My sweet boy,
I feel like I owe you a bit of an apology. I know I don't devote as much time and attention to you as I did to Daniel when he was your age. I know you are more often left to play by yourself or with the nanny. I know I sometimes slip and don't feed you your solids every single day. I know I'm not as vigilant about making sure you get age-appropriate activities to nurture your growth and development. I used to take Daniel out for stroller rides almost every day when he was younger than you — just weeks old, even. And I'm lucky if you get outside for fresh air a couple of times a week.
I'm not going to pull the cancer card on this one — well, except for the getting outside part. That's because of my hip. Mainly, it's just that having two boys instead of one is more of a juggling act. And you have to admit that your big brother is at quite a demanding age. You've seen him. He can talk quite well now, and he's very emphatic about expressing his needs! When I was pregnant with you, I felt sad that Daniel wouldn't have my undivided attention anymore. Now I feel a little sad that you don't get more of it.
But you know what, Benny? I think you are doing fine in spite of it. You are an amazing little boy. You are just as curious as your brother, and you are exploring everything you can get your hands on — the newspaper, our full dinner plates, your activity gym. No, I don't always get down on the floor and stack blocks in front of you, but you seem to be developing your pincer grip just fine, grabbing the carved wooden insects from Daniel's puzzles and inspecting his Thomas trains. You are practically scooting across the room, and you've only just figured out how to sit up. You grab your spoon with such a grip that I can barely pry it from your fingers. You are going to be a handful once you learn to walk and talk — I can tell! In a good way.
So maybe I can relax. Maybe that's the secret: Babies figure things out, even if their parents are more busy and frazzled and tired than they were with the first one. And you know what? You may get less attention from Mom and Dad than Daniel did, but you have something he didn't have: a big brother who loves to help feed you and talk to you and play with you. Ben, you are a wonderful, smiley little sweetheart, and you're surrounded by love, and I think you're going to turn out just fine.
With love, love, and more love,