Recently, there was a post here that talked about when to have that second child. I thought about it for days and realised that I could not really say much about it, because I did not consciously plan my two pregnancies. They happened to me. I’m not proud of that now. The four year gap was a miracle in itself, considering the risks I had been exposed to (*side eye*).
But I definitely know about second born babies and their antics. I have a bossy second sister, a drama queen for a second daughter, and a niece who is in a hurry to break all conventional milestones of an 8 month old baby.
From my experience, and that of my sister, the second baby is bigger, weighs more at birth, because, the uterus has been expanded before they came by the first baby and thus, they have more room to flex and grow. That is my take anyway, and can be disproved by science.
I know of a woman, whose first pregnancy resulted in twin boys. By the time, she was like five months pregnant with the second child, you would think she was going to give birth immediately. She was as huge as a house. I know that’s not a nice way to put it, but she was really big. She wasn’t walking after a while..she waddled, with her hands under her belly to support her weight.
Meanwhile, everyone had been speculating that she would probably give birth to triplets; after all the pregnancy bump of the twins was not as big as this was. In the end, a very big baby girl was all she birthed. Anxious observers nearly died from shock, that it was only one baby and, of course, she had plenty fun, telling these observers including myself, “Nton!” That baby is almost as tall as the twins now and big too, considering there is a five year gap between them.
Some subject matter experts have theorised that the issue of the second born child can be viewed from two perspectives; one, if they are only two children, the second one automatically becomes the last born and that comes with a tendency for him/her to get spoilt. Having their way is another tendency; they can sulk, arm-twist their parents and even older one to their will.
From the second perspective, the larger the family, the likelihood that the second child will try to usurp the position of the first child. I did not say it. This is an experience that a friend of mine, Fola, has lived with as she even confessed, to sometimes wishing, her second born was her first born. She is a mother of three kids; two boys and a girl.
In her words, “My second son is very competitive, he does not like to be told he cannot do something, and he is so caring that sometimes, I wish he were my first born.” There you have it.
At a training session I attended for teachers who teach younger children, sometime last year, I learnt that second born children are more stubborn and require a firmer hand; or else they might end up thinking that the world revolves around them.
On the subject of competitiveness, my own sister is the ultimate boss lady of the house. A smart mouth, who says it as it is. While growing up, she would call me by my name, even though our parents forbade it. She would sneak it in or not call me anything at all.
I love her all the same, with all her wackiness. The day before we had to take my Dad to the hospital last weekend, my younger sister had called to say our middle sister had had an altercation with my mother over the matter of my Dad’s health. We settled that. On getting to the hospital, where he was admitted, she said to me “You better go and see him settled in”. I went (I wanted to go anyway), and of course, the boss lady had spoken. She sauntered in after the drip had been set, to issue more instructions.
From my observation, I have also discovered that second born children have more drive, they are more ambitious. My life’s path has been pretty predictable; I left secondary school, worked while waiting for admission into the University, got married in the University, had kids, graduated, served, had another set of twins, and then work. But check out the trajectory of my sister’s life; secondary school, worked, made enough money to build a house, French school, marriage, kids, teachers’ training school, and running a business. Intimidating right? She’s the boss lady and I love all shades of her.
Second born kids are more outgoing. An acquaintance, Mrs Lanre, agrees as she talked about how her second son is the popular one, with friends in school and the neighbourhood, “When they want something done in school or church, while my first son is still thinking about it, his brother is doing it.”
For me, my sister is the one, who has the contact information of all family members. She has all the gossip and rumours in hand. All the people we grew up with, family friends, they all gist and talk till today, as though they see each other every day, whereas that is not the case. She is the first person they will even call in an emergency, before me. By the time, I get there, the situation would look more manageable.
Hmmm…don’t I wish I were a second born 😉
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