Second Child Syndrome

In the rush to get everyone where they need to be today, I  accidentally dropped off 9 at a public place alone. And drove away. Definitely not mom winning. Let me explain before you start dialing CPS. If they show up at my door and see the mound of laundry,  they may decide my home is unfit for humans.

Evenings are a mad dash. I worked at home today, so 9 ate dinner and did homework right after getting off the bus about 4. 16 got picked up from school and did the same around 4:45.  Hubby worked late, so I was car pool for soccer game and band concert. To make it work, I was driving across town to drop off at soccer,


then heading midway back to the highschool to drop off 16. Then it was back to the soccer game until Hubby could meet up, the back to what was left of concert.

Rush hr traffic and my propensity to lateness meant we were going to be just barely on time. 9 hates to be even a second late, so the groaning started about halfway there with the time being chimed at me during every red light. 16 was griping about how lame the music is she would have to play and that she was hot in her nun dress which is required costume.


Dont tell 16, but I like the nun dress

Of course, there was construction complete with flaggers and a mile long back up to the only soccer field entrance. As the seconds ticked by, 9 grew increasingly agitated. 16 repeated argued and taunted 9 and my blood pressure inched up.

Finally pulling into an illegal no parking area by the gate, 9 launched herself from the car with a “Great, the other team is already here”. The other team happens to be coached by a friend’s husband. They also have a 9. I gave my friend a quick wave and shouted for her to save me a seat, and hurtled back into traffic to avoid more grumbling from the remaining passenger. 

As we fought the construction back up in the reverse direction, I spotted 9’s coach, several cars deep in the incoming line. I gave a wave and didn’t think twice until almost to the high school. Then it hit me…if the coach was in traffic, who was in charge of my daughter at the field? Panicking,  I  called my friend who assured me the coach had made it and that she had her eye on 9 and would cover emergencies until I got back.

Wow. How different it really is with #2. I never would have done such a terrible thing when 16 was little. I had more time and sleep and brains then of course, but still. That diaper commercial  about the differences in screening baby sitters for #1 verses #2 is spot on. I have watched it like 25 times and still laugh.

If I think about it, poor 9 really has gotten the short end of the mommy stick. I take less pictures. There are no carefully crafted baby books with locks of hair or 1st steps. I don’t have time to sing silly songs, smell the roses and bask in the sun like the first time around. 

But you know what? Now that I think about it, maybe there is something to be said for the opposite of helicopter mommying. 9 is much more responsible and independent than 16 because she has had to be. She does much of her own problem solving. She is in many ways stronger and more resilient.

I hope that mistakes like today are few and far between. I am glad to have friends who stand in when I drop the ball. Most of all I’m thankful for a spunky kid who rolls with the punches. She didn’t even notice the snafu today. She was just excited to play with her friend. And ice cream covers a multitude of sins. Today, we will get a double scoop. 


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