...Or rather, why I won’t apologize to him any more than I would apologize to my other kids.
There’s a letter going around facebook entitled, ‘An Apology to my Second Child’. It’s a cute letter about how, even though the second kid will never have some of the things his big brother did (scrap books, pictures, clothes that match), he will always be equally loved. I got it, it was cute, but I won’t be apologizing to my second kid. Well, I won’t be apologizing anymore than I will to my other kids.
MY FIRST KID
|my first, flicking us off|
My first kid had the scrapbook, the new baby gear, the outfits chosen nicely everyday. My first kid has the neatly written birth story and milestone charts, and all that good stuff. We had a huge party for his first birthday, and only did ice-cream at a restaurant for my second kid’s birthday. But, my first kid had it rough. I apologize to my first kid for not knowing one HAD to strap the their child in the stroller, even if just for a walk. I found that out when my kid was three weeks and I didn't strap him in.
I dropped him on his head.
The skull fracture was a little traumatic for both of us.
I apologize to my first kid for being so overwhelmed by his crying that I stood up in the middle of the night, when he was six weeks old and screamed at the top of my lungs…
"THE DAMN KID WON’T STOP CRYING".
I poisoned my first kid.
I did it on accident, but for the first two months of his life, I soaked his bottles in water with dish-soap. I thought I rinsed them off well, but it was AHMAZING how he stopped violently throwing up at three months when we decided to just boil them.
Turns out, dish soap isn't great for the newborn’s stomach.
MY SECOND KID
My second kid’s scrapbook isn't as great. His baptismal certificate still has the wrong name on it, and I still haven’t gone to the Church to have it changed. My second kid doesn't have a kazillion solo pictures, and sometimes he looked a hot mess. But I was a much better mom to him than I was my first son.
I snuggled him longer, and learned crying usually indicated something…I was empowered to figure out what that was because I was his mom.
My second kid taught me the importance of snuggles, so even though it took awhile to figure out, he is snuggled more than any of the others. And, because of that, he is a sensitive/loving boy.
Sure, it sucked going to the emergency room when he was six months old because he fell off a table I left him on to grab the baby food while taking care of his ‘not yet two’ brother… but, what a lovey he was when we were there!
This weekend, everyone was remarking what a loving kid he is. My second kid might not have gotten some of the benefits of the first, but because I was a more seasoned mom, I think I did it a bit better.
MY THIRD KID
Then, there is my third kid. He’s the first one I enjoyed during the newborn stage. Instead of cursing getting up with him in those first few weeks, I enjoyed it. I was aware how fleeting the newborn stage is, so I tried to freeze time and really live in it.
With my third kid, I took the time to stroke his face, smell that newborn smell. I delight in that baby, perhaps more than I delighted in any of my other babies.
My third kid has worn maybe two ‘new’ outfits in his entire life, but he is the happiest/most content baby I have ever seen.
About a month ago, he crawled up a couple stairs and confiscated a dirty diaper and PLAYED WITH IT. I noticed when the ‘dirty’ was all over the carpet. Yes, my friends, that means he played with it for a good few moments before this mom of 'three kids in three years' noticed. Can you imagine?!?! I apologize for that.
But, although it’s not easy being the third, his older brother protects him and plays with him so gently, sometimes I get sad my boys didn't each have a big brother to play with. Sometimes I am bummed the only kid who will have the benefit of two older brothers is my third.
I could totally apologize for not loving my boys the exact same at each stage in their life. But, I’m not gonna. Because loving them the exact same would have been a bummer. Loving them differently, apologizing for mistakes, and trying to do better is what is making these three little freaks the coolest kids I have ever hung out with.
I sometimes think people worry they might not be able to give a second (third, fourth, fifth…etc…) child the love they could with their first. And they are right. BUT, what’s so cool, is you’ll love them better, all of them, each child you add.
Mistakes and all.
And, for the record, so far my THIRD child is the only one I haven’t sent to the E.R.
Have a great week!