So Hannah decided for herself that she doesn’t want to wear nappies anymore. We didn’t talk about it, she just ripped her diaper off in the yard on Monday and went bare-bums. I took her lead and put a big girl brookie on her and she stayed that way all day. I took her to the toilet every hour or so and she made a wee successfully. No accidents all day. I told Zoleka that we should just go with it, and keep the panty on during the day. And that’s where we are. There have been a few accidents, but that’s to be expected. But the real reason for this post is to talk about how second children just seem to “get it” so much quicker and easier than first borns. I know they have the best example in their older sibling, but even besides that, my second child has proved completely different and easier than my first. Maybe it’s because I am not as crazy as I was with Liam, maybe it’s because I don’t have time to dote on Hannah solely and my time is always split so she takes it upon herself to do things? Maybe God makes it this way so that mothers don’t completely lose their MINDS while raising two or more kids? I don’t know. But Hannah is like this breath of fresh air who really makes parenting a breeze. Ok not a breeze. Just easier.
So far, I have had very little to do with any of Hannah’s milestones. She started doing most things of her own accord, without any coercion from me. So much so that I have very few home videos or photos of Hannah mastering anything! Besides the baby milestones of talking, walking, sleeping through the night, and the like (all of which she achieved much quicker than Liam), her other milestones just “happened.” One day I was feeding her, and the next she was feeding herself. One day I was rocking her to sleep, the next she was climbing into her big bed and putting herself to bed, one day she was wearing diapers and the next she wanted to wear panties. She is a very independent so-and-so and doesn’t need to be micro managed. I don’t think this has anything to do with my parenting style, I am the same parent to her, as I am to Liam, I just think it’s second child syndrome! She sees how her big brother does it and just falls into line, it is so simple for her which in turn makes it so simple for me.
Sometimes I feel sorry for her, because she doesn’t get that instant praise or validation for doing something AMAZING. Usually, our reaction is something like this:
Me: oh look, Hannah can do X
Dad: oh ok, when did she start doing that?
Me: I have no idea, must have been a while ago because she’s pretty good at it.
Dad: yeh, she’s smart innit?
Me: yeh totally.
Liam: Yay Hannah, good job!
Hannah: whatchu lookin at mama?
She knows her colours, she knows her animals, she is potty training herself, she goes to sleep on her own, and sleeps in a big bed by herself, she doesn’t have a bottle (although the dummy is glued to her mouth but I think SHE will tell me when she’s ready to give that up, and not the other way around), she feeds herself and happily so, even though my three year old still asks me to feed him occasionally, she is currently cutting her molars without much fuss, she hardly gets sick and she is one tough cookie. And I can take little to no credit for any of this. I mean who wouldn’t have more kids if they were all like this! She really is a pleasure, except when she is throwing tantrums and whining my ear off, but I guess that is age appropriate for any two year old – first born or not. I’ve chatted to many moms who say their second or third kids were totally different and easier.
Yes, it must be a mix of all the factors I mentioned in my opening paragraph, but I do think that second borns deserve a shout out and a high five, just for getting on with it and making their mothers’ lives so much easier, even though they had to wear hand-me-downs, got all their older siblings’ leftovers and nobody really noticed when they achieved anything major. HIGH FIVE TO YOU SECOND BORNS!