I am, of course, not writing this post.

Because this post might venture along the periphery of an unmentionable, unthinkable, unseemly, untoward topic.

It’s just that I write in the evening now, after bedtime, and so the topic has raised its head for me to stifle and ignore. After bedtime battles and nonsense and bickering and adrenaline the topic begs and I refuse. I write when Peanut is at his worst and Butter is at his dreamy best but I resist writing this post.

I am definitely not writing this post, in which I might have pondered whether it’s perfectly normal to unceasingly adore a sweet, needy, small being who has a delicious temper and heart melting smile even when he is ripping my hair out at the roots, while at the same time loathing a sweet, high strung, intense, persistent, hilariously naughty, beligerent, sassy, funny, creative, ill tempered medium small being who has a horrific temper and a heart melting trill of “Mommy, I love you bigger than the Universe” even when he’s behaving in ways that make me rip my own hair out at the roots.

So I’m not asking if it’s common to find a growing rift in the desperate love of mother for child as the child individuates and tests limits and boundaries and the laws of physics. Nor am I asking if it’s typical to adore even the tough parts of meeting the needs of the completely needy infant who could, hypothetically, be causing pain or frustration.

Because I would never address the perception that pain and frustration from one child is less painful or frustrating than that of another child. Nor that mild annoyances from an older child are infinitely more infuriating than serious inconveniences from a younger child.

Especially in a blog.

14 thoughts on “Unthinkable

  1. I think once the second one comes along the eldest is expected to behave like an adult. Can’t you see you’ve been replaced? Your new role is adult, the application for needy baby/child has been filled. I had a high tolerance, and still do, for one of my children in particular, and a low tolerance for another. I don’t know what it is, but you’ve captured the vague guilt I feel as well.

  2. The older should know better. But they don’t. And sometimes aren’t capable of it.

    This doesn’t make it any less frustrating and annoying.

    My patience for the almost 4’s is slim to none. My patience for the almost 2’s is just a teensy bit higher.

    In general, 2 under 5 leaves me with very little patience.

    And. I don’t blame you for writing it in a blog.

    This is the stuff that a person has to let into the universe so it doesn’t continue to fester and cause resentment.


  3. A few years ago I was talking about all those ‘what would it be like to have a second kid’ anxieties with a particularly sage and rockin’ mama friend. I said something about wondering how I could possibly love the second as much as I love the first. A common worry, she said. I continued, but I’m sure once you have two you really love them both the same. To which she replied, no way. Parents favor one of their kids nearly all the time. We’re just not allowed to admit it.

  4. Ahhhh, the connundrum that is motherhood. You write of it well – wait, you don’t write of it well. Wait. Oh. Now I’m just confused all over again. Thanks.

  5. I dunno…is it normal for me to have the urge to shriek at the top of my lungs when no one listens to me all day long?

    As my wise sister said recently, “Parenting isn’t for wussies.” ;)

  6. Ahem. Even though you didn’t write anything that I could say this about, I think I am going to say, “I told you so.” Even if I didn’t. And I won’t admit that I feel EXACTLY the same way, because I don’t. Not at all. Nope. Not me. Excuse me while I go whistle in the dark.

  7. Even though I didn’t read this post that you didn’t write, I have to completely agree with tara. I am so guilty of this same thing, and this has set me up to be disappointed in my oldest much more so than I am in my youngest, who, at 6, remains my baby, immune to my criticisms. It can make for a bad situation until I come to my senses and realize what the hell I’m doing.

    Not that I wrote this in a comment on someone else’s blog.

  8. I also am not writing about how I feel horribly guilty about the same thing.

    In our defense, we have millions of years of evolution directing our hormones levels to a frenzy of glee for our newborns, while our older kids have to get by on the dregs of oxytocin and our own, honest, feelings about children’s not-so-pro-social behavior.

    Besides, they’re four, which is practically an adult, right?!?

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