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Second Child Syndrome

June 1, 2012

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.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Michelle permalink
    June 1, 2012 3:44 pm

    So glad you’re back!! Missed you and your way with words.

  2. Karen permalink
    June 1, 2012 3:47 pm

    Was wondering where you were but figured as much re: what you were up to. Would love to hear M&M’s Science Crapola. Unfortunately I am married to a man who knows so close to everything that I can’t tell when he’s crossing into Crapola, because his factual-theoretical horizon is so much wider than mine… sigh…

    More pics of Ivy please! And the soulful eyes of Henry.

  3. June 1, 2012 7:24 pm

    And guess what the child number 3 if 3 is like? As a number 3 I can say we are very talented at getting lots of attention and being a big baby; thus we are ambitious but the kind of ambitious that is lazy…

  4. June 4, 2012 3:49 am

    A brand new baby is the best reason in the world for not blogging. It is such a busy time, but also so precious. Enjoy every minute. Looking forward to reading more posts.

  5. June 4, 2012 6:18 pm

    Welcome back! I would also love to hear M&M’s Science Crapola

  6. Julia permalink
    June 6, 2012 7:58 am

    yay!!!!!!!!!!! i’ve missed you!

  7. Alana permalink
    June 14, 2012 7:02 pm

    Your honesty, the open window into your little family’s life, your comedic timing on tin foil – I love it all.

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