The Tug And Pull of Baby Number Two
You wear a green sleeper with turtles on it, I bought it new for your older brother, because at the time I thought, "This is sorta gender neutral, then if we have a girl next, she can wear it too!" But right now, it's looking all "boy" and pretty worn and I'm just wishing I would just stop being so cheap and shell out the money for one that screams GIRL in pink and purple. Baby number one got everything new, baby number two is on a budget - a few new clothes just because of the gender difference, but we can make everything else "work."
There's a reason most mommas don't really baby wear until baby number two. With baby number one it's just momma and baby and her two arms can easily keep the two together, connected. But with baby number two, there's an arm shortage. The toddler needs my arms to stop the spills, the tantrums, and - oh I don't know - his imminent death. And so I wear you, my baby number two.
But I also wear you, because I miss you. Because I need you close to me. Because if I don't literally strap you to my body, I will miss so much with you. You will be there under your play mat, or in your Bumbo or lying on a blanket with toy bombs falling from a toddler's hands three feet above you, and I will miss you growing and changing because I need my arms for more than just holding you. And so I wear you when my arms cannot, because the days and changing goes so much faster than it did with baby number one.
Daily I wonder if I have given you enough, my baby number two. If you feel special. If you feel known. If you feel loved.
Even with just a half a year with you, I already know - you are so different from my baby number one. You have your own likes, dislikes, quirks and habits. I don't feel like I know them as well as I did with my baby number one. It's like things suddenly appear - I think they've been there for a while - but finally I get a chance to spend 10 uninterrupted minutes with you and new things are suddenly revealed. Playing and tickling, kissing and cuddling and I see it.
I see you. I finally see you.
And then I wonder how long those things have been there. How long has it been that I have not seen that part of you? It hurts to think such thoughts.
But then the moment is over and I can't think about it any longer because I hear the pantry being opened to the tune of "Old McDonald has a Truck" and I must go.
The tug and the pull of baby number two. It's hard on the heart to feel like they get so much less of you than your baby number one. In some ways, you wish you could be the same mom to number two as you were to number one. Analyzing every little detail of their bodies and minds, reaching your brains out with all the questions or even just a curiosity; and giving them one hundred percent of your time, attention and love.
But then consider it again. Baby number two does not really have less of you - your world is bigger and so is your love. And when it comes down to it, you know - baby number two still has all of you, it just looks different. Somehow, there's this magical thing that moms can do - they can be tugged and pulled in all different directions, but somehow they are never divided or torn apart. Somehow you are multiplied so you can give each baby all of you no matter when they arrived in the birth order.
And yes, you are a different mom. But each baby that comes to a momma changes her - how can one not be changed by the grand, beautiful gift of raising a life? You are not the same momma to number two as you were to number one - you are a better momma because you are a momma to both.
So embrace the tug and the pull of baby number two, momma. Wear the crap outta that sling and snag what quiet moments you can with them. It's not unfair for baby number two, it's just different. They still have all of you and you have all of them.
As I lay you down in your crib, I also lay down the worry and wonder in my heart and mind. I am learning to live with the constant tug and pull, knowing that though it looks different, you, my baby number two, will always be just as special, just as known, and just as loved as my baby number one.
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