Am I the only parent who worries that their second child will turn out to be a sociopath? Like, honestly, who knew what they were signing up for when they decided to add another spawn to their brood?
“I’ll give the first one a playmate!” you probably thought to yourself. (Let’s all laugh together.)
And then you realized you’d spend the entire first year of your second-born’s life trying to keep him alive, despite his brother’s near-constant attempts to hold/suffocate/throw/drown/”twirl” him.
“Well, they’ll be able to play together once the second one hits toddlerhood, right?”
WRONG AGAIN, Sally. They’re going to hate each other from now until one of them leaves your house and gets lonely.
They’re going to spend the next couple of years punching each other, tattling on each other, screaming each other’s names in blind fits of rage, and squashing one another’s dreams while you’re not looking.
But here’s the thing. Even though they’re both a little bit crazy (let’s be real– they are), the second one always seems to worry us just a little bit more than the first.
They’re a little more mean. A little rougher. A little less sympathetic and tender.
Or, if your second is anything like mine, you wonder if they have a soul at all. (Kidding.)
So why is that? Why is the second one often so different than the first, especially in circumstances where both children are raised in the same home by the same parents with the same rules?
How does the first one cry when he’s scared that Mickey Mouse lost his Toodle-thing, but the second one laughs during the death scene of Lion King?
Here are my theories.
1) They’re pumped full of caffeine during pregnancy.
Yeah, that’s right. I know you drank coffee the second time around. We all did.
When you’re falling asleep at the breakfast table because your two-year-old was up all night crying about her twisted pajama pants and you were busy CREATING HUMAN LIFE throughout the night, you’re going to end up needing a cup of Joe (or three) to get you through the day.
2) We don’t give as many craps about their safety as we did with the first one.
Haha, don’t read that wrong. (I can see you internet trolls waiting to pounce on me.) What I mean is that we aren’t as scared the second time around.
The first time, you think that every bump is a concussion. Every bruise is internal bleeding. Every incident of spit-up is a serious medical problem that probably needs three surgeries, a breathing tube, and chemotherapy.
Once you get to the second one, though, you’re not so terrified. You understand that kids are going to fall and get hurt every once in a while. You know that, overall, they’re basically Gumby creatures that are really hard to break when they’re twisted and turned.
Plus, there’s two of them now so you don’t have to care so much if you lose one. (I’M KIDDING – stop it.)
3) They discover at a very early age that their sole purpose in life is to be cuter than their older sibling, therefore receiving all of the positive attention, and then when their sibling does attempt to get some attention for themselves, they scream so loudly that their parents can’t hear themselves think.
“I’m big, too! See!”
“I can spell, too! Listen!”
“I can do that, too! Watch!”
“MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM MOM–”
Like, how could you possibly notice anything the older one is doing when the younger will not stop blasting sounds out of her mouth? Honestly.
4) The universe is trying to keep the population low.
This one is self-explanatory. Crazy second child. No more children.
The population stays low, and we, as a society, don’t end up with a rabbit-esque environment, full of little hairy humans who look like their parents.
It’s a beautiful plan, really.
So that’s it. Those are my theories.
What do you guys think? Is your second born a little more terrifying than your first, but also a million times more independent? Do you also worry that he/she will end up in prison before they reach second grade?
Be real with me, folks.
TELL ME ALL YOUR SECRETS! We’re all [crazy] friends here.
(***Note: I am obviously joking and adore my second-born child very much. She’s capable and strong and intelligent and WILDLY adorable. I would have a million more children just like her if I could.**)