Fridays bring the writing delight of Lisa Jo Baker’s 5-Minute Friday writing challenge: one topic, five minutes of unedited writing, and a big community of writers cheering one another on.  Today’s prompt is Again.

Having a second child is a fun-house mirror deja vu.  There’s so much the same.  But different.  Same stale smell of dirty diapers lingering in the nursery.  Same bleary-eyed stumble from bed to crib when wee cries split sleep.  Same overtaxed bicep from that ginormous infant carseat.  Same thrill over the firsts: rolling over, crawling, teeth.  But.  The second time through is not a mirror image of the first.  In part because some of the newness has worn off–I’m not a googly-eyed, love-sopped brand new mama all over again.  I now know that all babies roll over, and instead of having the urge to write to my local newspaper to proclaim the event, I simply called Big Friend: Hey, guess who rolled over?  I feel like a war-hardened mama.  Takes a bit more to get under my crusty exterior of experience these days.

I think this multiple child thing through as a first born.  Big Friend is a first born.  Little Friend is, of course, a first born.  Little One is the first second born in our family.  We all regard her as an alien species.  “The second kid does everything quicker just to keep up with the first,” I hear from more experienced moms.  Sure.  Usually.  I’m not convinced that applies to Little One.

Has Little One crawled months earlier than Little Friend?  Yes.  Will she walk earlier?  I’ve no doubt.  Is it to keep up with her big sis?  Well…I have other suspicions.  Little One is a Little Engine that Could.  She sees a challenge, rises up on her stout legs, and answers with a fist pump: Yes!  I will conquer you!  (Well, that’s mostly how it goes.  At least it will when she learns to give a good ol’ fist pump).  I WILL crawl.  I WILL cruise.  I WILL walk.  Then she looks over her shoulder.  “Oh, hey Little Friend!  Look!  You’re walking too!  That’s cool.”  Little One, despite being the Again child of our family (we’re nursing again, diapering again, schlepping car seats again, caught in the nap trap again, baby-signing again, library story timing again, losing sleep again, teething again, pureeing food again, pack-n-playing again, celebrating new life again), is her very own brand new refrain.

She may only have 500 baby pictures compared to Little Friend’s 1,000.  But speaking as a first born who is learning this truth for the first time in life, more is not always better.  It’s just different.  In fact, one thing that Little One has a one-up on Little Friend is that she’s proving a wonderful life lesson to me.  It’s a life lesson I began learning with the big sister (who feels, as all first borns do, innately superior because she can walk better, run better, jump from couch to chair better, talk better, whistle {slightly} better, balance better, has more teeth, more inches, more words, more years of parental attention).  Still, it’s a life lesson sinking home deeper with Little One.  Here’s the life lesson, compliment of Frank Lloyd Wright:

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.”

There’s nothing like going through the magical baby year again to convince me: life is even more beautiful today than it was yesterday.

I’m guessing if I added up all the interrupted seconds of writing, I’m right around the 5 minute mark.  This morning, a very chatty Little One has needed to climb over my shoulder at the lamp, get stuck sitting not on but under a playroom chair, chew an electric cord, commit the heinous crime of attempting to nab Little Friend’s gummy worm, and need just a few extra reassuring squeezes from her mama’s arms.   Yep, we’re doing all this again.  And they’re the very best reasons to endure a little distracted writing.

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  1. Adrienne R said:

    S sweet, this reminds me of when my girls where babes. Thank you for sharing the blessings of babes. I miss that stage. I’m stopping here from FMF.


    January 25, 2013
  2. Natasha said:

    Beth, as the baby of the family and a mama of 3, I totally appreciate your post. I always said I wouldn’t be one of those moms that didn’t keep up with the next kids baby book (I know how that hurt as a kid), or would treat all my kids the same or ….well… know. The truth is life happens. Our children are different. You do what you do to make sure your kids know they are loved and cherished.

    January 25, 2013
  3. Missy said:

    I’ve been giggling in my coffee cup ever since reading the words, “overtaxed bicep…”. I’d say that all interruptions (and OH the heinous crime of stealing a gummy worm!!!) included, you were pretty stinkin’ successful! Loved this piece of writing and the memories of those earliest years that it stirred in my own heart.

    January 25, 2013
  4. Cindy said:

    I remember well these days although we never had twirly dresses and girly squeals. I have three sons/olive shoots. My oldest, now a Soldier began walking at eight months old! Bless you on this sweet journey of motherhood and your honest rendering of life! Stopped by via FMF!

    January 25, 2013
  5. Nancy said:

    Awesome and so true

    January 25, 2013
  6. deana said:

    Your children are beautiful! Great post and pics!

    January 26, 2013

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