Monday, June 23, 2014

Your second child's birthday

With your first child, everything is new. The major milestones are touted to anyone within hearing range. "MY CHILD CAN SIT UP!!" is major headline news. Videos of crawling in permeate your phone, your Facebook feed is nothing but baby photos, calls to the grandparents listening to baby babble are a nightly thing.

The first year is an amazing trip and lets face it the first birthday party is more for the parents than the kid. It's a celebration of 'yes, we made it! We survived our first year as parents, high five!' All the stops are pulled out, the party is huge, everyone and anyone is invited. You throw this huge massive party for someone that will have no memory of the day, but that's ok the million page photo album will make memories. You move to the toddler stage and things start to flow into a routine.

Then you decide to have another child.

This time around, you know what to expect so nothing's new. Major milestones come and go and you forget to call the grandparents. Heck you forget to take photos of most of them. Your Facebook feed is complaining about your lack of sleep between both kids and how the oldest is driving you crazy while you try to balance the second child's needs. Baby babble phone calls turn into cries for help so you can get two seconds of peace. Somehow you settle into a grove and bam. Suddenly, a year has past and it's time for that first birthday party again. This time though, you don't see the need for a huge party. After all the kid will have no memory of it. If you could get away with it, you wouldn't even have a party.

Except that's when the parent guilt hits you.

So you throw a party. A much smaller one with an open invite for everyone to come but no expectations. It's really a just a gathering of family and friends with food and the birthday is a sideshow item. Gifts are not thought of because this child has hand-me-downs from everyone else. Plus you don't need the clutter. The party itself is a balancing act of you making child #1 feel important too and child #2 needing you. You basically let things happen during the party and try really hard not to be upset at the lack of family members attending. After all, its kid #2.

I feel sorry for second, third, and so on children in a family because they kinda get the short end of the stick when it comes to them. I just hope Ben knows that his mom, dad, sister, and grandparents love him.

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