The Joys of Being Second-Born

Posted on October 11, 2008 - Filed Under Kids |

It seems that kids who are born second are just behind from the beginning. As hard as they try, they`ll never catch up to older siblings and they seem to be constantly convinced that the world is against them. I have no idea why this is, but it sure is true. Every second born child I know is like this, resentful and angry that they didn`t get a better deal in life. I`m terrified Dante will turn out like this.

Dante is my little hellion on wheels. He was unexpected and I was stressed out from the beginning about being mom of two. But once he arrived, man, did I love that little guy! :)

Most people still look at my baby boy as just that, the baby. He`s not. I see the hurt look in his eyes when Dorian is given something that he`s not. When Irving takes Dorian with him to Antigua, Dante cries his eyes out because he doesn`t understand why he doesn`t get to go, too. Dante prefers his papa over me, but that doesn`t stop him from claiming my attention when he thinks I`m looking or kissing Dorian more than him. The boys actually, physically fight over my affection at times! I have to remind them that I have two arms and two legs and there`s more than enough room for two on my lap (thanks to failed weight loss resolves!).

For Dante, the relationship with his big brother is a love/hate one. He longs to be JUST LIKE Dorian, but when they do the same things, he`s jealous. I can understand this, even though I`m the oldest in my family. Irving and I both are the oldest kids and I`m afraid that makes us tune in to Dorian easier. Dante is the mysterious element, someone we don`t always get. The fact that he basically didn`t talk until a couple of weeks ago doesn`t help, either . . . Dorian was babbling from a very early age. They each have their strengths. At 16 months younger, Dante is already almost more adept physically in some areas than his brother, while Dorian dominates the verbal side of things.

Today, Dante took a break from destroying, tearing and generally trashing the joint and the people in it. He got to go out on his own with Irving to eat while Dorian and I were napping. They went for a walk. They had some food. They talked . . . well, Irving did, I don`t know how much talking Dante did. And Dante came back just glowing. He so needed that time with his papa.

Dorian got up after a long nap and Dante was all smiles and bubbles with him, leading him to the couch saying, “here, here.” When Dorian obligingly lay down on the couch (despite having crawled out of bed ten seconds before), Dante gasped and said, “Wheresdapacha?” (he does this thing where he speaks his sentences so quickly you miss them if you don`t listen carefully, but they are definitely sentences) and when he didn`t see Dorian`s bottle, he graciously offered up his own! This is big because Dante is always grabbing BOTH bottles to hog for himself. So giving his own to Dorian was a huge gesture. Dorian got that, thanked him, took a couple of pulls on the bottle and gave it back (Dante drinks real milk while Dorian drinks soy).

Since then, Dante has been happily playing on his own instead of whining around the house, pulling things down and throwing stuff. I can see that this could well be the effect of getting that longed for one on one time with his papa and I`m determined to ensure that it happens more often. I really, really don`t want my adorable little boy to grow up angry and resentful!


6 Responses to “The Joys of Being Second-Born”

  1. Gloria on October 11th, 2008 6:33 pm

    Tasha! Oh, this is a post about Dante? =P That is so sweet of your boys to offer and thank each other. Thanking your own brother at that age…i think that is something!

    It might be because both of them are boys? My younger brother and I don’t seem to have this problem…though what do I know, I’m eldest. =P

    Hero and his elder brother however does exhibit this love/hate thing. Second born of the same gender seems to be more competitive.

  2. NICOLE on October 11th, 2008 8:13 pm


  3. Christine on October 11th, 2008 8:22 pm

    Your boys are so cute. You might be right about a second child but I think things change when you have a third. ;)

  4. Expat Mom on October 11th, 2008 10:01 pm

    @Gloria, it might be stronger with same sex siblings, but Irving`s younger sister is just so bitter and I know my second sister is, too. :S As for the thanking thing, it`s gotten a little out of hand. lol. They say thank you a million times a day! And we MUST say, “you`re welcome” back.

    @Nicole, I`m not worried about Dorian drinking soy, but he knows that he shouldn`t have the real milk, so he only took a couple of sips so he wouldn`t hurt Dante`s feelings. :) I thought it was very sweet.

    @Christine, I so don`t have your patience. I thought I wanted four kids, but two is running me into the ground! Which probably makes you laugh . .. it would be like you being totally worn out with just Jonny and Dennis! :D

  5. connie on October 12th, 2008 2:26 am

    Even my little girl has issues with my attention to her big brother. She adores and loves her brother, but is jealous. It’s hard when he needs extra time for help with homework or whatever. I need to constantly remind her of the one-on-one things we do together… then she’s ok with it. I also avoid telling her ‘because he’s bigger/older’ without explanation. “He’s taller and can reach without climbing - you can too when you are several inches higher.” I also remind her that there are things that her brother did NOT get to do when he was her age, and things that he HAS to do now that he is older, that she does not have to do. … this makes sense to her and she accepts it. I just have to repeat it often!

  6. Debbie Dubrow on October 12th, 2008 5:18 pm

    This post came at a great moment for me. Today is my youngest’s 2nd birthday. All day long, whenever anyone asks, she’s been saying “I’m 3 1/2,” (that’s how old her brother is) and she’s incredibly disappointed when we tell her that she is 2.

    Still, I think the being sensitive to how they are feeling is half the battle. As they get older, the age difference won’t matter as much, and they’ll be able to share more of the same experiences.

    Good luck!

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