13 Jun 2013

Second Child Syndrome

My second child isn't even born yet and already I'm feeling a bit of guilt.

Guilt that I havent been spending time bonding with him. I mentioned previously when I was pregnant with Eli, Ian and I would speak and rub my tummy in hopes he would hear and feel the love we had for him. This guy gets none of that.

I wanted to start writing down my what I call "prophesies" for my unborn child. Really it's just a Love Letter from us to our child. I did this with Eli and I wanted to do the same with baby number two. I met up with a friend on maternity leave who again raved on about how smart, confident, warm, cute and extensive Eli's vocabulary was at his age. Of course I thanked her and said "you think so?"  Admittedly I do hear those kind of compliments a lot and I usually shrug it off cause I just think people are being polite. But it occurred to me today that I claimed he would be confident, I claimed he would be intelligent, I claimed he would have wisdom beyond his years and already he seems to be fulfilling these prophesies therefore I shouldn't be so cavalier about hearing these kinds of comments. We shouldn't assume God's plans and grace will only be fulfilled in years to come, He could grant our every desire right at that moment.

So it got me thinking about baby man. (I've started called Eli "kuya". I explained to him today he won't be the baby soon and a new baby will be arriving in our family shortly, so he's been promoted to the title "kuya" which means older brother in tagalog). I started thinking about the Love Letter I wanted to write just for him ... and I'm coming up empty. 

I spend the whole day caring for Eli almost my every thought revolves around him. What to server for breakfast, how can I get him to eat more during the day, should I see the dr's about the skin pigmentation around his knees, what activities should we do today ... I try my best not to let ABC4Kids raise him, I try to teach him new things and get him moving as much as possible. It's hard not to want to play with Eli all day either. He's so entertaining and hilarious now I find myself recording the most smallest moments. Like how he wears my sneakers and tries to walk in them or places all his toy balls onto his high chair tray and attempts to carry it all from one side of the room to the other, or how he dances or attempts to sing along to music. 

When I start to think about what to write in my Love Letter for baby number two I notice I tend to make references to Eli in it. I guess there's nothing wrong with stating that the brothers will have a tight bond but what if we have more children they're not referenced. I want the letter to be personal for baby number two.

I'm struggling to write down the characteristics of what I think baby number two would be like without repeating what I wrote about Eli. Again, there's nothing wrong with both children being confient, intelligent and have wisdom beyond their years but they are two different people and I want two unique Love Letters.

I get so caught up nurturing Eli, which isn't a bad thing but I feel baby number two is getting neglected along the way. I'm not even thinking about buying any new baby items as I already have everything and can reuse it all, I'm in two minds about throwing a baby shower and Ian and I haven't even started talking about names yet. If anything I think Eli and bub have more of a bond. He jumps so much when he hears Eli's voice and Eli checks up on him more than I do - that's how I know they're going to be close.

I think the fact that I'm having another boy plays a factor in my neglect. Maybe it'll change once the baby is born. A newborn relies so much on the mother in the first few months that my priorities may change in October. Maybe the words for baby number two's Love Letter will come to me closer to delivery date.

It's going to be a challenge to be completely fair with two boys so close in age.  

Other mothers with same gender babies, how do ensure the second child doesn't just disappear under the first child's shadow?

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