The bittersweet of the second child

The Rocket Scientist and I have spent the past few weeks just marveling at how blessed we are to have two such awesome children.  Granted, Doodle has been testing our limits as of late, but we do love him to no end.  And we’re just getting to know ZuZu, but she seems pretty cool so far.  Just the fact that either of them exists is proof of miracles to us.

But there is a hint of the bittersweet in all this marveling.  I find myself sad at the thought that Doodle will have no memory of being an only child.  For us, those first two years of his life were so full and exciting.  I’m also sad for him that I was so out of commission for so much of the pregnancy and therefore so much of his second year.  Just as he was getting out and about and exploring and growing and climbing, mommy was suddenly struggling to move and having to use crutches and then a wheelchair.   And now that mommy’s mobile again?  She’s tied down in other ways.

ZuZu, for the most part is a pretty contented baby.  Granted, if she’s awake, she wants to be in someone’s arms, but right now she still sleeps a lot, so that’s okay.  Nighttimes are where she really excels.  I don’t think I was getting this much sleep with Doodle until he was 5 months old.  With very little exception she wakes up just once for a feeding.  What this means though is that some days I feel like my entire goal is to get her to go to sleep so I can pay attention to Doodle or get something done or have a half hour to myself without a child on me.  I don’t take the time to just stare at her, study her, connect with her.  We had a saying when Doodle was little, “Better than TV”.  I’m very sad that we haven’t said that with her.  While I’m not sad that she won’t ever be an only child (I’m excited to see their relationship develop as they grow up) I am sad that she won’t necessarily get all the attention and doting that I want to give her.  I make a concerted effort these days as she’s spending more time awake, but I can’t believe that she’s already 7 weeks old.  That’s almost 2 months!  I feel like I’ve missed so much already.  On the one hand, she’ll have more than Doodle did growing up, 3 people to adore her, an ever-present playmate, a big brother.  But on the other hand, she’ll never have the undivided attention of the Rocket Scientist and I.  And we’ve already noted a serious lack of baby photos (I know Mumsy!  I’m working on it!).  If this rate of decline continues, we won’t even have a camera for the third child.

It’s funny, because the Rocket Scientist will sometimes ruminate on things he is saddened by and I’ll tell him there’s no use wasting energy on being sad by those things because there’s nothing we can do to change it, it’s just how it is with life.  Not very empathetic of me, is it?  There is nothing we can do about this, it is the way life is with two children, but I will still grieve the loss of it.

Just a little.

But not much.

I don’t have time.

My daughter’s awake and I have to go stare at her for a bit.

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2 responses »

  1. Hey, I just stumbled on your website via Facebook! Didn’t know you were blogging. I blogged quite a bit until I started with FB and then the blogging just sort of . . . stopped.

    I was a third child, so I get it. I didn’t know there were any photos of me as a newborn until I was putting together a slideshow for my brother’s wedding and discovered there WERE some after all. I never saw any more than one or two photos of me as a baby when I was growing up. But it turns out the main reason was that my dad took SLIDES and put them in a box after viewing them. Didn’t get them out again. But I still think there were nowhere near as many of me as of my brothers, particularly the oldest!

  2. I wish I could be there with my camera!!! You’d have 300 pictures of ZuZu easy! I wonder if you could teach Doodle how to use the camera–no, not give it to him willy-nilly, but make it a fun activity to take pictures of ZuZu, and post them online. He’s already a whiz at Skype. 🙂

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