To 2nd (and subsequent) children everywhere,
Please don’t be mad when you realize you got screwed compared to your eldest sibling throughout your early childhood. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I might as well explain since you’ll find out eventually.
- There aren’t nearly as many pictures of you as there are of your eldest sibling. Even if you’re lucky and there are just as many, you probably aren’t alone in most of them.
- Your eldest sibling (to be referred to as ES from this point forward) probably has at least one beautifully scrapbooked or captioned photo album – my guess is from their birth through age 1. It was probably made during a booze-fueled Girls’ Night Out when Mom had time to do such lovely, sentimental things. When you were born, Mom realized that lightning wouldn’t strike twice and gave up trying to organize photos. You’re lucky if yours are in a labeled box or gathering dust in their Snapfish envelopes under the bed. More likely they are catalogued by date on your family computer, waiting for their chance to be printed.
- ES’s bottles, nipples, pacis and anything else that touched his/her mouth or face was sterilized or boiled over the stove until every trace of germs, bacteria and dirt was killed off. The first time your paci hit the floor, Mom probably wiped it on her jeans and gave it back to you. It’s not from lack of love, it’s that she watched as some sterilized kids got chronic illnesses while the dirtbugs sat back and laughed at their good health.
- If you’re the same sex as ES, more than likely you’re wearing his/her hand-me-downs. Even if the season is different, you’re wearing them as layering pieces. Good news is we loved the clothes when we bought them and still do. In fact, we’re nostalgic and teary seeing you in them.
- You are playing with toys and sitting in a highchair from five years ago. Five years ago we wouldn’t have dreamed of not buying the newest gadget to stimulate your brain or a brand-spanking-new chair for you to sit on. We’re over it.
- We may keep a lock of hair from your first haircut, but 8 family members won’t be in attendance and there probably won’t be a video to commemorate the occasion.
- Your baby book is half the thickness of ES’s. We included your birth information, when you started walking and maybe even when you sprouted your first tooth, but definitely didn’t keep a running tally of the date you said each new word, what the doctor said at every three-month appointment and the order in which you began eating solid food.
- ES met his/her first friend somewhere between 6 weeks and 3 months old during a Music Together or Gymboree class. You didn’t have a friend until Kindergarten because Mom cared less about socializing you and more about dragging you around food shopping.
Don’t feel badly – the way I see it, you actually got the better deal. You are probably less anxious and intense, more carefree and independent because we paid less attention to you. You will probably have more of a relaxed experience when it comes to driving, dating and all of those other firsts because your ES already screwed those up and you can’t possibly do worse. You were born to parents who were already tired, therefore slower, with less patience to stay consistent and more desire for peace and quiet. You are tough because you got tripped, bumped and hit by ES since you were able to crawl. Conversely, ES is probably an oversensitive wuss.
Should you have any questions or concerns about the above, please let me know. If I’m not dealing with ES’s issues, I’d be happy to attend to yours.
Love, Mom xoxo