Thursday, December 3, 2009


I mentioned early this week that my mom and her cousin, Kim, have a very special bond. Kim and her family live in Michigan, but that distance has never kept her and my mom from having a great friendship. They are goofy, zany, and crazy when they're together. Maybe it's my ability to suppress events which are emotionally scarring, but it's a minor miracle I'm not currently seeking therapy for some of the events I have witnessed when the two of them are together.

Anyway, both mom and Kim are mothers to one boy and one girl, the only difference being gender order. My mom's oldest is me - a girl, obviously - and Kim's first born is her son, Corey. Mom proclaimed for years that boys are so very different than girls, that y chromosome making them the natural problem child. Soon after Kim's second child, Shelby, was born she tried in earnest to convince by mother otherwise. Gender has nothing to do with it, Kim insisted. It's the second child.

Mom and Kim were convinced during those vital years of parenting they would someday end up as guests on The Oprah Show, most likely at the expense of their trials and tribulations of attempting to raise their second born children. They were pushed to their limits, tested to the point of breaking, faced with stubbornness the likes of which they had not seen before (except in themselves, those of us around them would helpfully offer). That Shelby & Erik made it to adulthood is no small feat, for there were days when I'm sure our mothers were convinced they understood why some animals eat their young.

Does it come as any surprise that I consider these women mentors in my own parenting adventure?

I don't think Oprah's going to be around long enough for my time on her couch.


Anonymous said...

Love it Love it Love it...I have to call Kim right now so she can read this.....This is SO true, let's hear it does someone else out there have a second child syndrom? Mom / Gramma Poke.

Is there still time for Oprah?

Tru Stories said...

I would like, to extend a HUGE..hells yea to that second child issue.
She is only just three and I am sure she is close to killing me.

Coral said...

Now you tell me....... I guess I'll have family/friends to turn to if ours is anything like what I keep on hearing.

Meghann said...

Actually, I think it's more a youngest child syndrome. Out of my 4, it's the youngest, Hannah, that is my wild one that is going to give me gray hair.

Lindsay, who is my second, does drive me a bit crazy, and can be hard to deal with, but Hannah has her beat exponentially.

The Mrs. said...

Coral, I think the sweeter the first child the more "spirited" the second. Therefore, you're screwed 'cause Miss B is about as precious as they come. You've met Punkin. You really should have considered her your warning.

Meghann, I think your experience poses an interesting thought. Maybe the second child syndrome grows exponentially with every other child? I wonder what your sixth child would look like?

Anonymous said...

Oh lord....when I read your posts, I often think you're talking about my Monkey. It calms me to know that there are other people out there experiencing the same things!! Gotta love 'em!

Anonymous said...

yes, love it Amanda. I guess I didn't realize those little eyes and ears of yours were watching us so closely way back when!
Thank God Marsha and I had each other to vent with about those 2 little rugrats. I don't know how many times we threatened them and it still didn't work. So, there is hope for Punkin as Erik and Shelby are the best of the best. If Marsha and I even attempted to get on Oprah we would have peed ourselves for sure!

Anonymous said...

OH,and by the way, it just dawned on me I was a second born child(funny how I don't think this would apply to me although I did use to throw temper tantrums and bite other kids).

your second cousin Kim

KelNosz said...

Right on.

When reading your posts, I've often thought that Punkin and the Pear would be a match made in heaven(?).


AuntieM said...

I think it might be more the baby of the family...look at Winnie, she was always my calmest child, and then there is "you know who" next!!!!!! i always told Tina and Winnie that they should be greatfull that they came before HER, because she would have been an only child!!!!!! may she have 2 or 3 just like her!!!!!!


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