My second pregnancy was not the emotional walk in the park I experienced the first time:
* I didn’t expect to get pregnant again so soon
* I didn’t expect to be pregnant with another BOY
* I didn’t expect the GUILT factor
Yes, I felt guilty… like I had ‘cheated.’ I was already in a fulfilling, loving relationship with an adorable, pudgy boy I’d birthed 12 months prior. How could I love another? How could I have another, without one being my FAVORITE!
My ‘only child’ mentality was not very Christ-like – I know. Thankfully, this didn’t last long. Even now, as their little personalities develop, I love them both – individually – more and more each day!
So, I don’t have a favorite – but those who meet my boys do.
My oldest is coy, shy, observant, cerebral, and laid back. The youngest is ALL IN– right from the start. He teases, he flirts, he plays, he caresses (yes he will rub on your hand!)
Naturally, he’s the one! He’s the one people want to talk to, engage with, question, or just watch!
The women gush, “He’s so…” this and “He’s so…” that.
“Can I can babysit him?” “Can I take him home?”
One woman ‘chose’ him to be her granddaugher’s husband (she’s only 9 months old).
And I’m impressed. I’m impressed because at home they fuss and fight and vie for attention but in public, my oldest stands by, also in awe, grinning and keeping watch as his little prodigy brother captures the hearts of his audience. And like an avid jump roper – he hops in when there is an opening. I don’t even think it phases him or rubs him wrong. He just wants to join in the fun.
But, to me it’s awkward! It’s like being pregnant and around people who say and do weird things. Like strangers who touch your belly without asking or tell you things like “You are big as a house – are you having twins?” when you are in your seventh month.
Of course, I’m over analyzing this. These encounters are brief – so I don’t think any major damage is being done. Besides, most parents practice the unspoken, ‘sibling engagement etiquette’ rule. Even if one child is quiet, or hesitant, don’t force yourself on them but if you’re going to speak to one child do something to engage the others – high five, ask a question, something.
Just don’t pay attention to only one child, visibly and audibly praising him/her, and virtually ignore the other. That’s the rule!
That – and don’t stand around with your hand on a pregnant woman’s belly waiting for the baby to move. If it doesn’t happen in the first minute or so – then move on! AWKWARD!