To say it went fast would be an understatement.
That exact line opened a column I penned in April 2011, celebrating the first year of my daughter’s life. Three years later, I find myself in a similar, albeit much different situation, as my family on Saturday will mark my son’s first birthday.
I’ll spare you all the precise details, but we made it. When I wrote about my daughter turning 1, I reminisced about the past year and how much caring for a person 24 hours a day, seven days a week, was such a monumental task.
I won’t bore you with those same sentiments, since I’m very accustomed to having zero free time. That has been four years in the making now, so my son hasn’t had to compete against my last attempts at having a social life. His only competition is making sure Mom and Dad have enough spare time to pay full attention to his new developments.
And unfortunately that’s life for a second child.
We’re always geniuses as parents before actually becoming a parent.
I was baffled at all the discrepancies my parents provided me as a younger child. My older brothers didn’t have to go through the torture of having recycled clothes. My brothers didn’t have the same strict set of rules. And my brothers never heard “you can’t do this because we learned our lesson with your older brothers.”
How could my parents treat me so bad?
Then my daughter was born four years ago. And then my son was born a year ago.
Now I understand.
The house isn’t as baby-proofed, there aren’t as many pictures and my son doesn’t have our undivided attention at all times of the day.
And that’s life as a second child (I was a third child, so just imagine what my life was like). It doesn’t sound as glamorous, but you could never tell with our son.