Home > Parenting > Ten Things They Don’t Tell You About Your Second Child

Ten Things They Don’t Tell You About Your Second Child

September 7, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

D2 is now 2 months old and some things people warned me about our second child have held true, most notably the fact that I’m not taking nearly as many photos and videos of her as I did of D1. If the amount of digital data represented my love for my daughters, you could measure my love for D1 in terabytes and D2 in megabytes. Thankfully, parental love isn’t measured in 1s and 0s; and besides, since they look pretty much the same and we’re using the same clothes, I could play it off and tell D2, “Of course that’s you, honey!!!”

Along those lines, many people told me that I would care less be far more confident with our second. While I still do question my parenting decisions frequently, I’m certainly less neurotic. She missed a feed? The only thing hurting are my wife’s rock hard boobs. Just put her down for a nap and she pooped? Butt paste covers a multitude of wrongs. How long’s it been since her last feed? I’m barely able to tell you what day it is let alone the last time she ate. How old is she? I no longer know that answer readily, and while I used to answer in the exact number of weeks and days, I now answer by saying, “She’s a little over/under x months.”

But over the past 8 weeks, I’ve found there are some things that no one told me while we were preparing for D2 and perhaps you may find them helpful if you’re expecting another child.

  1. Don’t underestimate D1’s emotions when meeting D2 – we expected it to be all warm and fuzzies. Turns out it was cold, pokeys – the only contact D1 wanted with D2 was poking at her.
  2. Think getting one kid to sleep through the night was tough? Try it when the kids take turns waking each other up.
  3. When it was just you and your spouse, you may have considered yourselves a punctual couple. After having a kid, you slowly got used to the idea of being that couple that’s always at least 15 minutes late. After having a second kid, you’ll just be glad you made it there on the day you intended and with both kids in one piece.
  4. Have a car that seats 5? Wrong. You used to have a car that seats 5. With 2 car seats, you have no room for another passenger in the back, and don’t even think about reclining your seats.
  5. Be prepared for dual meltdowns. I’m convinced that locking someone in a car with two wailing kids should have been used at Gitmo if they really wanted answers.
  6. If you have a bouncer, make sure you lock D2 in with the seat belts every time. Let’s just say D1 thinks she’s helping when she nearly launches helps bounce D2.
  7. Hate doing laundry? Find folding teeny, tiny onesies and other kid’s clothes a tad ridiculous? Be prepared to do much more laundry as your toddler gets more food on her clothes than in her mouth learns to feed herself and discovers the joys of rolling around in mud and your infant tries to propel her explosive poops higher and higher up her back, like a high striker game at a carnival.
  8. Like a sick edition of Choose Your Own Adventure, you’ll encounter a situation that goes like this:
    As you proudly pat yourself on the back and tell yourself what an incredible father you are, you notice a foul stench invading each of your nostrils. From the East, you smell a seedy, spoiled mustard and from the West, you smell an intense concentration of sulfur. In this moment you realize both of your daughters have pooped.
    If you decide to change D1 first, turn to page 4.
    If you decide to change D2 first, turn to page 9.

    Like 90% of the endings in Choose Your Own Adventure, this never ends well.
  9. The moment D1 gives D2 a hug and says that she loves her will melt your heart. When D1 says she will go places with D2 while holding her hand when she gets bigger, you’ll feel so proud.
  10. After discovering the capacity for love that you never knew you had after D1 was born, you’ll be shocked to discover an even greater capacity to love two beings God has entrusted in your care.

Being a father to two daughters has been an incredible challenge, but like most challenges in life, I’m a better man as a result.

What about you? What didn’t people tell you about when you were expecting your second or first, for that matter?

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Categories: Parenting Tags: , ,
  1. September 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I will always remember #6. That might have been the funniest thing I had ever witnessed of D1. (Okay that was a lie, the funniest may have involved Mr. Bear and Jeff…)

    • Pop
      September 7, 2010 at 3:19 pm

      Mr. Bear + Jeff was an incredible moment. Wish I caught that on tape.

  2. September 7, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Haha! LOVE the CYOA analogy! Unfortunately, real life doesn’t let you cheat by reading the first few words and then automatically turning to the other page! I used to do that all the time 🙂

    • Pop
      September 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm

      I wasn’t even good at cheating at CYOA! No matter what, I couldn’t seem to find the good ending.

  3. September 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    Newly expecting…waiting to discover #10. Right now it seems so crazy, that you can actually love another one so much.

    Thanks for a great post about what I have to look forward to.

    • Pop
      September 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm

      My wife and I wondered the same thing: how can we possibly love another being thuis much?…and somehow, it’s possible.

  4. September 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    Very nice list… #2 coming in a few months. I hope 9 & 10 make up for 1-8!

    • Pop
      September 8, 2010 at 8:35 am

      9 & 10 are so worth it! Hope your wife is doing well and wishing all the best for the home stretch!

  5. September 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    LOVE this!! Hilarious and I can totally relate…especially to the choose your own adventure one 😉

    I’m including this on my Saturday post of my week’s favorites…and I’m gonna tweet it now!

    • Pop
      September 8, 2010 at 8:36 am

      Thanks, BFF! I wonder if they still make Choose Your Own Adventure books.

  6. Adam
    September 7, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Choose Your Own Adventures never seemed to end well for me.

    • Pop
      September 8, 2010 at 8:38 am

      Me neither! I could never seem to find the optimal ending.

  7. September 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    you nailed it Pop!! Great stuff. Brings me back to the days. Yes, older sibling will love poking the younger one…maybe forever 🙂

    • Pop
      September 8, 2010 at 8:38 am

      As long as there’s a hug or two in between the poking, I’m cool with it.

  8. September 7, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    the whole ‘car seat’ issue is INSANE! And a “third row” vehicle? Forget about it. Because you’d have to hop over a car seat to get in that third row and who the F can do that on a regular basis? [side note, i’ll never ever own a mini van. it was in our wedding vows]

    loving two. i was sent a poem about having the capacity to love a second child as much as the first. you just seem to ‘grow more’ love and it’s incredible.

    poo output. ’nuff said.

    • Pop
      September 8, 2010 at 8:39 am

      Ugh! I feel you on that! Sadly, I bought a minivan–between that and my member’s only warehouse jeans, I may quite possibly be the coolest guy you’ve ever met–and getting to the 3rd row is a pain.

  9. September 8, 2010 at 12:15 am

    These things are all so true! My sister told me that with the second one, I wouldn’t be as “jumpy” about them falling and getting boo-boo’s. So very true. Sophie, my second, fell off the couch more times before she was 1 than Hunter (first) has to this day (excluding launching himself). God help the third!

    • Pop
      September 8, 2010 at 8:40 am

      It’s true! We are planning on having four, and I imagine if we don’t lose the 4th or forget where he/she is, we’d be doing pretty good.

  10. September 8, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Oh, these are all so true! Congratulations on your new daughter! I was not at all prepared for the emotions I would feel at the “loss” of child #1’s babyness. Immediately after bringing baby#2 home, you realize how giant #1 is. Not a baby anymore…that caught me off guard. I seriously had to mourn his babyhood and move on.

    • Pop
      September 8, 2010 at 8:41 am

      Oh man! D1 looks like a GIANT compared to D2, especially when people hold them up at the same time – her long, dangly legs are almost gross in comparison. *sigh* I definitely mourned the loss of D1’s babyness – that’s why we made another one. 😛

  11. September 8, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Hilarious as usual. A bright spot to my day. I can only say thank you for this – tips I will keep in mind for future use. And here’s to hoping for that future… 🙂

  12. Dad U
    September 8, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Page 4, turn to page 4!! No, wait, page 9, noooooo!!
    That could be the fatherhood definition of a ”no-win” situation.

    • Pop
      September 9, 2010 at 9:26 am

      haha! I have at least one no-win for daddy situation per day

  13. September 9, 2010 at 8:49 am

    If you can figure out what to do with the THIRD, well, then you can just go ahead and have a whole bunch….. not kidding.
    My Mama always says “babies bring their own love” and they sure do.
    I love D2’s fat little arm. Mmmm. Great photo– that is her, right? 😉

    • Pop
      September 9, 2010 at 9:26 am

      Yup! So chubby!

  14. September 9, 2010 at 1:36 pm

    Loved reading this post! It reminded me when I babysat a family. Their first daughter? They had a picture of her every single day, in an album, that underneath said “day 1” “day 2” etc.

    Second daughter? I think there was one picture a month “january, february!”

    I have only one child, so all the pictures are of her!

    • Pop
      September 17, 2010 at 11:18 am

      Haha! So true. If we have four, I’m sure it’ll be: this was somewhere in between ages 3 and 5. And here’s you somewhere between kindergarten and 2nd grade.

  15. September 12, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Haha, welcome to my world! And very true about the car seats, there is NO seating for three in the back… I agree child #1 can’t be trusted with child #2 at any time. However, in a couple of years, it will be revenge time for child #2 and you’ll have to protect child #1 from the attacks!

    And so true about the photos, but eventually you’ll sadly realize that you’ll take less photos of both. The rule will be who stands in front of the camera still and long enough for you to point and shoot. Sometimes it’s one, sometimes the other, and sometimes the shot ends up with a blur of kids!

    • Pop
      September 17, 2010 at 11:18 am

      True on all points. Even though D2 is totally immobile, she’ll sometimes fight back with her ever balled up fists.

  16. September 17, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    This is spot on, Twin! After my nanny days, I just laugh when my friends talk about how it won’t be that tough to juggle life with a toddler and a newborn. Yeah, sure it is…not!

    • Pop
      September 20, 2010 at 9:22 am

      It’s a challenge, but so rewarding. And I didn’t know you were a nanny! Cool.

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