Monday, 18 October 2010

Second child syndrome?

I'm not sure how I know this story but I've always known it and I can even visualize the entire scene as if I watched it from a distance.

When I was born in a little mud hut my father was so upset that I was a girl that he took me from my mother's arms and threw me into a ditch. After some hysterical begging and pleading on my mother's part, my father decided to be congenial, walked into the ditch and picked me up announcing that he would keep me. Who could have told such a grim tale in detail enough that remembering it feels viscerally accurate to me? I've always wondered.

As our second child, Naveen's birth was not nearly so dramatic, but I have thought much on the topic of birth order lately. The inevitabilities that come with being the second child sometimes have me concerned. I often find myself heralding Naveen's cuteness almost defensively as if by not doing this, people will only notice how captivating Deaglan is these days.

Don't get me wrong, I am just as taken by Deaglan. He's funny, articulate, creative and just plain astonishing so that Shaune and I are constantly looking at each other after something the toddler has said or done, asking Is this normal for a two year old? I'm sure it is perfectly normal behaviour but you know how doting parents are - they want to hear that their kid is some sort of prodigy.

And in contrast to all of Deaglan's abilities, Naveen's pale in comparison. He's only four months old after all, and to the untrained eye, does little more than gurgle, smile and kind-of roll over. It's hard to interact with someone like that for longer than ten minutes before you start feeling self-conscious about the gibberish baby-talk coming out of your mouth. Unless you are the mother of course. Then gibberish like Are you my little stinker-oo? Hmmm, are you mommy's little stinkerson? is the meat of most of the conversations you have throughout your days.

Anyway, I'm positive people will give Naveen just as much attention soon enough. I feel certain I won't have to remind Shaune to greet Naveen also when he walks in the door for much longer or plug my infant everytime someone remarks how smart Deaglan is.


  1. Thrown in a ditch?! I can't even imagine... wow.

    Anyhow, it sounds like you are blessed with two equally adorable, smart and captivating little ones. Enjoy them :)

  2. Is is amazing how conscious you are of the social and emotional details and needs of your boys. You are a wonderful Mom and I applaud your concern and care. Naveen and Deaglan are truly blessed.

  3. Oh, all too soon Naveen will be demanding his share of attention. Our #2 tries to crawl as fast as she can to keep up with the boys. It's sweet and sad at the same time. They are just too fast for her - but not for long!

    Great photos!

    And I totally know what you mean by the things these 2 year olds say. The other day T Rex said - "Mommy drives and Daddy drives in the passenger seat" - we cracked up for hours.

  4. I still feel conscious of how my kids feel in their birth order lineup. My oldest was a prince for so long when it was just me and him. Now he thinks I forget him because the younger ones often require so much of my attention. I worry that my 2nd and 3rd sons feel like "second bananas" some days. Jillian thinks she's Queen so she doesn't have any problem exercising her dominance around here :)

  5. You guys know that both children are LOVED equally, thats all that matters. ;-)

  6. I had the same worry, but soon the second child grows into their own distinct personality and paying equal attention and giving equal love just happens of its own accord.


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