Second Child Syndrome
My husband and I are both second children. We secretly think it’s the best.
You don’t get marinated in the same sort of undivided parental attention, but neither are you saddled with the uninterrupted focus and resulting drive that comes with being the first born, either. And apparently you end up thinking that both attention and ambition are negatives.
Wow. I wonder what the baby is thinking right now.
She seems to be dozing cozily wrapped loosely in a soft muslin blanket speckled with polka dots in soothing yet engaging colors, but she is probably being far more productive than I am, growing hair and generating new cells and learning how to suck her fingers and roll over, even while she sleeps.
That baby. She doesn’t need to call the dentist, or try to make sense of the summer calendar, or get her milk production up, or second-guess her behavior in her relationships.
But as you can imagine, my second child has been keeping me busy and happy, so busy in fact that I haven’t even tried to blog in two months. The other factor, in addition to the business and general haze of having a new baby, or perhaps relating directly to the diffuse focus on everything else as well as lack of sleep, is that I’ve spilled a vast quantity of pickle juice into the remote crannies of my computer keyboard, or at least those crannies directly related to the function of q,w,e,r,t,y,u; the numbers; the return key.
And it turns out that one really does need the whole suite of letter in order to communicate. I am using my husband’s Dell, which works just about as well as a pickle-crippled Mac.
When I reflect on the accident, I like to think vague, scientific thoughts about the salt in pickling brine and electrical conductivity and isotopes. My thoughts are vague because I am uninformed about the effect of salt on electrical function, or rather, I have been informed but I forgotten all but the fact that there is some connection. Can you make a battery with saltwater? Perhaps. Does chewing on tin foil hurt? It does.
My husband and I often have heated and yet underinformated discussions about science, wherein each of us tries to explain a concept and how it applies to the situation at hand to the other person. At a certain point one of us will pause and look at the other long enough to say “Start the tape,” in acknowledgement of the fact that the mini-lecture would be a perfect addition to our fake science podcast, which we have named “Meredith and Matthew’s Science Crapola.”
The baby is crying. Today’s podcast and the associated blog post was brought to you by the pickling team at Fairway Market, Red Hook, Brooklyn.