Second kids have milestones too

The passing of time seems to march on here, much like it does everywhere else in the world. We mark the time with Facebook comments or Instagram pictures. We comment with shock and awe in the tone of our voices on how did we get here? How did this happen? But I feel like each milestone is more dramatic with Courtney than with Patrick. I’m sure it’s because she’s older and we can’t help but wonder how X number of years has gone by so quickly or how did our small girl become such a big girl. And, of course, it’s not so quickly. These things take time but just yesterday they were babies and now they’re small people.

But Patrick’s milestones seem to go much unnoticed, or at least unsaid. On some levels it’s more surprising and in others it’s just part of the every day. Maybe because Courtney’s already been there so it’s less of a milestone in all of our lives. Or maybe it’s because Patrick is so big, he’s the same size as his sister who’s 2 years older and she’s not small for her age. Or maybe it’s because he’s so easy. He goes with the flow and goes along for the ride. He mostly does what you ask him to do and he’s just a pleasant, all around great kid. We don’t push him to do things that maybe we should. And I feel like we treat him differently than his sister, partly because he is the “baby” and partly because his sister is older and we expect more. I can see it everyday in the way we treat them, on the expectations we place and I try and balance things out but know it doesn’t always work that way.

Patrick is a love and while I know he won’t always want to give me kisses, I want to impart on him the understanding that it’s good to tell someone they are loved. That it’s OK to share your feelings and to hold someone’s hand or show affection. Several times a day Patrick and I have this exchange where he says, “I love you. I just love you. And I’ll love you forever.” I’m already sad for the day when that stops, when he doesn’t tell me that or when a pouty face from me won’t result in a kiss on the cheek from him. Because he will be bigger and older and it won’t be OK to kiss your mom.

Last night Patrick reached another little personal milestone. As Paul put him to bed, Patrick asked when he should stop using his pacifiers. (He uses them at night. We never make a big deal out of them, or comment upon them, they’re just part of his night.) Paul asked him if he was ready to sleep without them and Patrick said he was, and handed over all four of them. Just like that. And just like that my little boy is stepping away from those baby years and towards those days where we don’t hold my hand in public. I know the days don’t go that quickly but they go. And I’m not quite ready.

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