Remember the first time you held Prince George? From the moment they place that baby boy in your arms, you’re hooked. The first time I saw those baby blues staring back at me? Oh, my heart. He was like a miniature version of my husband, confessing his undying love for me with a simple stare.
Sure, they say a newborn’s eyesight is pretty crappy—so he was probably just zeroing in on the closest thing to his face. But he solidified the relationship within those first few months when just the sound of my voice could make him smile. It’s an intense feeling you’ve never had before, like the most popular guy in high school suddenly notices you and is instantly head over heels. And he still feels that way when he sees you at 2 a.m., with your messy hair, horrible breath, zoned-out expression and a milk stained sleep shirt. Well, being that you’re Kate Middleton and all, you have probably had this happen. But yes—it’s that good. And your second baby crush will be that much more intense because of this.
2. You give up quiet mealtimes
With all this noise coming from the first kid, that poor second kid might never make a peep.
We’ve heard that Prince George was a bit colicky as a baby. So you had your fair share of the whole cry-all-night thing. But once the little prince started on solid foods, it was a whole new ballgame, right? I’m not sure why, but little boys just make a lot of noise when there’s food involved. Squishing peas between your fingers just isn’t enough fun without loudly squealing your enthusiasm. Bonus points if there’s a family pet to throw pieces of cheese or melon pieces at, like Prince George’s buddy Lupo, who has surely had more than a few toddler bombs from the highchair. Add a toddler fork or spoon and you’ve got an instant jam session—drums only. With all this noise coming from the first kid, that poor second kid might never make a peep.
3. You become a jungle gym
Did you ever play with a little boy before Prince George came along? Well, now you know. They throw their entire bodies into playtime—which means they throw their entire body at you. Their passions revolve around trucks or dinosaurs or planes or anything else they can hurl across the room and make a noise for. “Vrooom” and “rowwwrrr” will become a part of your vocabulary, quickly replacing something important you learned at the University of St. Andrews (like calculus or literary references). Boys build towers of blocks for the sheer enjoyment of knocking them down. Loudly. Their skulls are hard and their elbows are sharp. You will never feel as bruised and worn out as you will after a late afternoon rumble in the family room with a toddler boy, a basket of trucks and a plastic baseball bat. Nor will you ever feel as loved, in an all-consuming sort of way. That second prince—or princess—can maul you from day one and you won’t even think twice. Bring it.
Most of us are quite cautious with our first babies, and I am sure you felt the same way. I was surprised the nurses actually let me take our son home without quizzing me. I read every new parent instruction manual I could get my hands on and monitored every feeding, diaper change, playtime activity and nap. Exhausting? You bet.
And yet with all the worry and what-if scenarios I had in my head, things still happened. He rolled off the bed one day when I turned around to grab something. He toppled over when I thought he was strong enough to support his weight while standing near the coffee table (he wasn’t). He got scraped knees, a bloody lip, ear infections and croup. He got muddy, sandy, fell in the lake with his clothes on, ripped the knees on his overalls and still lived to tell about it. The thing with having a boy first is that they generally put you through every test you can imagine, which makes you much more at ease with kid number two—because you’ve been there, done that. And survived.