Second in line
This last week, Win started to eat solids. He would be giving us the death stare while we ate, and then started to reach out for our food. So we mixed some apple sauce with some oatmeal and gave him a taste.
He went wild.
So for the past week he has been eating with gusto in addition to breastfeeding.
I brought down the Beaba, went to the farmers market and steamed several pounds of cosmetically challenged apples into applesauce.
Do I have a picture of Win eating to post? No.
The second born always gets the shaft, kinda. Second-Child Syndrome!
Here is a recent article by another dad in the San Francisco Chronicle on fathering the second-child:
Peter Hartlaub is right on the mark. While we have sat up worried that Win is stuck in the corner, and have even discussed getting a video monitor, we are relaxed enough not to have done it. We don’t check that Win is breathing. Of course it is hard for us to compare here as Theory is still in the family bed. But we document less, respond less to every cry.
I have been thinking about this a lot. Partly because Tara tells me I don’t blog about Win the way I have blogged about Theory. Despite this fact, Win still gets a lot of my attention. But there are two undeniable truths:
1. Theory is of course much more adept at demanding attention
2. Theory, being the first born, is perennially pushing the envelope into new territory, and so is the subject of a lot more of the introspection and reflection that appears in places like this blog.
Sometimes it is hard to know how much of the difference is due to birth-order versus other variables like gender. Do I treat Win differently because he is a boy? Likewise, he has a much different personality. He is much more chilled out. Yeah partly that is probably because we are more experienced parents but mostly I think it is just who he is. Since he is so chill, he gets less attention; a different form of attention as well.
I am very cognoscente of being a second-born child and the fact that I did not feel overshadowed by the attention my older brother received. I do not feel like he got all the attention. Even more so, I feel like second-born kids have a number of distinct advantages.
Win will always have Theory there with him – so he will have more socialization than Theory did. Having a sibling to normalize and empathize with is a powerful element when you are two years old.
Win will benefit from the learning curve that we as parents had to absorb with Theory.
Theory will always be the one who has to break down the boundaries to Win’s benefits. I never had to argue with my parents about staying up, curfews, driving. Jeremy bore that burden.
So yes, Theory will have more pictures. But honestly, with our digital camera we take too many pictures. Win will have enough. And when we are struggling with trying to deal with Theory, when she is in a bad mood and whining and doing something she has never done before, when Tara and I want to pull our hair out, I think about how Win is benefiting.