I Have 2 Kids

March 29, 2012

She sleeps in a crib, wears diapers and unfortunately still drinks formula. For all intensive purposes, Gabby is still a baby. But she has become so much more than a baby. Today I took her to the dentist with Drew and she has overnight turned into a bonafide child. When did it happen?

Drew’s infancy, babyhood and toddler times are so clear in my mind. There are thousands of pictures dedicated to this time period. We have countless videos of different milestones, silly moments and just free time. And as much as I held on to everything remembering all the people who told me it was fleeting, it still went by fast and now he’s almost four.

Gabby, on the other hand, I can barely remember her as a baby at all. Yes, we still have pictures and videos but they are far less. The activities we did were all wrapped around Drew and his age. We skipped the months of My Gym with Gabby. Rather, we dragged Gabby to all of Drew’s activities. And although she has in many ways benefited from being a second child, it feels at times like her infancy and baby times were an after thought.

Watching her stand on the step stool next to Drew (at the dentist’s office) brushing her teeth, made me realize that when I wasn’t looking she became a kid. She does so many things that kids do. She walks, runs, talks and plays like a big kid. And in some ways I feel responsible for her being forced to grow up so fast.

With Drew, we all just marinated in his age. We were eager for his aging and maturing to appreciate certain things like going to the movies, or being excited for holidays like Halloween, or being able to interact with us on a different level. But before he was at that point, we geared our activities to what he could do and what he could appreciate. Rather Gabby has been forced to assimilate to Drew’s age by the fact that she was dragged along. I talked about this with Halloween, Gabby had an appreciation for trick or treating that Drew never had at her age because he set the stage for it all.

Lucky for Gabby, a strong, confident almost four year old had his teeth cleaned first. He showed her that it was no big deal and how to behave in that circumstance. Nobody was there to create that example when it was his first time. So in some ways she’s benefiting from having her older brother pave the way. In other ways, I feel guilty for what she may have lost by being the second born. But either way it embodies who she is and who she will become. Today it was obvious watching her hold her brother’s hand while he sat bravely in the chair. She has someone to always go through it with, even if it means that she’s always rushing to catch up with him.

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