Friday, February 28, 2014

Second Child Syndrome

It's kind of strange to look back on the days when Niall was Brendan's age.  Everything was completely different from one kid to the next.  I spent most of my time taking Niall to different "story times" all over the 10 mile radius, catching rides on the choo-choo train at the mall, and walking down to the Kensington train station to watch the freight cars whiz by.

I knew that things would be different when I had a second, but I can't believe that Brendan has never done any of those things!  That was seriously all I did with my first.  What did I do to fill my time with little B these last 2 years?

Oh, right, he just tagged along.

He tags along to Niall's playdates, he tags along for our field trips to "big boy" museums & places that Brendan has made quite obvious he is not ready to appreciate yet, he tags along and waits for Niall to take a break from the cool toys so that he no longer has to play with his "baby" ones, he tags along while Niall fills up his piggy bank and picks out poop prizes and decides what cereal they are going to eat that day.

No wonder the kid is so crazy assertive!

I spent so much time worrying about when Niall was going to stick up for himself at that age, when all of the other kids were pushing him around at the train table and snatching toys right out of his hands.  Niall would just stare up at me, defeated, and go find a different place to play.

None of that with my #2.  Some innocent kid touched Brendan's shoulder at the mall the other day and he instantly got this look of disgust on his face and screamed at him: "GET.... OFF.... OF... MEEE!!!!"  We were playing in that kids area at the mall (something I rarely would have done with Niall because "Oh, how disgusting those things are!".... now I am lucky if I remember to wash their hands after we leave) because it was one of those few days that I had some time to kill before picking Niall up from school.

After he verbally assaulted the kid who was trying to play with him, Brendan heard the "Choo Choo!!" in the distance and sprinted to the bench where he could climb up and see.  My boy was in complete awe and, with the most desperate, sad face, begged me "I want the choo choo!  I want to ride the choo choo!"  I am so used to dismissing almost everything Brendan demands, that I was ready to say "Not today", when I realized.... Brendan had never taken a ride on a mall train before!

In my mind, this is a complete travesty.  How could I have let this happen? .... Because it's $12 for 2 kids to ride with their mom for a 4 minute loop and a complete waste of money, but that's besides the point.

Suddenly, I realized how special it was to have some one-on-one time with B where we aren't running errands or rushing from one destination to the next.  I was actually really excited to ride this train with him and make him the center of attention for once.  He waved to every person who passed us and shouted "Choo Choo!" about 57 times.  He was so proud to be on that train.

Needless to say, totally worth it...

Yes, Niall has definitely done some pretty cool things in his heyday...

And sure, Brendan has been left out on more than one occasion...

But in the end, I think Brendan is happy to be able to tag along for all of his big brother's adventures.  From day 1, he has always been thrilled to come along for the ride.  And honestly, while he doesn't get as much attention (or a choice for that matter), his ride is probably much more exciting than Niall's ever was at such a young age.

Plus, he's got something pretty awesome that Niall never had at that age either...


  1. That pic of Brendan in the stroller kills me. Adorable.


  2. Spend More Time With Your Children
    It does not matter if you work full time or part time. Maybe you stay at home with your children but you are working from home. Even if you stay home with your children, you are busy trying to get everything done. No matter who you are, you probably think that you are not spending enough time with your children. Quality time, that is. There are many ways to spend more time with your children.
    Your children do not need to play every sport or do every extracurricular activity out there. You could spend all of your time running your children from one practice to another. Pick just one or two activities that your children love and stick with them.
    Plan family dinners where everyone sits at the table, eats, and talks about their day.
    Make dinners special so everyone likes to spend time together while eating.
    Let your children help when you are working on things.
    They can help fix dinner, clean, and fix things. Children learn by watching and doing. Chores can turn into time together so that they are much more enjoyable.
    Do things that your children want to do.
    It is hard when the house is a mess but get on the floor and play with your children. Play games that they enjoy. Have a movie night and watch their favorite movie.
    Find things that you enjoy doing together.
    Arts and crafts can be a big hit. NightArt is helping bring parents and children together. You can design a drawing and watch it light up together.
    No one feels like they spend enough time with their children. However, you need to make the most of time spent together, instead of worrying if you are spending enough time together. Find things that you enjoy doing together, like NightArt. Check it out at It will bring out the artist in everyone, bringing families together.


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