To my toddler,

You were my baby first and always will be. But now there is someone else with the “baby” title.

Amid the chaos and confusion of keeping two beautiful, but very demanding, little people alive you are often the one asked to wait.

You are the eldest. You can walk and talk. You don’t put yourself in quite as much danger and precarious situations, most of the time, as your baby sister.

You can be reasoned with, told what to do and asked to help out. But your sister cannot.

Because of this I often ask you to fetch me things, get yourself out of whatever pickle you’ve climbed into without a hand from me and tell you to wait for what you’ve asked for until I’ve finished dealing with your sister.

Mummy only has one pair of hands, and so too often those hands are tied up helping someone else.

But I forget that you are only one step out of the baby years yourself.

Do I expect too much from you? Do I expect more from you than if you were still my only child? I think my answer to that is yes, and so the Mummy guilt hits me pretty hard at this realisation.

You are often asked to wait the longest.

You are sometimes told to share when your sister snatches something from your hand.

You are told to fetch and put your own shoes on as mummy is too busy getting your baby sister’s coat on.

You get the sharper end of mummy’s tongue after a long and restless night with the baby.

Sometimes you say “it’s not fair”. And while I don’t agree that “it’s not fair” you can’t eat chocolate cake all day long, I do agree that on the whole it’s not fair that so much attention is taken away from you.

But what does the future hold, I wonder to myself. Because the baby years come and go like a shooting star, time seems to stand still for a moment and then whoosh it’s gone.

Your baby sister is developing every day. She crawls with confidence and is desperate to reach the places you can.

Soon she will stand and then walk, and hopefully talk, just like you do. And then there you will both be, my two big girls on equal footing at last.

When that day comes there will still be times that you have to wait. In my mind, your sister will perhaps always be “the baby” now because she is the youngest.

When I feel guilty I remind myself of all of the benefits of having a sibling. These are benefits I hope that you will see one day, sooner rather than later.

There are two of you and you both have an equal piece of my heart. But I can’t do everything for both of you at the same time, if only I could.

But I don’t want you to think that means you aren’t my gorgeous baby too. I remember cradling you in the hours after you were born with as much clarity as I remember cuddling your sister for the first time.

I love you both with as much fierceness as I can muster.

You were my baby first and I want you to know that you are never, ever last in my mind.


3 Little Buttons