When he was 18 months old I found my second child sat in his father’s sock draw (1 metre off the ground) drinking my bio oil. It would never have happened with the first.
But we say this a lot…
His brother would never have worked out to pull himself up on the radiator and hang head first out of our bedroom. His brother wouldn’t have climbed a ladder, leaning against an outhouse at a garden party, only to be caught when he was spotted inches away from climbing onto the dilapidated roof. His brother would have never worked out how to open the front door and make a dash for it when no one was looking.
Other Mums drop there head to one side, as I tell anecdotes of his latest adventures, and say softly “It’s the second child syndrome, just like my so-and-so”.
But second children weren’t born like this, it’s not a default. Sure, some of it is personality, but we also have to admit this all happened on OUR watch. We smother the first child with all our insecurities and idiosyncrasies, unable to see the bigger picture as we are so preoccupied with the all-consuming love for the first child. You don’t love the second any less. but you love it with freedom, you relax into parenthood, turn a blind eye, and let’s be honest, lose a bit of control, because with more than one, there just isn’t the time. So the second child, overflowing with independence and free will, is formed.
So when they ring us up from the other side of the world, about to bungee jump off the largest bridge wearing nothing but a manikin, I’m afraid we only have our selves to blame.