Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Differences the Second Time Around

I've worried about Aden feeling like the "second child" since before he was born. I don't know why it's such a concern of mine considering I, myself, am a first born and Aden isn't even old enough to realize and/or care if he's being slighted as second in birth order. I do worry about it though. I'm crazy, I know. I probably need to get a life outside of being a mom. I want Aden to look back on his childhood and remember how Andi and I always kept things fair and equal for him and Tory; that all his big and little milestones were just as important to document and swoon over as Tory's were.

I give myself a pat on the back for documenting the details of Aden's first year (so far). Part of it is attributed to my nature (to blog; to keep record of things). I'm current in Aden's baby book, his Places I've Been Book and I take photographs of him every single week. Of course, there's his weekly photo with the zebra so we can see how much he's grown. Andi's the better photographer between the two of us and he took all of Tory's zebra photos, so Aden's might not be the best quality but dang it, he has a photo each day he turns a week older!

24 weeks old yesterday

As a mom to two kids, there are differences the second time around. I suppose this is the advantage /or disadvantage of being Child #2. Take, for instance, how it dawned on me the other day to read to Aden. I ran across a stack of Tory's favorite board books and thought, "hey, I wonder if Aden would like these?" And, he did. I spent hours lying on Tory's bedroom floor reading books to her when she was Aden's age and for some reason, it never occurred to me Aden might like to do the same thing. I blame it on life being busier, I guess. It seems like we're always on the go. Anyway, I try to make it a point to read to Aden every day now.

While I may not have the time to read to Aden for hours on end, he has the benefit of being exposed to music and social situations infant Tory was not. Aden gets toted along to all of Tory's events and activities, like attending music class at only a few weeks old. I signed Aden up for swimming lessons next month and I almost reconsidered when I saw the total cost of having two kids in lessons this summer. But, no! He shall not get the shaft as second child! We started Tory in swimming class at 6 months of age and I want Aden to have the same opportunity. (Plus, it just makes good sense considering we have a lake cabin ... even if it is astronomically expensive).

Though, being carted along to so many extracurriculars means Aden is sick far more than Tory ever was as a baby. Sigh. No avoiding germs with an older sibling in the mix.

Another point - I'm constantly reminding myself not to wish away Aden's babyhood. I love every baby stage for what it is, but now that I know what milestone is on the horizon, I seem to be in a rush to get there. Aden is starting to sit up unassisted and in my head I'm like oh, finally! I imagine him crawling around in the grass at the cabin this summer and daydreaming about the day he's big enough to play toys with Tory. What I really need to say to myself is slow down, mind! Quit rushing away the moment Aden is in today.

One milestone I'm not rushing into is baby food. This is the complete opposite of when Tory was Aden's age. Baby food is just ... so much work. Meal times are already a stressful part of my day and I'm not looking forward to adding one more mouth to feed (and person to clean up after) to the mix. I remember making all of Tory's first purees from organic fruits and vegetables and this time ... no way / nope / not happening. For me, making my own baby food purees was more work than it was worth. Aden shall have the best jarred baby food they offer!

I'm more lax about formula, too. I keep a 2oz. bottle of ready-mixed formula in my diaper bag for emergencies / last-minute childcare, etc. I would've never fed Tory formula when nursing was an option, but these days it's just easier sometimes. For instance, when you're in the middle of Target with a hungry infant, a wiggly toddler and a cart full of groceries. Easier. (Btw, have you seen those little pre-mixed bottles? I'm not sure if they're a new thing or new to me, but they're so smart and convenient.) The new mom I was two-years-ago is shocked by how differently I feel about feeding my second baby today.

I stuck to a rigid schedule with Tory. She slept from this time to that time and ate meals precisely at X time on the dot. I used to stress - hard - when I'd visit family in Nebraska and people were noisy in the house after 7:00pm. Tory is sleeping everyone! Don't you have any respect for my child?! With Aden, I'm much more flexible ... with everything. Yes, we have a basic pattern to each day, but naps are often interrupted by errands or plans or people and sometimes naps even happen in the car. I just don't get as worked up about the little details of our days the way I used to.

Speaking of sleeping (through the night, specifically) ... my little boy stinks at it, and failing to teach our child to self soothe is one mistake I won't be repeating. Aden's been pretty sick this week so I've catered to his every whimper, but soon I'll be implementing some tough love.

This is so ridiculous, but I always feel bad for Aden when Tory gets a gift from someone and Aden doesn't. It happened a few times around Easter. Now, I know Aden doesn't know the difference and at 5 months old, he could really care less ... but it hurts my heart a little bit. I find myself compensating for his second child-ness by overbuying clothes for him. It's a bit of an obsession, actually. I feel like Tory had SO. MANY. CLOTHES. when she was Aden's age because she received boatloads of gifts from baby showers, etc. Aden didn't have the same experience, so when I'm in the store I can't help but buy something new for him. I worry he doesn't have enough clothes to wear, then later I realize ... whoa, little dude's dresser drawers are plum full. Just this week, I found a whole stack of 9 month clothes I'd bought a few months ago and stashed away for summer.

Having two kids is such a trip. So many of life's experiences I want them to share and some I'm choosing to do differently with a second chance.


  1. I also have two kids ( with a third on the way) and I'm always worrying about how to keep things "fair" for both. I especially worry about our 2nd, knowing she'll be a middle child soon, and not wanting her to feel forgotten. I think keeping up the baby book and some of the traditions for the second child will pay off later ( at leAst I hope so!).

  2. I can't say I've really ever been TOO concerned with things not being equal, but I definitely would have never even CONSIDERED for a single second not blogging/taking weekly pics/monthly updates etc for Luke like I did for Annie. However - we do have a nice photo book of my blog posts for Annie that Ben made and he quit that at 7 weeks for Luke - but that's his fault, not mine ;) I did my part!! Haha. I also kind of think a boy just won't care as much about that, like obviously his childhood will be WELL documented!!

    I never have cared about presents (more so I'm just like, please stop giving us stuff we have too much crap already!!) BUT I did feel a little sad for Luke that he was the 4th grandkid and just it wasn't that big of a deal anymore vs Annie being the first on both sides. He's still very loved and doted on though, and Ben insists that I am WAY more of a softy with him than I ever was with Annie which MIGHT be true, ha! :)

  3. Oh man I don't read to Ethan and he's 9 mos. guess I better get on that.

  4. I laughed about the baby food BC I couldn't wait to do solids with Charlie asap. Then with Levi I was dreading it and put it off as long as possible because it was just an extra task.

    And yeah by now charlie had done 3 rounds of swimming & Levi has done none. Maybe this summer we can change that.

  5. These are definitely normal differences...and then #3 comes along and you skip purees all together and forget whether or not hes supposed to have eggs yet- but hey look! Hes not breaking out so I think he's good!

    Always an adventure :)

  6. I loved reading your perspective on baby number two. We still only have one child, but now that he's year old we often get people asking when baby # 2 is on the way, so I'm always on the lookout for posts about the second child.


  7. I completely agree with you on this. Now I don't have a #2 yet, but I know that I will definitely be much more relaxed when that time comes. You just know more about what to expect so I would imagine this is how all moms operate the second time around. You are doing a great job with both of them and they are so lucky to have such a great mama.

  8. We are more relaxed with parenting H, but I wouldn't say he gets sub-par treatment as #2. And I didn't do weekly photos/monthly blog posts about either child's development and was pretty bad at baby book keeping for both, so he didn't get shafted there either. I didn't do jar food for him at all - BLW all the way, but it worked specifically well for him because he hated spoons (still not fond of utensils at almost 4).