If I were to return to school and earn my PhD, I would write my dissertation surrounding the concept of birth order because I am pretty confident I have mastered birth order parenting.
How do I know?
Let me share some relevant experiences perhaps suggested and supported by clear and concise evidence upon each of the following:
First Born: When my son fell and scraped his knee I ran to the medicine cabinet and doused it with peroxide and some rubbing alcohol. I would smother it with Neosporin and bandage him all up. I would give him tons of hugs and kisses and for the rest of the day he could get whatever he wanted because I felt so bad that my poor little baby got a boo boo.
Second Born: Unless her bloody leg is near falling off, I grab a few wipes and clean her up in the midst of telling her to toughen up. I mean it’s only a scrape.
First Born: When my son ate at mealtime I constantly wiped his mouth after every little bite and made sure his hands were always clean. I didn’t want his face to get all messy or his hair and shirt to be full of food.
Second Born: That philosophy immediately went out the window as per Exhibit A:
First Born: When any kind of food hit the floor it was immediately thrown away. Pacifiers were cleaned if they even grazed the ground and in extreme situations some things were discarded if not appearing absolutely in 100% perfect condition.
Second Born: The five second rule goes into play; if you pick it up off the clean floor within five seconds, it is free game. Bon appetit.
First Born: I was a slave to his nap schedule. I would ensure that I ran errands in the morning before his nap or waited until he woke up in the afternoon to get out of the house because the nap always came first.
Second Born: If she misses a nap today, she’ll get one tomorrow. It really isn’t the end of the world if she misses one nap. I have so much crap jammed in my day and that nap sometimes does not make the priority list. She’ll deal with it and so will I.
First Born: When my son wanted to take his socks and shoes off constantly I was the one who tirelessly put them back on his feet again and again. I certainly didn’t want him to have dirty socks or feet.
Second Born: If the girl wants to go barefoot in the winter or wear socks as she runs outside, no problem because I sure the hell don’t have the time or patience to put those things back on again and again. She’ll learn, eventually.
First Born: When we went out shopping and he would get fussy or let out a little cry I would go straight into panic mode and try to figure what he wanted. I would break into a sweat trying to keep him calm because I didn’t want anyone else to hear my screaming kid. I always thought that a screaming child was a reflection of me as a mother – I mean, how dare I have a crying baby in the store? Not my kid, mine is perfect.
Second Born: Did you read this post? Ummm, yeah. The girl is going to cry it out because mommy needs to get some groceries and get on with life. My child will get over it and so will the rest of the world.
So what have we learned from my short dissertation on birth order parenting?
I guess it’s a good thing I’m not having a third.