Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Second Child Syndrome

All parents say "I'm going to treat all my kids exactly the same, no matter what".

Well, I have to say, expirience has taught me that this statement is complete crap. Loving your children the same and treating them the same are two completely different ideas.

I don't love one child more than the other...although some days I certainly LIKE one child more that the other. But its a totally different world when you throw a second kid into the mix. You are more comfortable as a parents (lets hope!) and maybe a little more relaxed (although if you ask people who know me they will probably tell you that the word "relaxed" does not now, nor has it ever, described my personality).

When Carter was a baby I wrote down everything he ate, drank, read, listened to or watched. I measured his bottles and food with the precision of an award winning scientist (to the point where, at his two month appointment, the pediatrician held up my color coded list and said "See this?  Stop doing this!") Carter always had on the right outfit and most of the time I had just taken the tags off it. I also bathed him daily.

Grant is the classic second child. One day I looked down at him and saw that he had a bruise over his right eye. "Huh, that's weird," I thought, "I wonder where that came from."  I literally had no idea what had happened or even WHEN it had happened!

Then my mind flashed back to the first time that Carter ever fell. I remember exactly what happened, what time of day it was and even what he was wearing! He was holding onto the coffee table and fell sideways, kind of brushing his head against the lip of the table. I immediately called the doctor, certain that he was concussed. I called in sick to work because how could I ever leave my poor, hurt little boy in the care of a babysitter (which actually happened to be my mother that day, not, for instance, some kid off the street!)

Now there is my little Grant! His last bath was...what day is today? He just finished his cereal, I don't know how much cause I didn't measure it. Now he's sitting playing happily with that big bruise on his face wearing hand-me-down clothes and a hat that says "Carter". My how times have changed!

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