Dear Second Born (How Lucky You Are)

parental hindsightHi Son,

You’re five months old and feel bad that this is the first message of your own.

It’s been a really mad five months and being totally honest with you whilst we had one-to-one time with your sister soaking it all in, taking hours of mindless videos and planning her every minute of the day as terribly cautious and parents.  For you the experience has been nothing like that as our responsibilities and time are shared between you both.  You have had to slot in and be happy with that.

Don’t think of this as a negative in anyway though, the pictures and videos of you are a far better quality and as we’ve not been such incredible fusspot parents you have had your own space to grow and develop.  This is in my mind is one of the biggest reasons why your sister’s character is the polar opposite to yours.  It helps massively that your such a happy soul always smiling and very laid back it means as Mum and Dad we’re happy and laid back around you and not frantic.  Your sister struggled with a number of of things but mostly because we were first-time parents struggling to piece everything together from routine to feeding to discipline.  We spent a lot of time arguing and differing on how to handle each microcosm of her life. Remeber every day for us is new with your sister as the eldest.  Oddly even now everyone we see can make a comment on her or our parenting that can make us more frantic, yet with you people don’t say hardly anything as they assume we know what we’re doing.  As a parent I promised to never compare you both, but did promise however that to iron out with this hindsight where I could be better.

In your first few weeks you suffered with a chest cold, at four months you had Chicken pox and this week another cold.  As parents we’ve managed to sail through because you’ve taken it in your stride and remained “mostly” happy throughout but also because our approach is so different thanks to that “hindsight”. You are sleeping in your own room (formerly your sister’s, who has graciously moved downstairs) and as a bonus you are totally sleeping through the night as well (meaning we’re not sleep deprived tense messes).  You can roll around on the floor and shuffle around.  This weekend I’m going to get the door swing down so you can have a good swing and bounce (prepare for videos full of Ballet pieces as you seemingly hover about nonetheless).  I apologise for your mullet hair, Mum will not let me cut it.

I can’t help but worry that as you get older your sister might start to feel hard done as she gets the brunt of the discipline.  As you grow older I’m sure that will change and I’m encouraging you to be naughty so we can be balanced.

As siblings it’s lovely to see you both.  Your sister makes you laugh just by shouting nonsense at the top of her voice.  She walks into the room and if you’re crying you will stop.  She adores you to pieces is massively protective and doesn’t get jealous at all but insists we are fair with love and hugs.  I hope you both nurture the relationship through the years and it’s our jobs as parents to foster that and not drive a wedge between you through bad parenting.

You both are the biggest blessings of my life.

I have written to your sister a lot during the difficult times we had with her apologising for mistakes I’ve made as a Dad she has had it hard. My expectations of her were and are super high and her character has developed to what it is largely in part by how we parent her.  You benefit massively from this hindsight.  I want to be honest with you both about these things because when you’re both older you need to understand our parental journey before we forget and can’t explain properly.

I will try write more frequently…

Love,

Dad

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