Now that I have two girls, I find it a wonder that any second-born child (or subsequent ones, for that matter) survives the first year.
Sometimes, it’s at the hands of an ever-loving but terribly clumsy big sister. The best of intentions go awry when hugs turn into body slams and pileups, tickles resemble an awkward boxing match, and kisses could quite possibly lead to concussions. Thankfully we haven’t had any concussions…yet.
Helping sometimes means tossing toys into the crib (with no thought of aim) or shoving a sippy cup into her mouth. And of course, there are the occasional squabbles where the baby is at a total disadvantage.
But it’s really quite unfair to put all the blame on the older sibling. My 8-month-old is quite capable of harming herself without any outside help.
My two-year-old requires my attention from time to time (naturally). But more often than I should probably admit, I’ll turn around and think, “Now where did that baby go…? ” A quick dash through the house confirms my suspicions: “Ah yes, chewing on electrical cords.”
Or the dreaded, “What did she just put in her mouth??” only to fish out a slimy crayon piece…or wrapper…or bead…or eraser…or wad of paper…or piece of candy…or rubber ball…or any other tiny toy my 2-year-old has.
I don’t really consider myself to be a negligent parent, but then maybe I’m just kidding myself. Yes, as a second child myself, I can only scratch my head in wonder at how I ever survived…