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Does Kid Number Two Get a Wiser Mom or Just a Lazier One?

Kathryn Thompson

Dan baptized Laylee on Saturday.  In the Mormon church kids get baptized when they’re eight or older and it’s a big special occasion with friends and family.  I made a dress for Laylee to wear afterwards and several family members flew and drove in from various states.  I had food to prepare and guests to enjoy and honestly the day is largely a blur.

There are sweet special moments like helping Laylee get dried off and changed after she came up out of the water or singing the songs she chose for the meeting, one of which we’ve been singing to her since she was in the womb.  She loved her dress and felt like a princess and we all had a really fun time with our family and friends.

But when the day was ending, I looked back on it and thought, “I wish I’d spent more time just being with Laylee, just experiencing this big step she was taking and less time worrying about making sure everything tasted and looked right.  I’ll do it differently next time.”

I frequently find myself saying, “That was a learning experience.  I’ll do things a bit differently with Magoo and Wanda.”  Then I wonder how it feels to be Laylee, always the test case.  In some ways she has it great.  She had two years of my undivided attention, when I was a new mom, still chipper and excited about figuring out my role.  I took Laylee to more museums, storytimes and playdates than Magoo and Wanda combined.

At the same time, she’s lived a lot of her life under a microscope, with me analyzing how she’s doing and trying to figure out how to be a better mom and making adjustments.  I’ve put more pressure on her because she’s always “older and should know better.”

She gets my attention and energy but it’s not always good and it’s not always focused on the right things. 

With Magoo, I’m much more chilled out, which means I’m easier on him in some ways but I’m also less pro-active about creating experiences.  I’m wiser now but more scattered. 

When Magoo is baptized, there will be less food.  The house will probably still be clean because it was mostly the grandmas who took care of that, but hopefully I’ll spend more time just squeezing and loving my baby boy on his big day. 

Maybe I’ll spend more time squeezing and loving Laylee on that day too.  We can talk about her special day two years earlier and what she remembers.  Hopefully it will be all of the good parts. 

It’s funny how I want my kids to remember all the good parts and to be kind to themselves but I agonize over the littlest things sometimes, like this weekend.  I wanted everything to be perfect and then I beat myself up for trying to make things perfect.  I worry that I’m too uptight with Laylee but then I stress out because I think I’m being too lazy with Magoo.  I suppose I just need to keep loving them and they’ll turn out alright.  It wouldn’t hurt to throw their mom a little love too.

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