Sunday, September 14, 2014

I've Failed as a Second Child Parent of a Second Child

I am the second of two, which means there are very few pictures of me prior to preschool, at which point people other than my parents were in charge of recording my childhood.

Now, to be fair to my parents, there aren't a whole heckuva lot of pictures of my older sister, either, but they definitely outnumber pictures of me.

As the second of two, I am very sensitive to any feelings BB might have about being an also-ran. Though I knew that I was absolutely loved and adored by my parents, there are certain aspects of coming second that can rankle when one is a child.

Despite this knowledge, I seem to have already muffed it.

For instance, as you might be aware, yesterday was BB's first birthday.

We have a tradition with LO where I take a picture of him every year on his birthday at the exact moment when he was born. This tradition started because I happened to be up at 6 a.m. on LO's first birthday, and I love the idea of having a whole collage of these photos.

The trouble is that LO was born early in the morning, and I tend to be an early rising type to begin with.

BB, on the other hand, decided to make his entrance at 13 minutes to midnight on Friday the 13th of September, 2013. He gets extra credit for flair, but minus points for arriving at a time of day during which I am pretty much never awake.

See if you can notice a difference in the quality of LO and BB's first birthday "time-of-birth" photos:
6:17 a.m. on August 31, 2011
11:47 p.m. on September 13, 2014
Other than the fact that LO's picture looks like it could have been taken by Annie Leibovitz and BB's looks like a still from a poorly lit "found footage" film, there are further differences. For one, I have about five photos of LO that I took during the minute between 6:17 and 6:18 that first year, whereas I snapped two hasty pictures of BB with my phone last night and crawled back to bed without even looking at them.

Of course, my photographic failure is not my only BB birthday misstep. There is also the issue of cake. When LO turned one, he got a mini layer cake on the day of his actual birth, and then he got a smash cake/giant cupcake on the day of his birthday party.

LO and BB celebrated with a shared birthday party last Sunday, meaning BB did enjoy his smash cake (and he got to eat it/smear it in his hair, too).
However, I somehow made no plans for a birthday treat for his actual natal day. (Since I am not to be trusted with cake in the house, we took LO out for ice cream on his birthday day, and I simply did not think about what we would do for BB's birthday.)

Last night, upon realizing that I really could not let the child have an actual first birthday without something sugary and delicious, I decided to make brownies.

Then I realized I was out of eggs.

No matter, I found this recipe which would allow me to create a chocolate masterpiece of brownie deliciousness with no need for unborn chickens.

Then I realized I was out of flour.

Okay, I figured this was why g-d invented food processors, and I pulverized some oatmeal into oat flour.

Then I realized I was out of vanilla extract.

This is the point at which a lesser mom would give up and just stick a candle in some applesauce and call it done. Since I was also out of applesauce, I soldiered on. (And apparently maple syrup is an excellent substitute for vanilla extract.)

So, a good 45 minutes after BB should have been in bed, we were able to give him his birthday treat of more-substitutions-than-you-can-shake-a-stick-at brownies, which he enjoyed immensely, even though he kept trying to "drink" it out of the bowl we served it to him in.

(In case you're wondering, we got no pictures of that.)

Happy birthday, BB! I hope you know that I'll always be willing to fake/make some brownies for you, even if I never get the photographic evidence your brother enjoyed.

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