Her six-month milestone came and passed without a celebratory jig or hormonal tears of first time motherhood not at all like her older brother’s half-year day. For my first sweet cherub bundle of joy and light of my heart, every 13th date of each month since March 2011 was a big production because he made me a mama; he was my first-born baby. On his sixth monthiversary, we went out for fro-yo, took a million pictures of the big day, and I showered him with overt appreciation for his short presence. Six months after February 5th and a delay in acknowledging the otherwise big milestone because Instagram reminded me to update my second child’s month-age to six instead of four- or five I-dunno months when referring to her. Poor, poor second child. Subsequent birth order has its disadvantages.
Second Child Syndrome … is when your mom forgets you kinda exist. Wait, let me explain: I cried at each and every monthiversary for Humnoy because reasons. Hormonal or other. “Six months? It’s half a year! *cry-cry-cry*!” I take longer than needed to remember Lanoy’s birth date when people ask. Oops. I cry now only because I have two kids.
Helicopter response time This will either land me in jail or you’ll nod in agreement: You may have heard of the adage “babies bounce.” The first time Humnoy rolled off our couch, I cried and cried and called the pediatrician. You think I’m exaggerating but exaggerating is if I said I called the doctor’s office four times. Because I called three times. The last call the doctor had to lay it on me:
Doctor: “Mrs. [Laotian Commotion], I assure you he will be okay.”
Me: “*crying* But– but he did this eye thing that I had never seen him do before and I googled it and–”
Doctor: “Okay, if you notice anything where he’s not feeding or anything like that then bring him in but, please, I tell you he is fine.”
Lanoy has fallen off the bed, off the futon, fell on hardwood and linoleum flooring and my response time is nowhere near record speed like with her older privileged brother. My second stint made me more relaxed and definitely less paranoid. “Where are they now?” Humnoy actually was completely fine and the frantic Facebook status and WebMD fact-checking were completely unnecessary at the time.
Germs are good, germs are great I totally love the idea that dirt does not hurt. I was pretty lax with Humnoy eating unintentionally-dried blueberries in the living room corner when he was exploring. First-time motherhood primes you to yank out any and everything from your sweet precious child. Second children are simply left alone and are shrugged off. Lanoy has already had mouthed everything in sight including shoes. See “helicopter response time.”
Who did it better? Y’all know that we have super-babies. Now at six months, not only is she crawling but she is able to pull herself up to a standing with support position. Yeah yeah yeah, fine and dandy but nothing beats her super-big brother. I try not to compare the two but when you have two freak examples then what better way to gauge milestones than one advanced child to another? It’s better than me comparing your kids to mine, so ease off.
Size matters There’s a running joke in our house that Humnoy is so little that his baby sister will meet his stats in no time. Just in time to be able to finally have equal footing in disproportionate wrestling matches. Being the younger baby, you can’t really do much besides lie there and laugh through the torture. Humnoy has acquired little Lanoy as his personal jumping house. She just doesn’t quite know to to unfold out of the leg lock he has her in or to have a choice other than chewing dirty toddler fingers when he offers himself as a human teething toy. Her size does allow for more sympathy and quick response time when she wails from a stolen toy.
Overcompensated attention Ya know, we were supposed to wait at least three years before another kid. We are being extra cautious and making sure no more babies make an appearance before Lanoy’s next milestone. I am still riddled with guilt therefore I make it a grand point to pay attention to the older neglected brother. Overcompensating for this then leaves the other kid lacking my attention too. I’ll be honest and I have yet (maybe even never) to find middle ground. It’s hard to get your mom’s attention as she tends to the toddler toy tornado or scoop out the 38th spoon of Jif for him.
Honorable second child perks:
– Babies get lots of attention. I could try to explain how many innocent kidnap threats I received daily. Lanoy gets all the doe-eye looks and stranger germs because everybody just wants to see and touch her (this deserves an entire post on its own). This, of course, angers the toddler to no end. If babies seek any solace in this type if sibling fortune, this has to be it.
– I now know first-hand the saying “Has Daddy wrapped around her fingers.” GH is smitten with the baby girl.
– When pregnant and breastfeeding, my midwife gently reminded me that the baby will have to nurse first then the toddler. She seeks her revenge while they’re tandem feeding and her feet say, “Should’ve waited!”
– I was scared shitless having two little kids under the age of two at one time. As it stands, Humnoy is the only person to make his little sister laugh her heartiest little baby laughs after making that same face cry a second earlier.