One of the first things you realize when you have your second child is that now the game is all about fairness. Or if not fairness then at least equity.
This hit me like a ton of bricks when I was nursing my minutes-old second daughter and addressed her big sister by her then-nickname. I think I said something like, “how’s my best girl?”
Be there for each child when and how they need you.
My best girl? Obviously not anymore. Suddenly I had two best girls. Or is that two great girls? It seems silly to dwell on a nickname (so I won’t), but the dilemma is real. Of course you can’t adopt a tit-for-tat parenting approach, because it would be impossible to keep score (although at a certain point your kids will try) and also: life is not fair and equal all the time. There are going to be times when one child will need more of you. And maybe those times won’t be exactly equaled, minute-for-minute, by the times the other child needs you. But you do your best, don’t you? You do your best to be there for each child when and how they need you. And at the end of the day, you just hope that when your heart is weighed against the feather of truth, you don’t come out lacking (because nobody wants their heart to be devoured, am I right?).
But all joking aside, I do try to do my best to give roughly equal brag airtime to my girls and so, because I bragged about Charlotte last week, it’s time to brag about my Maddy (she hates when I call her Madeleine, which breaks my heart a little bit).
TOP FIVE REASONS WHY MADDY IS AWESOME:
- Enthusiasm. Maddy is the most. enthusiastic. person. EVER. She truly is. If you looked up “joie de vivre” in the dictionary, you’d find her picture. Only it would have to be a gif, because stationary is something Maddy doesn’t do very well (unless she’s sleeping). And in this gif she’d be jumping up and down and squealing with delight and doing this move we call ‘flapping her wings’. She is one silly kid.
- She’s a helper. By which I mean she’s very, very considerate – almost to a fault. And I hope that as she enters adolescence and adulthood she manages to walk the fine line between consideration of others and subjugation of her needs to those of others (I didn’t). But on the upside, I know without a shadow of a doubt that this kid is going to be there to wrap a blanket around my cold toes when I’m sitting in a rocking chair in my dotage.
- When she likes you, you know it. What can I say? She’s a loving and affectionate kid. And while I’ll fully admit to having had bouts of feeling “touched out” in my mothering career, I’ve come to realize that once they cross the threshold into the teen years, that cuddle factor dwindles drastically. So I’ll relish every hug and snuggle she’s willing to offer until then. And this kid has been a champion hugger since she was just a few months old.
- She’s a hard worker. Whether it’s the hours she puts in each week training with her competitive cheerleading team, working on a school project or helping me de-clutter the basement, she knows how to get in there and get her hands dirty. And she doesn’t give up until the job is done (and if her mom tries to walk away on a half-finished job, she encourages her to see it through, too).
- She is finder-girl. From the time this kid was a preschooler, she’s had this uncanny photographic memory. Don’t know where your keys are? Ask Maddy. She’ll remember the last place she saw them and, boom. There they are. Even if you’re looking for something you haven’t seen in weeks (or longer), she will pause, put a finger to her chin, look upwards (as if she can see inside her own brain) and then ask, “didn’t you leave it in your sock drawer?” And you know what? I did…
And? Those blue eyes…those lips…that blonde hair…