TWO DIFFERENT CHILDREN
TWO DIFFERENT EXPERIENCES
BUT ONE LOVE THAT WE SHAREPaula Rollo
I’ll be honest. The thought of having a second child scared me.
More than the ‘fear’ of when I went from childless, to child plus. The first time around I was more excited than anything, I had the usual thoughts, am I ready, am I mature enough!, are we financially stable? But really I was ready to become a Dad, in-fact I’ve always told anyone who will listen since I was 18 that I couldn’t wait to have children (which thinking about it is probably unusual for a male), add to that a healthy dose of naivety, and I was happily bliss awaiting the arrival of Sienna.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t want a second, very, very far from it, and I’m certainly not saying I wasn’t equally excited, I was. I just had a few more fears.
I’m prone to over-thinking things, my friends and family will testify to that, but here was my main one, however ridiculous it sounds, but knowing how much I love Sienna I was scared at the thought of being able to love a second child the same.
Needless to say, I now know that it’s the most natural thing in the world. No effort required. Aria launched herself into our life with superb disdain for normality, and I was overwhelmed with love from the very moment I, quite literally, plucked her from the womb! (read ‘special delivery’ if you haven’t already to see what I mean).
A proportion of that fear was also guilt. I felt guilty for what was about to happen to Sienna. Her life was about to significantly alter, and for all her intelligence at such a young age (in my eyes she’s a child-genius) there’s no way she could comprehend the impending changes that would soon befall our household. She has spent the last 9 months talking to, singing to and kissing ‘bump’, and then suddenly bump would become a real life, attention requiring, crying baby!
I also felt guilty at the thought of Sienna seeing her Mummy and Daddy love someone else as much as we love her. It sounds silly when I write it down, and every family that extends beyond one child goes through the same process, but like with everything in life, until you personally experience something, you just don’t know.
Luckily, our experience so far has been a positive one. Sienna adores her sister, and whilst I was concerned there may be some resentment toward her new cuddly sibling, there is no trace at all. She loves Aria wholeheartedly. Seeing her sing jingle bells to her, gleefully exclaim when she does simple things like poke her tongue out, and tell her “its OK, Daddy’s here” when she cries, is heart-warming. She has however seemed to conform to the classic, resorting to baby behaviour, I guess as a call for more attention. But its infrequent and manageable, and we are dealing with it by keeping her involved in everything we, and baby does.
I was also intrigued to find out what it would be like going from one to two. Going from none to one was like waking up and the apocalypse had happened whilst I slept soundly in my bed. Everything seemed to change. Remember getting up, putting your shoes on and walking out of the door? Ha, the sheer audacity! Now its like mobilising an army to invade a foreign country just to go to the street next to ours to post a letter.
But you’ll be pleased to know, if you haven’t already gone from one to two, that the next transition is a lot easier. You are already in the mindset of knowing its going to take a day’s planning just to get to the pub for lunch, and you’ve accepted you’re probably going to be late, again. You have succumbed to the stress of tantrums over which shoes to wear, not wanting the buttons done up on a specific coat and then needing to run back to the toilet for the third time before you can leave, and that’s just me, so the changes are minimal, really your just adding an extra person into the whole frantic leaving the house circus.
And of course you know already that date nights and impromptu visits to see friends are a fading memory, so nothing changes on that front either. And to be honest, I prefer just staying at home with a beer and my girls.
So overall, my fear’s were unfounded. I am blessed with two beautiful daughter’s, some challenging and exciting times lie ahead…!
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