I was talking with my OB the other day (who is so far my favorite doctor I’ve ever had, but ask me again after she delivers my kid) about how different carrying the second child is from carrying the first. I told her I felt a little guilty because this time around, I don’t even know what week of pregnancy I’m on unless I go online to find a due date calculator. She laughed and said that was normal.
“I was talking to a friend who said he noticed that his parents had tons of pictures of his older sister and barely any of him,” I further confided. “I’m really terrified that I’ll neglect the second one and she’ll grow up with some sort of complex.”
My doctor laughed. “My husband was the second child in the family and was adamant we be extra careful. We try to take pictures of number two, but the first one always manages to sneak into the picture.” I wondered if I should tell my friend that.
* * *
I grew up as an only child, so I had no idea what it was like to have a brother/sister that you loved/hated. I could only look at my friends and draw my own conclusions, such as:
For families with only two kids: if the girl is born first and then the boy is born second, they’ll both turn out really awesome. But if the boy is born first and the girl is second, then the boy will be a total weirdo but the girl will be awesome. (This one is based in part on my ex-boyfriend, who was totally lame but had an awesome younger sister, as well as my close girlfriends who had totally weird older brothers. Too bad I’m about to prove this theory wrong with my first born son and soon-to-be-born daughter!)
There are also the things my friends have told me: The more kids the mom has, the dumber they get. All the smart genes get passed to the first couple of kids. (My friend who said this is the youngest of three).
And per my mom: No matter how many kids there are, the third kid is always the smartest kid. (What if there’s only two kids, mom?”)
Another friend shared this bit of wisdom, which I thought was interesting: The first child is a gift for your husband. The second child is a gift for your first child. The third child is a gift for yourself. (She summed this up by saying, “I have three kids and it’s the perfect number. One is cooking breakfast right now, the other is doing the dishes, and the youngest is folding clothes!” But two might be the perfect number for us – although I’ve learned through parenting to never say never.)
Then there are the many fears that have suddenly come up as I’m getting closer to my due date. Some of these anxieties are legit; others are simply because I’m batsh*t crazy. I’ll let you be the judge; here they are:
Fear #47: “what if I love one child more than another?”
Fear #212: “what if the second one wants to sleep in bed with us too?”
Fear #6: “what if they REALLY don’t get along?”
Fear #2,098: “what if she’s even harder to raise than Tiny Boss?”
Fear #874: “what if she ends up hating me?”
And the list goes on and on. I guess in the end, like all things parenting, you just do the best that you can and hope that they don’t turn out to be psychopaths. Or Miley Cyrus.