The Second Child...

N had his 15 month appointment today and I had to fill out a form with questions about his development--speech, hearing, understanding, playing, and motor skills.

I noticed that I could go much higher in certain boxes (higher up to older "average age ranges" for these skills/tasks) --all because he is FOLLOWING his brother.

Things like: cleaning up toys (check!), stacking several blocks (check!), and following verbal instructions (check!). He is hearing a CONSTANT stream of interactions, teaching, and instructions as we go about our day together...but most of them aren't geared toward him, but to his brother (26 months older). It was fascinating to remember J at that age and what he was/wasn't doing and to see N progress on a different path.

On the same token, N doesn't say much. He has a few sounds that mean words but as far as actual WORDS go? I've heard "Mama" maybe three times and a firm "Nooooo" maybe two times. J had a few more words by now, but wasn't super chatty. The MD informed me it was fine...that 5-10 words was "average", so some kids would be above or below. I am excited to hear N's first words but I'm not worried...he does HEAR a lot more discussion than J ever heard at his age, that's for sure.

It's been fascinating to note the differences in the two boys--even  just because of their birth order. J enjoyed a fairly orderly, quiet, organized, structured life ... until N was born. N has never known "quiet" and I don't know if our everyday busy-ness qualifies as structured or orderly. He witnesses tantrums, time outs, and more. He ALSO gets to enjoy more songs, more crafts, more EXTRAS that I did not do with just J.

J has recently started to have a difficult time with some of the new attention that N has received for new skills like...sign language, walking, and dancing. If I praise N for signing, J immediately shows me how he knows even MORE signs. If we clap for a successful walk across the room...J shows off his running skills. If N is dancing and laughing, J wants in on the fun as well. 

This isn't all bad, it's fun to enjoy the energy and skills of both's just different. J got ALL the praise ALL the time. N enjoys what we give him but it is quickly interrupted by older brother's craving for attention.

I also have noticed small things that N has done that felt like BIG things with J did them. Playing in toilet water, for example. I have a recent post on the family blog which includes photos of N splashing the water. One of my friends commented on how amazed she was that I just let N play in it, whereas she is quick to wash her baby's hands, etc. WELL. With our first--we were ON TOP OF EVERYTHING or at least MOST things. J was definitely pulled away from the toilet water fun & washed immediately. Now...with N...since there are so many other distractions...a little toilet water never heard anyone, right?

Other examples that come to mind: 

With J, we boiled all of his pacifiers once a week. 
I think we've done it three or four times for N's pacifiers.

J had all new clothes at that age...
...N wears all of J's old clothes.

J's nap time was solid & wonderful...
...N's naps are great but can often be interrupted by loud noises made by J.

I never let J crawl on the floors at church...
...N spends most of Sunday School on the floor

We lathered J up with lotion after every-single-bath...
...N gets lotion on Sunday mornings or if his skin is especially dry.

I sang to J when I got him up in the morning...
...N is greeted by excited GOOD MORNINGs from his brother

Those are JUST A FEW.

The second child definitely lives a different home life experience than the first. It is especially interesting to think about since both Trevor & I are the oldest in our much of a difference did we experience before our siblings came along? (Much more for T, since he & his sister are 4 years apart and my  next sibling was born only 17 months later)

And furthermore, how much more different will our third baby's early experiences be...especially since she's joining such a young crowd?

Have you noticed differences in the experiences between siblings in your family?

1 comment:

Miles said...

this is fun.. i just did something similar comparing the first and subsequent pregnancies on my blog.

i think the 3rd child is always the one that marches to a different drum. i can think of several families where the 3rd child has it's own looks and features, and also a hmmm, more fun, rambunctious personality!