Well since we touched on the first born yesterday, it seemed only fitting to check in with #2. I had a few ridiculous moments the other day; a bit of mom guilt that snuck right up on me. It all started with me trying to remember when Liam got his first two teeth, since I think Finn is one the verge of having some pop through. I started reading back through Liam's monthly updates, particularly his 7 month post... I didn't blog as frequently back then, and I only had 1 child, so I poured a ridiculous amount of detail into those posts. I was nearly in tears by the end of it! After reading the post, I felt as if I barely knew Finn at all. That I don't spend nearly enough one-on-one time with him. That perhaps I'm just doing it all wrong this time around.
By 7 months old, Liam was already obsessed with books! He had favorites; and not only that, he knew exactly how to interact with certain books we had. The really sad part... We rarely read to Finn. He goes to bed so early (his choice), so he misses out on bedtime with Liam. Our evenings are busy & chaotic, so typically I just go nurse Finn to sleep whenever he is ready. No huge routine. No bells & whistles, just straight to bed. This is such a far cry from the "bath every night & books before bed since day 1" that we did with Liam. I want Finn to have the same love of books that Liam does. I want him to have continuity & that special time to calm down, unwind, & reconnect before sleep.
So as of the past few nights, I read to Finn before bed. And he loves it! Liam will even come crawl in bed with us while I read if he happens to notice me sneaking away with Finn. It makes me teary to think that it took me 6+ months to start this with Finn! My hope is that we can start keeping Finn up a bit later, so that soon the boys can bathe together and do their stories together each night. I want to bring Finn into that treasured family time.
Books are only one small example of how different life is for Finn versus how it was for Liam at the same age. I used to spend hours with just Liam in his playroom. Our days were slow paced, and I had only him to focus on. That time was so special, more so than I ever realized. Finn will always be the second child, and maybe one day the middle child. He takes on the roll well. His personality is so go with the flow. He is simply happy to just be along on the ride that is our family. He's easy going. This may be his natural demeanor, or perhaps a bit of it was forced on him. Regardless, he handles it well.
While I was throwing myself (and Finn) a pity party, Conor reminded me that Finn has one huge thing that Liam did not.. a big brother! And that thing makes all the difference. Liam is Finn's favorite thing. Nothing that I could do alone with Finn would be anywhere near the amount of joy his brother brings him. And while I may not spend hours of my day just ooh & aahing at his scrumptious face, I do have him wrapped up against me. I wear him nearly all day in my sling, and there truly is no other place he would rather be. He is within kissing distance at all times, and oh how I kiss that sweet smelling head & those chubby chubby cheeks constantly. He sleeps there, he nuzzles there, and we are bonding even while I'm busy trying to figure out three year old logic. So perhaps, I can let that mom guilt drift away just a bit.
The most important thing is that Finn is loved. He is loved fiercely. Sometimes too fiercely (I'm looking at you big brother). The kind of fierceness where a kiss can topple him over. Where a bear hug turns into a barrel roll across the floor. Finn may sustain some minor injuries, but they are because Liam loves just a little too hard. I think being number two is going to suit Finn just fine!