The Practice Child

8 02 2012

I’ve heard people say that second children get, well, screwed.  The first child gets time, years even, of being the center of the family, the only child, the parents’ whole world.  Then the second child comes and is, by necessity, a pack-along kid.  That poor child never gets that top spot.

I can see that, for sure.  My whole life is absorbed by Hazel.  Her moods, her naps, her needs dictate my every minute.  If we have a second child?  Well, judging by the strong-willed nature of my little girl, her sibling will also be subject to her whims…

On the other hand, I kind of feel sorry for Hazel.  Because she is my practice child.  Already, I have a long list of should-haves with her – and she’s not quite five months old.  In some ways, I am ready for another kid, just because, really, this time I’ll get it all right!  I promise!

There was the whole sleep debacle – you know, I didn’t put my kid down for the first two months of her life, and then it occurred to me that I might not want to spend 15 hours a day in bed with a toddler firmly attached to my boob.  So we’ve endured a painful transition to the crib.  So maybe, maybe I would let my second baby sleep alone every once in awhile.

Then there’s the bottles.  I purchased, pre-baby, some great glass bottles.  Glass!  Plastic free!  Because I am a good mom.  5 months after my kid was born, I researched the best bottles for breastfed babies, because it FINALLY dawned on me that perhaps those standard nipples on my eco-friendly bottles did not look or feel like food to my child.  So I got some Tommee Tippees, and what do you know, she took a bottle (no repeat performances of THAT miracle, unfortunately).   So potential future kid?  You have the right bottles awaiting you.

The list goes on and on.

I’m ready to have another kid RIGHT NOW just so I don’t forget any of these lessons I’m learning with my practice child.

What’s holding me back?

Oh, I know how these things work: I have another baby, and it will be TOTALLY different than my first.  And NONE of these lessons will matter.  I will have a new list of wish-I’d-knowns, longer than the first.

And then I have to try it on Child #3.

Better just enjoy the one I have – even if I’m learning everything a little late.

Really, how do you improve on this?

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