First vs. Second

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Darling Avery,
You are an absolute joy in my life.  I am reminded how fun “new” can be and it makes me smile to see you reach every milestone with such pride and excitement.  I have some sad news for you, however.  You are the second child, and with that come some very distinct and harsh discrepancies in my parenting.  These discrepancies do not come from more or less love, but time and wisdom.  And energy.  There's a reason why I started "napping" with you and your sister on weekends rather than folding laundry or washing the bathroom floor.

First born:  Always has a fully stocked diaper bag with extra clothes, hats, sunscreen, medicine, snacks to last 4 days, 6 bottles, enough diapers to last a full day, 57 butt wipes, a bag of Kleenex, four books, several rattles, Purell hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes.
Second born:  Diaper bag (or purse, or handful of items tossed on the floor of the car) which may include, but not guaranteed to:  2 diapers, a dried out pack of wipes, rattle that hasn’t been washed since first born played with it and a Diet Coke for mom.  The last item is critical to any outing.

First born:  Toys cleaned weekly as prescribed by the Clorox recipes of cleanly manicured hands delicately soaking and rinsing brightly colored, well-cared for chew toys.
Second born:  The toys you put in your mouth were dug out of bins and ripped from the hands of the first born, as they remembered THEY love that toy too.  Disinfecting is not a huge concern, as keeping bloodshed over the sharing of toys at a minimum takes precedence.

First born:  Foods are carefully measured and planned.  The intake of fluid ounces, proteins, fruits and vegetables are in constant consideration when planning future meals and snacks.
Second born:  Finger foods are introduces as soon as your hand is able to swipe the plate and anything that seems appealing is offered.  Each child, regardless of age, is given the same size bites and if you don’t choke, it’s considered a win.  Cereal puffs and string cheese are considered a complete meal.

First born:  Eating at restaurants is a special occasion.  The surface of anything you may come in contact with, be in table, high chair or plate, it wiped with a disinfecting wipe (from the carefully packed baby bag).  Twenty-seven toy options are brought and the first sign of distress brings the check.  A multitude of snack options are offered in staving off your hunger until French Fries (read: super treat) arrive.
Second born:  A swipe of the high chair to remove the previous diners leftovers are knocked away, a questionable fruit leather is offered until the meal arrives.  You will eat from your siblings plate and off a table that may or may not have been washed since the night before.  You are allowed to watch Mickey on a iPhone even after the food has arrived.

First born:  Clothing is meticulously shopped for and washed delicately before each wear.  The slightest spot or stain is immediately stripped from your soft skin and treated accordingly.  All photos are taken in carefully coordinated outfits for optimal cuteness.
Second born:  You own one new outfit:  your going-home-from-the-hospital outfit, purchased out of mom-guilt.  All other clothing come from older siblings, cousins and friends. Special photo outfits are picked out 36 hours ahead of the arrival at the session, if Mom is on her A Game.  They will most likely just be something “cute and clean” not necessarily new.

First born:  A bedtime routine is developed on day 6 and strictly upheld, more for the parents’ sake than yours.  Eventually it turns to mutual benefit and the structure is like comforting, supportive, warm hugs at the end of a crazy day.  Bath, jammies, show, story, snuggles, bed.
Second born:  You get a bath on days when your older sibling can be wrangled to tub at the same time.  You go to bed roughly the same time every night, but the best parents will admit that you may go to bed earlier if they need a break sooner rather than later.  Routines are more loosely held, and act more as guidelines than unbending decree.

First born:  Mom and Dad are so overwhelmed by excitement and love that they have days that their hearts may burst from joy and happiness.  They cuddle you close and smell your hair, willing the scent sink into our own skin.  Each smile and giggle is a moment of soul-bursting pride and we watch in wait for the next wonderful thing that you will discover.
Second born:  See first born.


momFITtingitallin said...

OMG just love this - and the the truth factor!!! The only hope our second child had was she was a girl and the boy was our first child. I had to laugh at everyone on of your comments above - so so so true!

reedmor said...

I love this. You have captured the essence of 2 children with humor and truth.

Bronwyn said...

Wait til you have your third! Then things REALLY go out the window!!!

Julie Rogers said...

Love this post---totally true;) Found you via the blog hop and just followed! Come check us out at http://www.thechirpingmoms.com!


Carole said...

Lovely post. I got to this via Mealtime Monday on Couponing and Cooking. I have linked in spicy mince lettuce cups. Enjoy.

Heidi said...

Found your blog through Mom's Monday Mingle... Your post put a smile on my face. So funny and totally true!

Brooke Arellano said...

I love this! I know that's exactly how it will be when I have another child! I'm stopping by from the Monday Blog Hop and am now a new follower:) Would love for you to stop by Crazy Mama Drama!

momto8blog said...

oh yes...how true it is!!! can you imagine the 8th?! we have to remind ourselves to count to see if we have them all.
I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can.

Tiffany @ DontWastetheCrumbs said...

Visiting from Sugar Bee Crafts... adorable! We have two kids, and this couldn't be more right on money. Love the line on bedtime and foods. When #2 was about 5 mo old, #1 handed her a choc chip cookie through the crib. I honestly thought it was something she ripped from her diaper (a quick smell-test proved that wrong, thank goodness since it was all over her face). That's when I threw food guidelines and allergies out the window for her. Figured if she survived gluten, eggs and chocolate at 5 mo, we were good to go!

Kelley @ TheGrantLife.com said...

Liz this is the best post ever. Hands down THE BEST! And so true!

Tanya Anurag said...

Makes me feel good that I am the first child ;) and I am sure my younger sister will hate to read this.. hahaha!!

But what's important is how unbiased parents are in loving their children... hats off to all you moms-dads out there!!

Lovin Livin In 'Luma said...

Such a cute post! I love the last one the most.

Rachel said...

This is hilarious! I'm grateful for being the first! Although from what I've seen, by the time you get around to #7 (my baby sister, fifteen years younger than I am), the cycle starts over again because the other kids are grown up enough to be doting bodyguards on the baby and the mom isn't so busy with toddlers!

Jelli said...

What a cute post. I giggled as I read all about my husband and I in your "first born" category. We aren't extremists when it comes to toy cleaning, but most of the other things we do. Haha, surely we'll also become lax with the second, as tends to be the case. I'd love you to share this at Monday Mom Musings on my blog next week. I really enjoyed this post, Liz.

Cari and Cortnee @ Two Sasters said...

This post made me laugh! I think my lucky stars I was the first born:)

Emily Morgenstern said...

Haha. Very cute! Thanks for sharing :)

Angela said...

Love this! So true! I have two girls and my second daughter even came home from the hospital in an outfit of her sister s that she never wore. Found you from Natasha s feature on you and your blog. Following now.
Angela @ Time with A & N

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