The Second Child Always Gets Screwed

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second-childI hate to admit it, but my first child got way more of everything than my second; attention, toys, concern. I don’t know yet if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, I just know that my second baby is kind of getting screwed.

She just had her first birthday, when I realized that we’d maybe bought her four toys since she was born. Four. We already have a house full of toys that we had purchased for my son – so I thought, why bother? She’s more of a tomboy than she may even want to be because she’s definitely donned the hand-me-down flannels, superhero shirts and track suits.

Every sniffle my first child had was met with great concern. Number two – we play the waiting game. Fever? Oh, we probably don’t need to see a doctor unless it lasts three days or more. Did she cut herself? If the blood stops flowing quickly it’s no big deal. These things generally don’t bother me too much, but in the days leading up to her first birthday, I found myself getting a little anxious about it.

My sister found the streamers and birthday sign that we’d bought for my son’s third birthday. I stored them in a closet in the laundry room next to a bunch of other festive decorations that I will probably forget about and purchase again. When she pulled the stuff out – I snapped. She’s getting her own decorations! She can’t have hand me down everything! I stormed off to my car to Target to repurchase some different party goods that looked disturbingly like the ones I already had. I also bought her a birthday outfit – which I never did for my first – because I thought she needed to play catch up a little in the unnecessary purchases department.

Before my second child was born, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to pay enough attention to my first anymore. I was mourning the time that my son and I would no longer have alone. Now that she’s here – I want to make sure that she’s getting just as much love as I ever showed my only child. What started as a thing that made me feel a little shitty ended up warming my heart immensely. Before my daughter came, I had always wondered if it was possible to love another being as much as I love my son. Finally I realize that it is.

My daughter may not be getting as much “stuff” – but the fact that it even crosses my mind is an immense relief. Sorry Frankie, you’re getting screwed a little – but you have something your brother never did at your age; someone pulling your hair and stealing your toys. And that’s pretty fantastic.

(photo: Angela Wayne/ Shutterstock)