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August 02, 2006


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Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah

As someone who had two kids at once, I have some of the first child syndrome and some of the second child stuff going on here.

However, by the time they hit two years old (You know, once you've seen them LICK the shopping cart for no reason) I'll give them their apple back even after they dropped it in the driveway.

Sometimes it just isn't worth the fight. Especially with a two year old.


We've often done the "sniff test" with our kids too. They've never liked baths and it's too hot to fight them on it. As long as they don't reek, I just let them have their way.

Pickle's Papa

The wife and I are both second borns. We both have significant chips on our shoulders regarding this matter and just had this first kid - to get to the second one.

When we were trying to catalogue our lives for an online photo album we were both struck by the fact that there were newborn pictures and then school photos. Beyond that every other picture we were a sidenote to the story of our older sibling.

I am the second born of a second born of a second born of a second born. That is the truth, and if I have a son for our second he will be a junior and I will strive to break the cycle of inferiority.

Course my daughter will say its because he's a boy . . .

Who cares, damn first borns.


As we are incubating the second, I can completely identify with this... the first time around I did everything "right", this time well, lets just say things are slackening up around here. Lack of energy has been my excuse, but really I am just drag-ass lazy.

I chalk it up to building the immunity reserve.


One of the wisest things my mother has ever said was "No two children ever get the same parents." and I totally think it's true. As much as consistancy is supposed to be a bedrock of caring for children, the only consistancy you can count on is that you'll change.

I think it adds to diversity in families and in life. If you raised all your kids in the identical way, you wouldn't be able to sit back eventually and observe the crazy, unscientific, kind of masochistic experiment you may one day consider your parenting career to have been. At least, that's way little single, childless me thinks.



This is why I love you, man. All things fall into perspective under the harsh light of the MetroLens. I shall be sending this link to many, many friends.


"Now, go get your brothers and sisters, Reuben!" might be the funniest thing I've heard in ages! You crack me up, MD.

Lisa V

I have four. The reason you start becoming so laid back is you know you have a spare, or two, or in my case three.


You seem to be avoiding the real burning metrodad question, which is are you going to have the deuce? More diapers, less baseball. Private school for two or move to the burbs? Car or minivan?


Hilarious post! Although I suspect BossLady might not be as willing to leave you alone with the Peanut after reading this.

As you know, I don't have human kids, but I was very protective of Caleb when he was a puppy. I didn't want anyone cursing around him and I definitely didn't want him seeing any nudity (it was the principle of the thing--he was our baby). Of course, almost four years later, we're very lax around him. Thank God he can't talk and tell anyone what he's heard and seen.


Hmm, Philadaddy is very insightful! You have something brewing at the MD domain? And I'm not talking about Peanut's "shamrock shakes" either!

But here here, articulate as usual with your take on multiple kids. With our first born, I wiped down the seats and windows of the plane on his first trip, but with the 2nd and 3rd? They're fans of picking up stuff off the floor to munch on, and we're there to pick out the "good" ones vs. the "bad" ones for them. That's what lack of sleep can do to you!


I have three and I am not sure what the thirds name is. I ussually call him Hey! or Stop That!
If your little peanut knows the Yankees Suck her education is complete.


Thanks for the perspective, Metrodad. My wife is about to give birth to our first child and we're freaking out about EVERYTHING! Glad to know that this is a normal part of the progression.


Man you are so right on this one.
I'm feeling pretty guilty about it now. We use to sterilize everything, something dropped on the floor-into the trash. Baths like clockwork…

These days--she's picking food pieces off the floor (if she looks happy, we go with it)


Everytime to kiddo used to get so much as a scrape, I'd hold her and cry along with her. Now, as long as it's not worthy of a trip to the emergency room. she gets a bandaid, a kiss, and a swat on the butt to "get back on the game."

Wow that sounded really bad, didn't it? At least you're programming her to hate the correct team.


Don't shortchange the quickie wipedown with the antiseptic towels--you get partial bath credit for that, and the Peanut gets a nice lemon scent to boot.
We had relaxed as well, but around 30 months R2 had different plans. He picked up pneumonia at daycare, had a friggin seizure, R2Mum met the ambulance at daycare and rode in with R2. The docs were ready to give him a spinal tap because they couldn't determine if he had spiral meningitis (pneumonia not evident until chest xray came back). WTF? Talk about a bolt out of the blue. No additional seizures since, but the now lemon-scented R2 is never more than a couple steps from danger.


MetroDad you've really become an advanced parent since you're becoming lax before you even HAVE the second kid. Unless, of course, there is something you aren't sharing with your readers.

This post reminded me on how I knew I was a changed parent. It was soon after the birth of our Sweet Pea, our Little Goose banged her head and all I did was say "She'll live".


I know you hate bad grammar, but I have to defend myself by explaining I was an ESL student.


I think you should out this theory to the test and have a second child.

Mary P

OMG! A Shamrock Shake! I haven't thought about those in years. Are they still around? My sister and I used to love those things.


Mmmm ... I love shamrock shakes. Damn, now I wish it was St. Patrick's day. And I, too, think you should have a second child, just for the comedy it would provide here.


Just wait. I barely take my prenatals, I've actually had caffiene and I haven't seen the inside of the gym in months.

And I'm thinking this baby will be okay.

Anne Glamore

When you start calling poison control to ask "hypothetical questions" from your home phone, then your neighbor's phone, then the offie, to avoid too many questions coming from the same location, THAT's when you've officially arrived. I'd say you're pretty close!!


"Your name? You were named after a fucking sandwich. Now, go get your brothers and sisters, Reuben!" - HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Funniest thing I've read today by far! LOLOLOL


The fascinating thing is that the evolving relaxation in parenting that occurs has such a profound effect on the kids. We worried about everything with our first child and we see that she's a little tenuous and nervous about going beyond her normal boundaries. The 4th kid? Well, to use your metaphor, we practically let her run around in traffic and I can see that she's growing up to be a fearless young woman.

Liberal Banana

Excellent post! As usual, I don't have any parent-child related gems to share like everyone else but I AM here to say: please don't name your second child after anything edible. The world thanks you.


This is a GREAT post.

My sister-in-law just finished a visit here with my 4 month old niece. Before she came, she was getting her panties in a bunch about my parents' dog, who is quite good with kids. He's a middle-aged German Shepherd mix, and my daughter LOVES him. My SIL wanted everything sterilized, vacuumed, and the dog kept as far away from her baby as possible (there are places in the house where he is not allowed, so this was possible).

The funniest part is when my husband commented about how "a little dog fur never hurt anyone." This was the same man who hyperventilated and freaked out the first time this same dog licked our infant daughter! He's come a long way.

Me? I've always let them play in the dog's water dish. It builds up antibodies.


First, props on your masterful usage of the word "geophagic."

It's all true. I attribute it to the learning curve involved in becoming a first time parent. There is a certain confidence you aquire by the time the second child arrives, if only because you've managed not to kill the first one.


Well, after eating all of that dirt, Peanut will definitely have more antibodies than the kids who were constantly wiped down with Purell. So actually, you're doing her a favor!

Pickle's Papa

I just remembered a fantastic bit from a George Carlin routine examining the value of ingesting fowlness as a significant factor in developing an immune system. One of his key points was that he will most likely live forever because as a child he swam in the East River.


I already lick off the pacifiers and her favorite food is french fries. Shit. My second is going to be in trouble isn't she.

The Rueben bit? Laughed out loud. Twice. Then read it to Nate who laughed out loud too.

And it's interesting that your daughter thinks that the AL East first place New York Yankees suck. Hm. I'll need a little time with her.


Its true. For my first daughter, we were worried when she coughed, or vomited or had the slightest sneeze. With Rowena, we are more laid back as we are more confident parents. The second child also gets less stimulation as we have to focus on the first one. But I guess, the second child picks up from the first, so they will catch up fast

samantha Jo Campen

Holly Moses that was damn funny.

So, I'm an only child. Imagine how I was raised. They never got to 'relax' with me as I was always front-and-center. Talk about pressure.

Though, I know I'll be a freak when we have children. Something you need to get out of your system I guess. I look forward to being neurotic because then I'll finally have an excuse: "But it's regarding the BABY!" and everyone will back off.

That's the plan anyway.

Oh, and have a second. Your hits will go through the roof! :-)


i have to say i stopped worrying so much about germs once he became mobile. from there he was able to reach and put into his mouth all sorts of things. he eats dirt! who cares anymore!.


Heh. I used to keep track of exactly how many fruits and vegetables each kid had in a given day and week...now, like the Peanut, they are WAY too familiar with what toys are in the happy meals on what day.

AH, yes, the joys of failed parenthood.

I need a stiff drink.


I think the other thing that happens is that, instead of protecting the second kid from germs, you're spending most of your time protecting them from the first kid.

Or is that just in my house?

Papa Bradstein

"geophagic member of a Zambian war tribe"--obviously, the heat hasn't killed off all of your neurons yet.

I'm the last of six and my five older siblings ruined my teenage years for me because by the time I hit my rebellious years, there was nothing I could do to get a rise out of my parents, although I didn't try the knife juggling bit.


An Excel spreadsheet with, what I'm assuming are, hundreds of names and the best you could come up with is...



For someone who has only been a parent for 21 months, you have a hilariously great perspective on fatherhood. Good for you!


Laughing while all the while thinking how easy a 17 year old seems in comparison to a newborn. Ahh, I have the good life I tell ya.


I can say we did have a mini panic when our second child was born and was the same sex as the first. I turned to my husband and said "Oh shit! The first one got the *good* name. Now what?" Our first picked the middle name of the second. (my husband would not stand for anyone else to pick our baby's first name as he emphaticlally stated "It's a baby, not a dog, parents name it!" Surprisingly it was not SpongeBob like we were fearing and we could actually use the name suggested by number one son.


"Your name? You were named after a fucking legume. Now go get your brothers and sisters, Peanut."

(I know, I know. It's just a nickname. And you had a whole spreadsheet full of real names...)


Totally me and the 2 Stinkpups, MD! I tell my second son that if he were a girl, he'd be a "mess in a dress", but totally know it's my second child syndrome that's made me totally lax on his messy mania, vs. the neurotic freak momma I was with my first child...("Get the wipes! He touched the tv remote!")

Gawd, that line about getting busted wiping Peanut down from head to toe with a paper towel was SO great! --AStinkmum


My cousin, a first-born, was named after a character on the soap opera that was playing in his mama's hospital room when she was in recovery from his birth...he's still pissed at her for it, and all the subsequent kids got meaningful names. Poor Blake.

Suburban Turmoil

Sooo true.

I was relieved to hear the second pregnancy/child is generally way easier than the first, simply because you're not so stressed.

The first time I was pregnant, I thought I was the most important, vulnerable person in the world. Now, I have to remind myself to eat my vegetables and take my vitamins. And I REFUSE to give up my cup of coffee in the mornings.


This is so true. Our first child used to have veggie booty as a "special treat". Our second, now 16 months old, had part of a Hershey bar on Tuesday.


My dear friend's parents named her Anita Peter and they understood why she hated it. She was the youngest of three, probably a product of brain-frazzled parents.


This post is freaking hilarious! I'm sending it to all the parents I know.


That is too funny. I still have our baby names spreadsheet. I also bought the Google Hacks book to make my searches more productive. To top things off, we actually have a childproofing consultant coming to our place this weekend. If and when we have child #2? Reuben's not a bad name, even for a girl. ;)

Mama Nabi

This reconfirms my belief that I WAS a second class citizen in my family by virtue of being born second (and last). No wonder my mom used to let me play with the glass shards when I was 3 years old.

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