Dear Second Child
I’m sorry that you’ve not got a proper nursery. No pictures, no special curtains with the teddy and bunny tie backs, no changing table (nothing wrong with a changing mat on the bed – it’s actually much more versatile). The fact you have to share the room with the spare bed and, more often than not, the washing hanging on the airer.
We were a giddy newly pregnant couple when we decorated your older brother’s nursery. We didn’t have much else to occupy our time other than work and watching whatever we wanted on the TV every night. Weekends were, get this: free for us to do as we pleased! And it pleased us to buy co-ordinating curtains, change mat, cot bedding (which we never even used), lampshade, pictures and nappy holder.
Did we do it because we loved your brother more? Of course not. It’s just that after we had him, we realised that he didn’t know if his room was decorated with teddies or turnips and he totally missed the memo about the cute bunny tiebacks because he never even noticed them. Or if he did he was very nonchalant about the whole thing (they are, in Mummy’s opinion, so cute!).
I’m sorry that you don’t own a money box. I know your brother got three gifted to him when he was born (none from us I hasten to add), each with a bit of money in.
One was from your Great Grandparents. Your brother was their first great grandchild and they (Great Nana) was what is best described as ‘beyond excited’.
Did they do it because they love him more than you? Of course not. It was the idea of great grandchildren they loved the most and the idea of investing in that future.
I’m sorry that you’ve already tasted cake, chocolate, ice cream, oven chips, chip-shop chips, custard creams and fish fingers whilst your brother had still only really eaten home cooked, organic meals at this age (just pre-one-year FYI).
Does this mean I care more about your brother’s health than I do yours? Of course not. It means that I’ve realised a biscuit here and there wont hurt you and a tiny cup cake made by your brother, who desperately wants you to try his baking, will not rot the eight teeth that you have, as long as we brush them and don’t feed you cake every day. Even with all that home cooking, your brother will still choose popcorn chicken and chips for dinner given the choice – maybe you’ll go the other way and be requesting salad at three years of age (this is long shot I grant you. Especially judging by the way you devoured that cup cake).
I’m sorry that you’ve not had the time with Mummy and Daddy (or your grandparents) that your brother got. I’m sorry we haven’t gone to Baby Yoga or Baby Sensory. And I’m sorry that sometimes it feels like you’ve had to fend for yourself a bit whilst I negotiate with your brother over how many episodes of Peter Rabbit he will watch before bath time. Or whilst I help him on and off the toilet. Or whilst I’m baking with him and you wake up early from your nap.
I promise I love you with as much heart, soul and devotion as I love your brother. I didn’t know it was possible, but somehow my heart just expanded when you were born to fit all the love in.
It doesn’t matter about the curtains and the nappy holder or the money box (your brother’s spent all the money on crap from Toys R Us now anyway) or the chips or the lack of Baby Yoga. Because those things are not measures of love. The only measure of love you need is how tight I hug you before bed and how much my heart bursts with love when I watch you walking, ‘talking’ and (one of my favourites) sleeping.
And anyway, don’t tell them I spoiled the surprise, but your Great Grandparents have got you a money box for your birthday 😉