Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Poor Little Second Child...

Poor Reagan.

I was thinking about this as I was doing my shopping this weekend.  The second child definitely gets the shaft in some regards.  I've been Christmas shopping (hooray Black Friday), and I had to stop myself from getting all of these things that I knew Madison would love, because she's spoiled enough by her extended family.  Yet I was wandering the stores trying desperately to find things for Reagan.

Yeah, I know.  This Christmas she'll only be 10 months old, she won't notice, she'll play with the box and tissue paper, blah, blah, blah.  But I still feel bad and I feel like I need to at least ATTEMPT to make things "equal". 

One of the issues with having girls so close in age is that we have TONS of toys that Madison has, that are now totally appropriate for Reagan.  We have them because she was our first child, AND a first grandchild on both sides, and every time someone saw something cute or fun, they would be excited to get to buy toys, and she would benefit.  This is obviously wonderful...Madison loved them, and now we've pulled all those toys out of the attic and Reagan is enjoying them just as much as Madison did (and does...she's become obsessed with them again).  The drawback is that when people ask me what Reagan would like for Christmas, I end up replying "ummm...."

She doesn't even need clothes.  She's a peanut, so it actually worked out that all of Madison's hand-me-down clothes have been working for her.  They're 18 months apart, so I figured the clothes would be completely opposite seasons - as in, clothes that fit Madison in the summer is the size Reagan would wear in the winter, and vice versa.  But that ended up not being the case.  At 9 months old, Madison was wearing 12 month clothes.  At 9 months old, Reagan is just starting to grow out of her 6 month hand-me-downs.

Also great, but Madison was pretty tough on her clothes.  She spit up multiple times a day until she was almost a year old, and even when it's breast milk, spit up stains clothing like nothing I've ever experienced.  Once she started solids, she loved playing with the textures, and although I always had a bib on her, she was pretty messy.  When I pull the bins down from the attic I always have to sigh when I see the condition some of the outfits are in.  They're fine, they're clean, they are completely wearable, but they are definitely hand-me-downs.  She gets the occasional new item, but usually I can't justify buying something when she's got so much and Madison actually NEEDS new things because her clothes don't fit.  And although I'm thrilled that some of my favorite adorable outfits are back into the rotation, and she looks cute, I do feel bad.  Silly.  I know.  But I do.

Reagan also gets dragged along to all Madison's activities and playdates.  She has her nap schedule messed with so we can MAKE it to Madison's activities and playdates.  She doesn't get the undivided attention Madison got as a baby.

Poor Reagan.

BUT, she has a mom who is much more relaxed this time around.  Even when she's going through things that Madison didn't, I have faith that the phase will end and we'll make it through no worse for the wear.  What worked with Madison doesn't always work with her, but at least I have something immediate to try, and I can tell right away if it worked or not.  I don't worry quite as much.  I know the things that seemed totally overwhelming the first time are actually totally normal.

I've sort of ironed out my parenting kinks.  I'm not saying that I made MAJOR mistakes with Madison, but I certainly learned "on the job" and I'm not making (most) of the same mistakes with Reagan.  I'm more confident about transitioning her into new stages.  I know what products I found useful, and which I really didn't need to bother with.

She has a big sister who (most of the time) adores her and plays with her.  Madison doesn't like to share HER toys, but she's happy to get out Reagan's for her.  I think Reagan became mobile so much earlier because she's trying to keep up with her big sister.

I think I'll always feel that one of the two girls is getting a little shafted in undivided attention or opportunities or "stuff".  There are times that I feel bad for Madison too when she needs to wait her turn for mommy's lap, or we can't go somewhere because Reagan is napping, or she can't use a toy because the pieces are a choking hazard for the baby who has a talent for putting inappropriate objects in her mouth.

Forget that "poor Reagan" thing.  I have two blessed girls.

Only four days left to vote for me on Circle of Moms for the Top 25 Family Blogs.  I'm back to number 26 - so close I can taste it!  If you don't mind, head over and vote daily until November 29! 
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