Thursday, November 15, 2007

Secondborn


Poor, second-baby Vivi. Totally gets the shaft. Has 3/4 of one baby-photo album filled so far, at 15 months old (today!). To Julia's 3-1/2 currently-filled photo albums, at three years old, including the GIANT, ENORMOUS, GARGANTUAN baby album that was already filled by the time she was SIX MONTHS OLD. Six months old, people.

Vivi: no home-movie DVDs yet made of her infancy. Julia: four home-movie DVDs by the time she was 15 months old.

Vivi: someone blinked and smiled at her, for, like, two seconds, the first time she held a hairbrush to her skull and pretended to brush her hair. Julia: it's on home video.

Vivi: doesn't know the parts of the face yet, or any of the sounds farm animals make. Julia: quizzed regularly by ten months old. Answered correctly.

Poor Vivi! I mean, she's such a total character, such a treasured little baby bear; we love her with a ferocity that is probably unapparent in our neglectful archiving of her babyhood, our lack of studiousness when it comes to teaching "baa-baa" and No, Vivi, that's a NOSE.

And yet: maybe it's okay in the end. Maybe your big sister's undying adoration kind of makes up for your hardscrabble second-born circumstances, if you're that second baby, parented by default and distraction. Because all day long, I hear things like this: Oh Vivi, did you get a bump? Vivi, do you need a hug? Vivi, I will dance with you! I will read to you! Mama, Vivi needs her nose wiped! Mama, Vivi needs her diaper changed! Can I touch her cute baby belly? Can I touch her little feet? Doesn't Vivi look so cute, Mama? Oh Mama, I just love her baby cheeks.

And this: Oh Mama, I just love Vivi.

And this: I just love her.

And: Vivi, I just love you.

3 comments:

Christopher Tassava said...

Man, do I miss them!

Jordan said...

Yep, I totally agree. I wrote a post along the same lines when Lyle was Vivi's age and came to the same conclusion - in a lot of ways, I think the younger one is so much luckier that I don't feel sorry for my secondborn at all, even though I have those moments of surprise, too - "Wait, you don't know ___ yet? I think we've forgotten to talk about that!" With a loving older sibling around, it's all good...plus she'll learn all SORTS of things (good and bad!) from her older sister that other kids her age won't know. That part always amazes me as much as what he doesn't know yet.

donna said...

So true. All of it.