Second Child Syndrome and Bonding Time with No. 2

Aristotle was supposed to bring a baby photo to school for something they are working on. While flipping through his old photos, I was reminded of all the outings I had with Aristotle when it was just the two of us. With a pang of guilt, I realise that I haven’t been doing the same thing with Hercules even though the whole idea of having mornings alone with him was so I could do just that. I’ve also severely neglected Hercules’ photo-taking opportunities as evidenced by the dearth of new digital photo files in my archive compared to the numerous files added during the first few years of Aristotle’s life.

Although many people acknowledge how hard it is on the first child to share the limelight with a sibling after going solo for so long, the general belief is that the second child doesn’t have a problem with it because he was born having to share the attention. Having been a second child myself I must say that I did notice it – the attention that the older child gets just because he’s the first to do everything and the multitude of photos recording his every “first” while I just had photos of birthdays and special occasions. I promised myself that I would not neglect my second child in the same manner so to make it up to him, I have planned a series of Mum and Bub outings just for the two of us.

We started the day with a trip to the National Science Center. Hercules has been to the National Science Center before, but it was always with Aristotle. This was the first time it was just the two of us. I took him to the outdoor playground for a run around before we went inside for more play.

Somehow the outdoor play area didn’t seem quite as grand as I remembered it. No doubt the water features were cool, but Hercules wanted to cross the water bridges which he couldn’t because we didn’t have our swimming gear. He also wanted to run on the grass that was waterlogged and muddy so I had to haul him over to the bathroom to hose down his shoes after.

After our little romp outdoors, we headed inside to “study the science”. Aristotle was about the same age as Hercules when we first visited the National Science Center, however, I think we did more exploration of science back then than we did today. Hercules was more taken by the mini play areas inside the Science Center than with the actual science exhibits. Now there’s another difference in their individual characteristics.

We did make some observations on gravity that would have done Newton proud, though. Hercules explored the effect of gravity on a few plastic balls in the play area but seemed rather displeased with the results. It seemed to me that he was unhappy that the balls had failed to defy the laws of gravity – he was expecting them to stay put on the slight incline they were on and felt rather annoyed that they kept rolling down.

He was also bitterly disappointed about not being able to enter the play area with the air guns that shoot foam balls. Maybe it’s time to revisit the Jungle Gym in Bangsar Shopping Center. Ah well, at least we got some good Mum and Bub bonding time together.

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of (a website on parenting, education, child development) and (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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