no, not enough to warrant buying all news stuff, because that shit is expensive.

Guess what your nursery theme is, new kid, the same as your sister’s was when she was a baby.  It took me almost nine whole months to pick it out, and since she has discovered her own likes and dislikes, she gets to pick out a theme and you get all of her old decorations.  I promise we don’t love you, or the way your nursery looks, any less though. 

Baby books… every parent I know talks about how they did a baby book for their first, with all the pages filled out and pictures chronologically placed.  With their second, they have some pictures shoved into an empty generic photo album somewhere, that they could probably find in the attic if they really needed to lay their hands on it.

My two year old’s baby album is completely up to date.  It is literally bursting with different things that have been taped, glued, and shoved in-between pages that were neatly and carefully filled out.  I still remember sitting down with my husband after the baby shower and excitedly asking him questions and writing down all of our pre-baby thoughts.

I remember after she was born, every single month, sitting there filling out all of the updates of what she liked and didn’t like, how many teeth she had- all the exciting facts I could muster about a lump of person that really didn’t do much in the beginning except poop and cry.

Today, my husband and I sat down to fill out the new baby book.  I couldn’t answer half of the questions simply because I didn’t remember the answers.

What day did I find out I was pregnant?  I don’t know, but it was hot out.

When did we first hear the heart beat?  I don’t even think my husband came to that doctor’s appointment this time.  I mean, you’ve heard one heartbeat, you’ve heard them all, right?

What books did we read or classes did we take to prepare?  Um, none.  First, we already did all of those the first time around and I refuse to believe that much has changed in two and half-ish years.  Second, who has time?  I spend all my free time yelling “No” at my toddler from the toilet as I pee for the millionth time.  And read a book?  I haven’t read a book that didn’t have cardboard pages since 2014, come on now.

They need to make baby books specifically for second (and all subsequent) babies.  Ones that ask very limited questions like, “What is the baby’s name?”  And “If you can remember, did they weigh and measure her at the hospital?”  Not “What was her weight and length”, just, “Did they measure her?”

It should just allow for you to put whatever pictures you want where ever you want them.  And maybe give you a space to write some things about the picture, like, “This picture was taken when I was between 6 and 20 weeks pregnant but I can’t remember when because I was pretty much that size until I woke up one day and was three times that size.”

There is also less fear and anticipation as I wait for this next kid to show up.  At 37 weeks I started praying to all the gods that I could think of for labor to begin.  It was a little about being tired of being pregnant, but it was a lot about looking forward to a break from my toddler…

Laboring with a smile (2014, with my first)

Brain searing pain followed being poked and prodded endlessly at all hours of the night for a few days?  But I also getting to, nay, being required to sit down for hours at a time and people will ask me what I want to eat and then BRING IT TO ME?   I’m in!  No, I don’t need to hear about the brain searing pain again, I’m still in.

I want to make it crystal clear that I am excited for the new baby, despite my complaints.  She is currently my favorite child (that is mostly because the two year old swallowed a rock the other day and I spent a particularly gross two days squeezing her turds whilst checking to make sure it passed).

Also, real talk, the new kid isn’t going to just wear hand me downs and the cast offs of her older sister.  I mean, have you seen pictures of kids in matching outfits?  I have, and I can’t think of very many things that I find cuter than sisters in matching outfits.

Except pictures of sleeping children.  I really enjoy pictures of sleeping children.  I hope to be taking quite a few of them in the coming days…

And then there were four… <3

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