7 September 2015

Precious First Born vs Neglected Second Born: The Toddler Years

I've been thinking about how for so long I used to think of my second born as the Neglected Second Born while my eldest is the Precious First Born. I was about to write a post about how gosh-darn lucky the NSB (neglected second born) is to be second in line, all the benefits of an older brother and how those NSB years are behind him now.

Then I thought a bit harder and realised that this classic blog post about the issue was written in the baby era and in fact there has been a whole lot more PFB vs NSB action since then. Here's a quick run down of differences in life experiences, and parental reactions to toddler milestones between our Precious First Born and Neglected Second Born.

Precious First Borns vs Neglected Second Borns: Round 2 - The Toddler Years

First Steps:

Precious First Born: 12th June 2013, approx 9:30am, a patch of grass 3 metres left of the apple tree in Grandma's garden, the sky was blue, birds were singing, video was rolling, our precious almost 1 year old took his first fully independent steps from Daddy to Mummy. The moment and subsequent moments of early walking were immortalized on Facebook for eternity.

Neglected Second Born: uhhh.... ummmm..... no seriously... I don't know. He was definitely young, I DO remember telling people in children's centres "he's only 10 months, yes, I know he's gigantic" I remember that. Lets say Autumn 2014 shall we? Autumn.

Precious First Born blowing out candles at his elaborate birthday party.

Precious First Born opening gifts for himself at Neglected Second Born's non-existent birthday party.

First Birthday:

Precious First Born: We threw a huge garden party with approx 40 guests, invitations, a swing set, a ride-on tractor, a sand and water play table, cards everywhere for weeks, a homemade two-tier cake, a special birthday outfit. On his actual birthday we took him to a local farm park, (and when I say 'we' I mean him, the one year old, and both his parents and all four grandparents!) Seriously.

Neglected Second Born: (To be fair, our NSB is also a Christmas Baby so he has no hope of a well-celebrated birthday) No party. Like at all. I did make him a cake, but only one tier. I think we got him some toy cars? And maybe a book? I have absolutely no recollection of the day. His brother (the PFB) got "non-birthday gifts" which I CAN remember. [A Mary Poppins doll and a tea-set]

First words:

Precious First Born: (to my eternal dismay) Dada, "bubba", milk, duck, dog, car, Mama. In that order 

Neglected Second Born: So, I'm gonna go with probably, his brother's name, more, Mummy, dog, duck, car. I mean, probably, roughly something like that. I think he said Mummy quicker because he had to get my attention somehow. 

First two word sentence:

Precious First Born: "orange drink". We were in the kitchen, he was in his high chair, he was eating and had a beaker of water, he gave it to me and said "orange drink" which sounded like "orah dink". I believe I wrote it down on the calendar, his baby book and then (obvs) on Facebook. What a genius my child was!

Neglected Second Born: "my turn". His turn. The words he has to say at least 400 times a day. Of course. I mean, sure I was proud of him for putting two words together, and such resourcefulness to instruct his brother that it was his turn... but he had probably done it 50 times previously that I hadn't noticed. 

First Big Boy Bed:

Precious First Born: We dedicated an entire day to fully preparing our darling son that his beloved cot would be gone and he was graduating from baby sleeping device to a grown up bed. We went to IKEA, he helped build his new bed (thereby gently affirming in his mind the change that was about to happen) we chose new bedding together, read stories about moving to a big bed and (obviously) I wrote a blog post about the whole emotional rollercoaster. His bed was a special toddler bed with a small side to stop him falling out, but we put a mattress on the floor, just in case.

Neglected Second Born: He climbed out of his cot one day, so I took the side off it while he was at Granny's house and we put a lock on his door. He fell out of bed, a lot (onto a pillow with a blanket on top). We let him sleep most of the night on the floor for approximately 3 weeks before we got round to getting him a bed rail. 

.... Reading himself a bedtime story, cos y'know... Neglected.

Update as the Neglected Second Born prepares himself to become the "Middle Child"

Potty Training

Precious First Born: New pants purchased, new jogging bottoms (for the little prince's tiny hands to pull up and down by himself) special in-pant absorbent pads, 15 potty training books and (I kid you not) the promise of meeting actual Elsa and Anna off of Frozen as a reward.
I sent a sticker chart in to preschool with 3 lines of instructions along the lines of: "one snowflake sticker for a try" "an Elsa sticker for a wee" "an Olaf sticker for a poo" and got actually a bit annoyed when someone went off script and gave him 2 stickers for one wee. 

Neglected Second Born: About 3 days after he'd decided himself that he wasn't going to wear nappies anymore I bought a packet of chocolate stars. Sometimes he gets one for doing a wee... if we remember. 

So... yeah, now I think about it... he's still the neglected second born. But, just to clarify... all that neglect has turned him into one hell of a resourceful, resilient and self-reliant little champ! 

You go NSB!

We love you, and we promise to pay you as much attention as we always have when the new baby comes! (Because it was never that much anyways!)

1 comment:

  1. My son is also a NSB. Life is tough. But he gets to have an older sibling to play with, which has to count for something. Hopefully.