It's funny, as earlier D and I were talking about getting Effy's first outfits out of the loft for Lowen. We had to buy little things the Lowen, as everything of Effy's was too big, even the neutrals I bought were 0-3. Having initially rejoiced with my wallet at the prospect of never needing to buy new clothes-that-would-barely-be-worn-again, I suddenly felt guilty. Poor Lowen will spend at least the next 8 years in her sisters hand me downs. Tomorrow I will go and buy a pack of Next sleepsuits for her, so at least she has something of her own.
An only child, I never had hand me downs. Except for my bike, which had belonged to my male cousins before me. It was, obviously, blue. And I bloody hated it.
It got me thinking about "second child syndrome". It made me think completely irrationally. Will she be forgotten about? Will she be resentful? Will she do things faster as she watches her sister do it? Will she be constantly compared to her sister? Will she struggle academically because her sister will always be doing SATs, GCSEs, A Levels first, and they're more important? Will I leave her sleeping upstairs and go out without her? Will she despise the hand me downs and pull the favouritsm card?!
Whatever she may think, my credit card is pleased that we have a seasonally appropriate, barely worn wardrobe in the loft. It's too good to be forgotten about. People always talk about "the second child" and "the middle child" in such a negative way, but there's plenty of good reasons too...
For example, Lowen will learn from her big sister's mistakes. She'll have heard us count to three with a sanction in place. She may have witnessed first hand what happens if you draw on the sitting room floor, or put the potty on your head when it's got wee in it.
She'll benefit from our mistakes, our parenting fails, but also our parenting acalades and successes.
She has her sisters' toys AND her own toys to play with.
She has enjoyed high class television such as Peppa Pig et al from a very young age. TV was banned until Effy was 1... That's education right there, that is...!
Most importantly, she had a confidant in her big sister. Always. She will never be lonely, or on her own. She'll always have a playmate, even when mummy and daddy are cooking or hanging the washing. She'll always have someone to blame.
And that has be worth more than a mini shopping spree for outfits she'll never remember instead of hand me downs.