Dear Second Kid,
One day, a couple years down the road, you’ll google (or whatever the kids are using those days) your mom’s name and find this blog post. By the time you do this, you’ll likely have asked yourself why your sister has a baby book completely filled out with pictures and trinkets, the bigger bedroom, even her own logo on t-shirts and signs and maybe even more toys. And you have… a handful of pictures in a box.
Why, dear, the answer is simple.
I love her more.*
OK, fine. I love you both the same amount. And I totally swear that’s not a load of crap. Because I hear you – I always thought parents secretly had favorites but that’s really, really not true. I swear. Really. Well, at least for right now as I write this because you’re one. And it’s hard to not love a one-year old who doesn’t talk back.
Anyhow, let me tell you why she’s got all this stuff that you don’t.
1. You are freaking exhausting. You don’t remember this first-hand but by the time you read this, I’ll have told you the story at least 860,000 times. You know – the one where you were a full two weeks overdue in a July heatwave… ending in 27 grueling hours of labor and 4 hours of pushing your GIGANTIC TEN POUND, ELEVEN OUNCE body out of mine. And then, you didn’t sleep for NINE AND A HALF MONTHS. And when you did, it was only because you were mobile and into EVERYTHING. You even spilled beer on my laptop, losing thousands of pictures I’d taken as well as my entire Christmas card list.
Oh wait, that last part was me.
2. You are freaking expensive. Listen up, lil bud. Second kids are expensive. The reason your sister had all sorts of fancy stuff and you’ve got her leftovers is because I now spend all my money sending you to expensive daycare (where you contract expensive viruses and infections) just so I can work to afford the expensive roof over your expensive head. So no, we didn’t take an expensive vacation for your first birthday like we did for your sister. Because you’ve sucked up all the funds I used to refer to as “discretionary spending money.” So get a job and we’ll do fancy stuff.
3. Social media. The 16-year old you is probably laughing at your technologically irrelevant mother right now. But in 2014, there’s this thing called a smartphone and this other thing called the internet. Put them together and in 20 seconds or less, I can take a picture, edit it, and post it up for the world to see. And I can go back and look at it whenever I want. Without having to get up off the couch. I couldn’t do this 4 years ago because your father and I were… cheap. So she has a baby book with pictures and you have… the internet wayback machine. Hopefully.
4. I beat this level. Not for nothing, but your sister’s done all this stuff already. It is not your fault. And I adore you just the same. But hey – I already beat the newborn, baby and toddler levels of parenting. I also destroyed the bonus levels of cardiology appointments, various surgeries and therapies, and special needs financial planning. We rocked ages 1-3. Also, please refer back to #2.
5. I’m lazy. There, I said it. Also, please refer back to #1.
But lil man, your daddy and I have given you something most kids don’t get: a front-row seat to what life is really about. Hint: It’s not money, status, things, labels… definitely not about completed baby books. Pay attention – it’s really your big sis giving you something no one else in the world can. I can already see that you’re full of compassion, love and adoration for her and I have a sneaky suspicion that those qualities will come to define you. And they will serve you well.
We’re not even a full week into your second year of life and I get to watch the two of you hug each other without any prompting from me. You follow her every lead, imitate everything she does, laugh at everything she does to make you smile. She squeezes you and tells me, “Brother. I luff him.”
The two of you are going to do big things in life. Daddy and I will be right here in the front-row, cheering you both on.
*I totally stole that joke from my boss lady.