This is a real thing, whether you mean it to be or not. Despite my best effort, there are so many moments when I realise the syndrome has struck again.
Take last Friday. A friend of mine was round with her daughter for a play date and we were discussing how quickly this time goes. (It flies, especially when there’s more than one little monster charging around!) Realising that Oliver is coming up to a year (don’t!), Tash asked how his 9-12 month check had gone. “Well!” I said, “he’s still on his growth/weight arcs, so that’s good”. “Brilliant!” came the response, “how much does he weigh now?”.
“I don’t know.”
“Did the health visitor not tell you?” she enquired, surprised.
“Umm…I didn’t ask…”
Poor child. I remember coming out of Sam’s clutching his red book, checking his stats and seeing how he was getting on. Olly’s book was flung mercilessly in the car side pocket (where it still resides).
Hours of sensory play for Sam, Olly never had much interest for it, preferring to look over my shoulder for his real entertainment – Sam.
Specially cooked meals for Sam, Olly gets what we have (easier and far better actually).
Daily play dates for Sam, Olly tags along on Sam’s and sees a younger child if they too have a younger sibling.
There are too many examples of moments like this.
However, on the flip side…
By 7 or 8 months with Sam, I was fully focussed on getting him to fall asleep alone, to getting him napping in his bed, for it to take less than 2 hours to get him to sleep, to reclaim our evenings together, for us to get more than 2 hours’ sleep at a time.
Oliver has always slept well and fairly easily (aside from the usual teething or developmental leap dramas); he first went to sleep unassisted at around 4 weeks and slept 11 hours straight around this time too (yes, we woke him up! Who knew babies could sleep so long). This time, I find myself rocking or cuddling him to sleep nearly every nap/bedtime by choice. Yes, he “can” go to sleep on his own, but maybe the simple fact that he can means that I’m not so concerned about it. I love those sleepy cuddles and quite often find myself sitting in the rocking chair either enjoying the cuddles or listening to his peaceful breathing as he lies in his bed.
“Second child syndrome” here knows that this time passes all too quickly. Olly is nearly 1. Sam is nearly 3; many steps away from a baby and often looking (and sounding) more “boy” than toddler.
These days will be gone in a flash and sometimes I find myself mourning the loss of them already.