Second baby syndrome?

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My two year old son drinks his milk out of a plastic baby bottle with a ‘6 month flow’ teat. Probably the same baby bottle he drank from before he could sit up. A bottle meant for a baby.

I keep asking myself is this so-called “second baby syndrome” where I am just so harassed, frazzled and potentially lazy, that I can’t be bothered to address this issue and get him onto a sippy cup (whatever that is)? Or perhaps it’s just that I’m not allowing him to grow up? Not just yet anyway.

He’s my second, and last, baby. After a pretty horrible pregnancy with him involving ridiculous itching from a rare liver condition, the decision to complete our family with two children has been made. That and the fact that the husband and I are cracking on a bit in age.

I don’t know whether second time around goes faster than the first, but it seems that way. We definitely weren’t caught up in the newborn fog that we flailed hopelessly about in the first time. I estimate this accounts for roughly three months of our lives that we struggle to remember, and wonder how we actually managed to keep ourselves, the baby and a cat alive.

I can’t even allow myself to call him a toddler, which of course he is, as I see him as my little baby. He was still going to bed in babygrows a few months ago, before I reluctantly agreed to buy pyjamas. I just feel so sad that the baby stage has been and gone in a flash, and that’s it now. That’s that.

But then I remember how hard the baby stage actually is and realise that the more he grows, the more semblance of a life I am slowly getting back.

We went to Centre Parcs last week and actually had space in the boot for food, in the place of sterilisers, travel cots and a mountain of muslins. Similarly, I have recently been stepping out without the change bag. I feel free, no longer subject to the pure sweat-inducing fear when you realise that the husband has innocently removed the wipes from your bag and you’re embroiled in an explosive public poo situation.

The lack of an enormous change bag, stuffed full of nappies, spare clothes, repulsive snacks and teething equipment, is utterly liberating. I feel like a woman from the Bodyform adverts. I am rollerskating with dogs, I’m sailing a yacht, I only need one nappy and a drink with me. Check me out, I can use an actual handbag instead of a wipe-clean monstrosity of suitcase proportions boasting a multitude of pockets and flaps.

The sides will be coming off the cot soon too; another milestone in his development. More tiny clothes will be folded away and put into the loft alongside the bouncy chair, baby walker and sterliser that live up there (much to the husband’s annoyance).

But being a toddler means he’s talking, really chatting, and saying some brilliant things. He’s also old enough to come up and cuddle me, eat the same food as his sister, and play with his friends. He’s becoming a hilarious and beautiful little person.

So I guess really it’s more a case of looking forward, and not back. Looking forward to what’s still to come and maybe getting those baby grows out every now and again for a little cry. Taking a moment to wonder at how something once so small could be so life-changing.

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