The Second Time Around

When we had Jack, we were on the ball for just about everything that mattered when it came to parenting. The kid was quick to learn, talked earlier than most kids his age and was potty trained at like 2 and a couple of weeks.

We read to him as an infant every day and night. We practiced certain signs so he could tell us things before he could talk. I read anything and everything I could on developmental things, sleep schedules, pages upon pages on how to raise a happy child.

Then we had Joey.

Joey came into this world on a mission. He is the kind of kid you love so much it kills you and you want to kill him all at the same time. His nickname as a toddler was "shit wrecker" and let me tell you it wasn't because he wasn't wrecking shit. He destroyed almost everything he touched.

Both of my boys have been difficult in their own way. Joey is just a force to be reckoned with. He is all or nothing, at full speed, with absolutely no fear.

So while Jack started preschool and was learning and growing and excelling, I was home trying to keep Joey from killing me or himself. There was some time spent reading, but truthfully by bed time I was more like get your asses in bed and less like Goodnight Moon. By bedtime I could care less about saying goodnight to the kitten, her mittens or the f'ing moon. I was very much like please just go to sleep before I start drinking.

There was less time practicing the alphabet and counting and more time spent refereeing between Jack & Joey. I hardly ever read anything on parenting and instead focused on anything that was not kid related because I did kid things all day long. I was not at all interested in reading about them in my free time. I also learned with Jack that no matter how much you read, your kid is his/her own person and they will roll over, crawl, walk and talk when they are good and ready and not a minute sooner - no matter what your stupid book says. So I was kind of like, why bother?

I knew enough about parenting and babies to get us through. Joey was healthy and growing, even if he wasn't getting my attention like Jack did. I had two things to give attention to so Joey inevitable would have to share.

Now they are 5 and 3 (well, almost 6 and 4) and Jack is thriving in Kindergarten. He is knocking it out of the park and we are so proud. Joey is in 3 year old Preschool and he is also doing well, but not like Jack was at 3.

There it is...me still comparing the boys to one another even though I KNOW they are two totally different kids. I am stuck on the idea that just because they share the common denominator of Jay and I that they are comparable to one another. They aren't.

Joey is incredibly outgoing and social, especially in school. He will try new things without bribery, unlike Jack, and he growing at a rate that Jack is not likely to keep up with.

Yet, he knows his alphabet and counting, but still confuses certain letters. He was not completely, fully with no accidents, potty trained until he was 3.

When I asked his teacher if he was behind because oh my God I know I am a bad Mom because he is behind, right? She just laughed and said he is exactly the same as every other 2nd child in her class.

This shocked me. Apparently a lot of parents are just like we are. You are all I am going to be the best parent in the whole world and have the smartest babies ever with the first kid and when the second kid rolls in you are more like I fed you and washed you and you are healthy so please just go play with something quietly so I can nap. Or maybe that is still just me, but you get the idea.

This isn't my first time at the preschool rodeo and still I find myself being the mom that constantly worries her kid is not as great as all the other kids. When really, in my heart, I know he isn't as great as all those kids. He's the greatest - even if he thinks snake sometimes starts with C.