Why do second kids gets so shafted? (She asks, as she’s writing this post instead of rushing to pick up 2nd child from daycare… don’t judge me) Or mine did, at least. It must be because they’re old news, right? You’ve done it once, you’ve done a million times.
I got home really really late from a bunch of meetings tonight, and for once, my little Princess requested me to sleep with her – usually, it’s all daddy all the time… She must have missed me! And I was just reflecting on my daughter and how much I love her, and it occurred to me that as true as that is, she is SO not getting a fair shake in this family. Let me count the ways, in no particular order…
1. They have less stories
I thought since I wrote a nice post about my brilliant and unique son, I should write a post about my feisty and beautiful daughter. So, I started trying to think of some funny stories about her, and I couldn’t come up with any! And you know that is not because she doesn’t do anything notable; the girl is hilarious. It’s because they don’t stick in my memory! It’s so sad. I hereby solemnly swear that I will write down every funny thing she says from now on.
2. They don’t get to do cool activities
My son is insanely well-rounded for a 7-year-old. He’s tried more things than I have (except food. Strict mac and cheese diet). I dragged him to Music Together when he was a mere 15 months old, and it’s been go go go since: we’ve done Russian school, town soccer, YMCA swim lessons, Karate, gymnastics, hockey for 6 weeks, and Spanish classes. With my little Princess, when she turned 3-ish, I scratched my head and said, “Maybe we should get her into something…” and essentially picked a ballet school that had a class at a time when the nanny could take her. I don’t even know where the studio is, but I did go to the recital. She was a terrible ballerina.
3. They get dragged to activities that aren’t theirs
As a corollary to the above, often, the second kid is dragged to all of the older kid’s activities and even made to participate. (And, what’s more, sometimes, their naps aren’t even sacred for the sake of the older kid’s activity) I had one mom tell me her little boy took ballet and knitting because that’s what his sister was doing and he was already there. Not to say that boys can’t do ballet or knitting, just saying that it’s not typical, and wasn’t chosen because the boy wanted it, rather because of the older sister.
4. They’re on their own for learning things
I spent oodles and oodles of time learning shapes and letters with my son. “A is for apple… for Anna…” “B is for boy… bumblebee… banana.” My daughter? psh. She has this one sad jigsaw puzzle with letters, and I have only gotten to C. I say it’s because she’s not interested, but it’s possible that it’s because I’m not interested? Shut up. You can’t prove anything!
5. Their childhood isn’t as well documented
I have heard scores of parents say this. Shit-ton of pictures of the first-born, and a dearth of documentation of the second child. She’s lucky she’s a girl, because I am positive if she were a boy, we’d have no photographs of her whatsoever. Fortunately, since she is a girl, I am apt to take pictures of her adorable hair and outfits, and in general, because she’s so cute… And even so, I have like 4 good baby pictures of her (the rest are fuzzy iPhone shots), and I spent at least 3 months making a baby book for Munchkin’s first year; started it before he was even 1, and it was a work of art. I did hers when she was 18 months, and when it arrived, I realized it was half the size of the boy’s book. OOPS.
6. They never get a new bike
I asked a bunch of adult women if they were second children and how they felt unlucky, and one said, “I never got a new bike.” I think I LOL’d for real – poor thing was traumatized, obviously! Someone get the woman a bike!! My daughter is again lucky she’s got that second X chromosome, because I could only make her wear boy hand-me-downs for so long. As soon as she was cognizant, she refused boy things outright, and now wears exclusively pink, purple, and hot pink. Yesterday, I was helping her brush her teeth, and she looked around with awe at her bathroom walls, and said, “This bathroom is blue! This is not my pink bathroom!” I told her that she never had a pink bathroom. She looked at me like I was lying. “Don’t you like blue?” I asked her. “Nope,” she said. “But! I do like pink and purple!” Why do I feel like I’m doomed to repainting her bathroom?
7. They don’t get the cool party
Oh, my poor princess… Munchkin has been having yearly parties since he was 1! The only time we missed a party was when he turned 3 and I was 8 months pregnant, and just couldn’t handle it. For his 4th birthday, we had this lavish bash with 15 kids, a water slide, a pinata, and god knows what else. And this year, he had an awesome 7th party at the karate place. My poor Princess turned 4 a month after he turned 7, and we were SO partied out, we couldn’t even plan a small get together for her. We delayed and delayed, using a number of excuses–no one is around, we just moved etc–and finally, are going to celebrate next week (6 weeks later), and it’s supposed to rain, and no kids’ entertainers are available b/c we’re too short notice. We suck so hard.
8. They don’t get their own friends
I feel like I’m constantly setting up playdates for my son, and all my friends have kids his age, because that’s how we bonded. My daughter is dragged along, and because she has no interest in older boys, and vice versa, she ends up playing in her own little world. Good thing she knows how to entertain herself! It’s a good skill to have! Right? RIGHT??
I love my little girl more than life itself anyway, even if all the evidence points to the opposite. And I’m going to tell myself that she gets away with more naughtiness than my son because she’s second, and she gets the benefit of my having learned from my mistakes, plus, she has a great protector and ally in her brother. I hope they’re friends for ever! Also, I hope my mommy guilt over throwing my daughter to the wolves for rearing isn’t too strong to keep me from having some wine tonight…