Monday, March 23, 2009

The Second Child

Having a second child presents many challenges. In addition to the general challenge of not losing ones mind, one must accomplish new feats like breastfeeding an infant, soothing a toddler and sitting on the toilet all simultaneously.

However, second children also presents a great dilemma. How to make thing equal for the two children, or at least equivalent. The oldest child gets everything new. The second child gets everything used. However, ever if our name was Rockefeller and we could have afforded to buy all new things for our second child, it would still not really be fair because the gently used stuff of first born is still hanging around so second child gets double the stuff, which isn't fair to the first born.

Happily, much of this does not matter as I have yet to know a newborn complain about the state of his car seat or crib. However, when it comes to bikes, as we've learned the younger ones do eventually start to notice.

J Boy got his first plastic trike at about 2. He rode it all 'round the neighbourhood and even gave his sister an occasional ride.

By the time S was ready to ride, the bike was functional but well used. She didn't seem to mind and also traveled many blocks on 'her bike'.

J of course graduated to a 'real' trike and the two could often be found on our driveway racing around the van, which may explain some previously unexplained scratches.

S, in due course, graduated to the real trike, but of course by then J was onto a 2 wheeler with training wheels, was going to bike camp and he was a lot faster.
By the time S was onto the 2 wheeler she was wise to us. She had seen enough Dora, Princess, Butterfly and Hello
Kitty bikes around the park to know that all bikes were not blue and boyish.

We did try to appease the princessy one by pinking up her bike: streamers and a basket for bringing her puppies along on
bike rides. She was a good sport about it but she would sigh longingly whenever she saw a real girl's bike.

J needed a new bike last year and we bought him a used blue one. I confess we steered him away from any that were too overtly boyish (camo) in the hopes that S could use this bike one day too.

So this year, J needs a new bike again. We were planning to splash for a new one as he is up to a 20 inch wheel, which we are told the kids actually use for more than one or two years. We found this extremely cool one and J Boy was pretty good from the first. Well, initially he couldn't figure out the hand brakes, but he was practicing on the track at the high school so we just told him to ride around the runners instead of stopping. I know, we're so responsible.
In the end we could not resist buying S a new 'Magic' bike (not sure how it's magical, but that's what is written all over it) the exact same size as J's old one. Call us irresponsible with our money, but we just couldn't stomach the sad little girl voice accompanied by a downcast face and resigned tone saying "it's okay, I can ride J's old bike. Do you think next year I could get a new bike?"
And before anyone feels too sorry her her, she also managed to talk us into a new flashing Tinkerbell helmet.

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