Study Confirms What All Second Children Know: Our Baby Books Stink vs. Our Older Siblings’Meredith Carroll
I’m not saying my parents love me any less than my older sister. (I have no doubt they like me less, but I’ve long since reconciled that stone-cold fact.)
But love or like, there’s no question that my sister’s baby book is worthy of a Pulitzer, whereas mine would be more fitting in the Free box in the basement of the public library. Actually, it would be more fitting in a scrap paper bin in preschool school class, since most of the pages are blank.
Look, I have kids of my own. I get that you’re usually more tired by the time the second baby rolls around because in addition to the baby you also have an older child to deal with who is usually more vocal (read: loud and whiny) and articulate about their wants and needs.
Still, as a person whose baby book rivals the width of a syphilis pamphlet compared to her sister’s Oxford English Dictionary-size tome from childhood, let me be the first to say: That’s no excuse.
Because I have Martha Stewart-like aspirations in life (the crafty part, not the prison part), baby books are a big deal to me. I collected and pasted and scrapped for each girl. Sure, maybe it took me over a year to finish my younger daughter’s book. But guess what? It took my over three years to finish my older daughter’s. It’s not really a competition. I’m not keeping score (of course, I don’t have to because they probably will if they’re anything like me). But I bought them the same baby book (with different covers), so in all good mom-consciousness, how could I not spend just as much time on my second’s as my first’s?
- A full 91 percent of the mothers said they obsessively photographed every detail of the first child’s infancy.
- A total of 87 percent said there were noticeably fewer images of the second child in the family collection.
- Of the photos that were taken of the second child, 75 percent included the older sibling.
- “Too tired” (83 percent) and “too busy” (78 percent) were the most common explanations for giving short shrift to the second child.
- Almost all mothers (92 percent) said they regretting not having more souvenirs of the second child’s infancy.
While I’m a card-carrying member of the I’m-a-second-child-so-play-me-the-world’s-smallest-violin club, I can guarantee that my second child will not follow in my footsteps. First order of business was her baby book — and that’s done and in the keepsake box (which is almost filled already).
However, if my younger daughter ever asks me what percentage of her clothes weren’t hand-me-downs, I’ll plan on losing my voice and my memory right about then.
Photo credit: Meredith Carroll
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