As a parent, you might occasionally tell lies. Small ones like “Oh honey, I love it! Thank you so much!” when really you have no idea what your 3 year old has drawn, or “Sure I’ll be happy to read this book to you again” after you’ve read it 17 times already.
Well, if you and your siblings are close in age, there’s one very important lie that your parents probably told you.
“We treated you and your siblings equally. The exact same.”
No, they didn’t.
And I bet I can guarantee they’re nodding along already and I haven’t even explained how they treated you differently yet. Oh yes, I know you parents! I have a son and daughter exactly two years apart. When you have a toddler and baby, things are tough. You do what you gotta do to survive. Everything’s crazy- your day, your life, your thoughts, your home, your days out, your sleep, you name it.
So here are some ways that your poor parents, who were just trying to get through the madness, did not treat you equally (this does not apply to me because I’m an only child. Ha!)
Baby Number 1- Every single millisecond was photographed. Baby breathed. Baby slept. Baby in bath. Baby out of bath. Baby in car seat. Many of these photos were even printed and put in albums. Yes- albums!! If you were baby number 1, you have a lot of photos.
Baby Number 2 and subsequent babies – Baby slept? Great, your parents are busy feeding the toddler or wiping up toddler’s massive paint spill. Baby in bath? So? The toddler is in the bath too pulling out the plug and sticking their fingers down the drain again. Photos are now for serious milestones. Albums? Who has time for that?!
2. Baby Memories
Baby Number 1 – Everything is kept as a sweet memory, like clothes, shoes, teddy bears etc.There may even be a baby book, where mom and dad wrote all their feelings and memories of the day you were born. How sweet!
Baby number 2 and subsequent babies – Baby number 2 might get a book, baby number 3 and so on, forget it. What’s there to remember? You were born, we loved you, blah blah blah.
Baby number 1 – Oh, you were clean. Baby number one was clean and germ free. “Oh, we don’t play with other people’s germ-infested toys dear, we have nice, new, clean toys that grandma bought for you that I just sanitized, so don’t touch stranger’s things. Come here and let mommy and daddy wash your hands. Again.”
Baby number 2 and subsequent babies – “What’s that you have in your mouth son? Your friend Jimmy’s sippy cup? No problem, I know you’re thirsty.” It’s not that we don’t care, it’s that we are not crazy this time. We’ve done this baby gig before, we can totally handle it! We were crazy last time, but this time we know. New walkers don’t need shoes! Soil and dirt is our friend because it keeps baby quiet. Go ahead and eat grass, dear. It’s organic.
Baby number 1- Organic, gourmet meals for baby number 1. You got the best. Sugar? Chocolate?! Heaven forbid, no! We are trying to raise a healthy individual here, thank you!
Baby number 2 and subsequent babies – Chocolate? Sure. Sugar? What’s life without a little sugar! Two or more kids asleep in the car = Drive Thru. Now we know why it’s called a Happy Meal. It keeps all of us happy.
5. Hurting Themselves
Baby number 1 – The slightest trip or fall, the first sight of blood- BLOOD?!!- the first bump on the head, first fever, and it’s the end of the world, maybe even a quick rush to hospital. Pediatrician is on speed dial, don’t worry, we got this!
Baby number 2 and subsequent babies- Toddler fell down, toddler picks self right back up. How much blood are we talking about? Oh that, that’s a tiny cut, no big deal. Unless it requires stitches, you’re fine. Okay, I know the head bump hurts, but you don’t need to cry about it.
6. Weight and Height Measurements
Baby Number 1 – Regular check ups with pediatrician, knowledge of every pound and ounce at every appointment, and height to the exact inch.
Baby number 2 and subsequent babies- This is how subsequent babies are measured in height: Well, he’s growing out of his brother’s old 3 month clothes, so I’d guess he’s tall. And weight: he’s in size 3 pampers, and getting harder to lift, so we’re good.
Disclaimer: This is a completely tongue-in-cheek, generalization type post that was not written for parents to get defensive about. If you don’t do this, wonderful. We’re happy for you! You get a medal. Or maybe a lie detector test.