On my first mother’s day as a mum of two, I wanted to reflect on the phenomenon commonly known as second child syndrome.
I’m not talking about the drivel you might read in the Daily Fail (and we all know my thoughts on that newspaper) about the second child ripping the family apart by their very existence.
Far from it. I’m talking about the second child ripping EVERYTHING apart in blind, unadulterated rage.
We all know that the second child get’s less attention. It stands to reason that with a demanding toddler on the loose, a new mum won’t be cooing over her second baby in quite the same way that she did with the first.
There is also the fact that by the time number two comes along, us mums have convinced ourselves that we know what we’re doing. So we’re much more relaxed about the whole thing.
And it seems that all these factors combine to make child number two – well, angry.
Not long after Lia was born, she started to growl when she wasn’t getting her own way. I was warned back then by some friends that the second child seems to have a bit more of a temper.
But when all was going smoothly, Lia was so calm and chilled out that I stupidly thought that she would be different.
How wrong I was.
Lia is such a stroppy little madam that Libby, who is currently well into the terrible two’s, can only dream of the sort of tantrums that Lia comes up with.
In fact, Libby is often on the receiving end of Lia’s temper. Libby is always trying to cuddle Lia and genuinely believes Lia’s scratching, biting and pulling her hair is just an unfortunate accident.
And yet when everyone is complying with her every whim, Lia is immaculately behaved, loving and cuddly. But if we dare to defy her, there is hell to pay.
Take this evening as an example. Lia was already rather unhappy because she wasn’t allowed to play with Libby’s glasses.
She cheered up notably when I stopped work to go and feed her, giving me a nice smile and giggling when I handed over her favourite cuddly toy.
I then took her into the bedroom to feed her and popped her onto the bed while I took my jumper off.
I’ve seen less convincing performances from actresses playing Shakespeare’s Juliet when she finds Romeo dead.
Lia collapsed head first onto the bed, wailing with arms splayed, resting her head on my knee. After the split second it took me to take my jumper off, I picked her up and the smiling and giggling resumed.
Like Libby, Lia behaves perfectly when we’re out. People come up to me and ask if she’s always this chilled out, remarking on how good she is.
I have to admit, I lie. Who wants to admit that their beautiful, angelic, well behaved baby is actually the devil in disguise?