I am so excited about today's playdate! My friend Xenia from Thanks, Mail Carrier is here to play! If you have never visited her blog, you simply must. Xenia has a great Review and Giveaway blog. She always has a great product to tell us about, and there is always something to win over there. You will have a smile on your face when you visit her blog once you see the pictures of her product testers, who are her two adorable little girls!
Speaking of winning something from Thanks, Mail Carrier, that is how Xenia and I first "met". I won my first blog giveaway from her - a Pillow Pet. We ended up chatting back and forth after she contacted me to tell me I won. You see, Xenia is my "blogging hero"! I think she has a great blog, and some day I hope mine can be as awesome. So after you read her post below about a subject I am all too familiar with, make sure you head over to Thanks, Mail Carrier and check out her great giveaways. You will want to follow her blog so you never miss out on a chance to hear about a great product, or your chance to win one!
Throw your hands in the air, it’s playdate time! Thanks so much, LeeAnn, for being such a gracious hostess and inviting us over… rest assured that if we actually lived closer, you would be looking out your window and finding that I dropped my kids off to play on your incredible play structure. I’d just stick them out there and drive off, too. I trust that you’d feed them some lunch after a while, right?
Speaking of my kids, I have to admit something that has been weighing on my mind recently. See, my two beautiful girls (Big Sister E will be 4 next month and Little Sister B will be 2 in December) are the loves of my life, of course, but Little Sister B has a condition that I’m not proud to tell people about. It’s called Second Child Syndrome.
Being the second child myself, I swore that she would always be treated the same and have all of the opportunities that her old sister has enjoyed. But that was before she was born, before she entered our lives as the curious, adventurous, climb-the-walls, get-away-with-everything grin and turned life as we knew it upside down.
That’s not to say that it’s her fault if she gets short-changed now and again, but it seems to just… happen. When Big Sister E was born, motherhood was new and exciting and the biggest thing to happen to me in, well, ever. I researched everything, had read every book, learned every tip and made sure to only purchase the most highly recommended crib, stroller, car seat and more.
Then child number two comes along and there just isn’t time. The food falls on the floor and it’s just so much easier to brush it off than to make more. Better yet, I see Little Sister B eating something she found on the ground and… eh, it’s good for her immune system, right? It also isn’t usually possible for either of them to get my full attention because of the sole fact that there are two of them and one of me.
But the difference is that poor Little Sister B never had me all to herself. From the moment she was born, there was already someone else there that needed meals and bedtime stories and entertaining and… mothering.
But has Little Sister B really been ripped off that much when it comes to being the second child? Let me see…
- Little Sister B can often be seen wearing clothing with an E embroidered on them or shoes that are molded to someone else’s foot.
- When Big Sister E was a baby, our schedule was set around her nap times. If something happened during that time, we just didn’t go. I can probably count the number of times that I actually woke her up on one hand. For Little Sister B? Well, we can’t just sit around all the time. There have been more than a few times that she was pulled out of bed so that we could make it somewhere on time.
- Speaking of which, when Big Sister E was a baby, we regularly went to baby story time at the library, music classes, swim lessons and more. Little Sister B is getting to… come along to whatever Big Sister E is signed up for now. It’s easier to bring a younger sibling to an older sibling’s class than vice versa, right?
- I have a somewhat hazy memory of Little Sister B’s “firsts”. When Big Sister E started talking, I actually kept a running list of what she could say and every time she said a new word, I diligently went in to add it. I also remember exactly when and where we were when she took her first steps. Little Sister B? I don’t know. Mama? Dada? Of course she can walk, but… I don’t know when that started.
- Big Sister E has had lavish, handmade, themed birthday parties every single year with family and friends from all over. Little Sister B’s first birthday party was postponed for weeks and then still barely ended up happening. It consisted of a store-bought cake at my in-law’s house one afternoon.
- Big Sister E’s baby book (which my husband and I spent hours visiting every book store in town to find just the right one) has every measurement carefully recorded from every doctor’s appointment, as well as other important dates and milestones, not to mention pictures of early days. Little Sister B’s baby book? Never once opened. In fact, had I not found it (new) at a garage sale before she was born, I couldn’t even claim that I had one for her.
- As well as having less pictures and fewer video taken of her, at this point anything recording Little Sister B’s first almost-2 years of life is just sitting there. I made Big Sister E One Year and Two Year videos featuring clips and pictures that highlighted everything, I even set them to music. Where did I find the time?
- I’m less stressed about the whole parenting thing in general. I see new moms out worrying if their child will catch a cold when they are bundled in five layers when the temperature drops below 70 degrees (True story, I once had Big Sister E so wrapped up that she couldn’t move) and I just scoff. And then wonder if I even remembered to put shoes on my kids.
- I don’t hover. How long did it take before I even let Big Sister E out of my sight? Now, with her only 20 months old, I find myself glancing around once in a while wondering where Little Sister B’s independence has taken her this time.
- I trust in her abilities and her bravery. It wasn’t that long ago that Big Sister E finally climbed up a curved ladder at the playground near our house. Not because she wasn’t able to before, but because my neuroses over her getting hurt caused me to shoo her to the stairs any time that she tried. Little Sister B climbed up that same ladder all on her own just this past week.
- She tries all sorts of new things. We always did age-appropriate crafts, games and more when Big Sister E was a baby because why wouldn’t we? Little Sister B, on the other hand, gets to do things that are meant for an older child and therefore picks up new skills early and easily.
- My in-laws used to tease me because I wouldn’t let them give Big Sister E dessert. She was a baby and didn’t know what it was, so it wasn’t like she was missing it, right? I haven’t ever kept a tally, but I’m pretty sure that Little Sister B says the word cookie at least a dozen times a day.
Then there’s the cuteness. Does she know already that she is going to be able to get away with more things just by flashing that smile? Because it works. I once said that I could probably live off of the smell of her neck and the sound of her laughter and be perfectly happy and I still believe it.
I’m also not the only one who spoils Little Sister B. Big Sister E has adored her from the first moment she laid eyes on her new baby and the love didn’t stop there. She pours on the hugs and kisses and constantly wants to play or help or just be there for her little sister. Even better, the feeling between the two of them is mutual and there is no doubt in my mind that the best thing to happen to each of them was to have each other.
So what it seems to come down to is this: Big Sister E stole my heart from the moment she turned me into a mother. I will always cherish and love her and be completely amazed by the things that she does. But Little Sister B, even when she is a grown woman with children of her own, will always, always be my baby. So even though someone else had stolen my heart when she arrived, she will forever own it.