I was the first child growing up. I remember my sister always complaining that she never got anything new because everything had already gone through me. At the time, I thought she was being ridiculous. Who cared who had it first?
But I’m here to tell you that that is a first child mentality.
It does matter who had it first.
Having two kids so close in age is sometimes a blessing and sometimes incredibly strange. Take this past weekend, for example. We hadn’t even packed up Bean’s high chair yet before Gracie was moving into it. And when Gracie was born, we practically kicked Bean out of the crib to make room for her. Sometimes they are so close in age that Gracie seems to nip on Bean’s heels of milestones.
But I’m starting to feel a little guilty about that nipping. I really started feeling guilty when I looked around the other day and noticed that we have not bought ONE new toy for her since she was born. Sure, we’ve bought clothes and diapers and pink spoons and princess cereal bowls, but we haven’t bought her one TOY all her own yet. She has been using all of Bean’s old toys. And she doesn’t seem to care. If she can chew it, she doesn’t mind who’s chewed it before, I guess. But that just doesn’t seem fair to me.
So, yesterday I went to Target with Gracie for the sole purpose of buying her a toy. A toy that is all her own. That no one else has chewed on or slobbered all over or dragged around before. It’s her very own toy.
And she loves it. Everywhere she hits or bangs, it lights up and sings a song. It’s perfect for her age right now.
The truth is, it’s easier to roll the kids down the same line of products. Just pass things along the birth line. It certainly saves money. And I know that babies can’t tell the difference and material goods shouldn’t matter and yadda, yadda, yadda… But second babies shouldn’t be second hand ALL the time, you know?
Having two kids is all about balance. Balancing my time between two babies needs. Balancing attention between two kids. Balancing activities and nap times and meals. Balancing hugs and kisses. I have to admit, though, sometimes I think the scales are tipped a tiny bit in the favor of the older child (…just don’t tell my sister I ever admitted that). But that’s something I’m trying to be a bit more aware of, especially as my kids get older. Because sometimes the second child is twice as sweet!