An Apology To My Second Child


My Dearest Second Child,

As your arrival into this world got closer, I began making my rounds. I got together with aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and anyone else I could think of to reminisce about all the fun times. I had convinced myself that once you came, being the mother of two children would drive me to boarding up the windows and becoming a recluse. We would be a very happy family, just pale and sensitive to the light.

But as it turns out, adding another child was more difficult, but it became the norm very quickly, and we did eventually leave the house—mostly for nipple cream and Motrin, but we made it out nonetheless. But it hasn’t been without a few hiccups.

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You are only 11 months old, and I have already raised you nothing like how I raised your brother to that age. This is why I decided to go ahead with the apology letter now so that perhaps later on in life you will know that, if nothing else, at least I’m aware. So, please read the following, and remember that mommy loves you.

I’m sorry I dropped you. I did. Honest to God, I dropped you, and this one was a toughie to get over. You were sleeping on my chest in my bed and just rolled off. Splat. I think I was more damaged than you though. You cried for a few minutes and then started smiling. I was convinced at that point serious damage had been done.

In my defense, it was a crowded bed. There was your dad, and then your brother crawled in and pushed me to the edge. And remember, I was exhausted from staying up all night nursing you and holding you. Don’t forget that part. I thought about having a specialty cliff diving suit made for you. You know, the one that makes you look like a flying squirrel. But instead we just decided to invest in a bigger bed.

I’m sorry I don’t know any facts about you. Your brother’s baby book contains so much information about his first year, he could look back to discover every time he farted. I was on him like a crazy woman. “Oh, did you see that. His lip went up like Elvis. Oh my God, so cute. What’s today’s date? What time is it?” “Oh my God! All his toes wiggled at the same time. What’s today’s date?”

And just today, I turned the corner after your brother calls me to, “help wipe the poop off his butt,” and there you are. You’re standing up, holding the Swiffer, which is somehow helping you to balance. Wow. You are already a tightrope walker and I had no idea.

When you open your baby book to reminisce when you’re older, it will read, “Place photo here”, and you will know that mommy didn’t have time to write down silly stats. I was too busy loving on you. And wiping your brother’s butt.

I’m sorry I let your brother pee near you. I’m lying. He did pee on you in the bathtub. Specifically on your arm. Perhaps some remnants of spray may have landed on your face, but mostly your arm.

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In fact, I’m sorry your brother does bad things to you daily. It’s not so much he’s mean, but he literally acts like you don’t exist. If you’re crawling in his path, he will run right into you until you topple over. If you have something in your hands, he walks by without hesitation and takes if from you.

But…you laugh at everything he does and you follow him everywhere he goes despite his abuse. I correct him every time, and I make him give you hugs and kisses but right now it’s just not in the cards. One day, you will be great friends. But right now, I just have to help you get back at him because you haven’t grown into your deviant side yet. When we get your brother an icy pop, you lick all over it first before I hand it to him. It would make him crazy if he knew that. Also, when he’s at school, I let you play in his room. And when he asks why his train tracks are messed up, I blame it on an earthquake. It’s our little secret, buddy.

I’m sorry you look like a candidate for “What Not To Wear,” baby edition. Your brother had all brand new super cute clothes, and you wear mostly his hand-me-downs, so that’s why it’s hard for me to figure out why you are always so disheveled. Getting two children ready to go somewhere is like participating in a 5k-scavenger hunt. But we reach our destination, sometimes a little late, and then your brother runs off to cause chaos, and I look down at you as I take a breath only to discover in shock that you are wearing a very interesting get up, and you have what appears to be a 5 o’clock shadow on your face from the food I forgot to wipe off at lunch. If “hobo baby” becomes a trend, you will definitely qualify as the setter.

But I think this is a good lesson for you. You may look back and wonder why every outfit you were wearing is covered in dried up food. But it’s not the clothes that make the boy. It’s all about the attitude, and you seem very happy.

I’m sorry I don’t love you less. I know as you get older, mean people will try to tell you that the second child is loved less. That there is no way you can love another one as much as the first. Well, I’m sorry to say that’s a lie. And as you continue to grow, you will hear more and more of them. They say, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”

From the second the doctor placed you on my chest, I have never been more sure of anything in my life.
It is possible to love so much it hurts, over and over and over again. I would give my life for you and your brother without hesitation. I will love you just as much as I love him for eternity. Don’t you ever believe anything other than that.

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I may have accidentally dropped you a few times, forgotten to document your first fart, let a little pee fly, and dressed you like an idiot, but I have also loved you with every piece of me, and you will never hear an apology for that.

With all the love in my heart,


About the writer

Jenifer DeMattia is a full time mom of two boys, who was in desperate need of an escape. She writes at Bugs, Dirt and Mommy and doesn't consider herself a super-mom. In fact, she's usually late, missing a shoe, or having some kind of meltdown... but things always end up okay and with a unique story to tell. You can also find her on Facebook.


Elisa 6 months ago

I’m so sharing this with my 27 year old second son. His brother is 28, only 15 months difference in age, so yes, I get your story. Brought back so many memories to me. His baby book is missing the first farts and all that cute stuff as well!! and I am truly sorry for that. Thank you for a delightful read and putting a smile on my face today. Have a Wonderful Day!!

Larissa 11 months ago

My girls are 25 moths apart. At 7m and 2 1/2 years I can totally relate! Lol

Emma 1 year ago

This is great! Really made me laugh! Wonder if my second son would though? From about age 2 he realised none of the baby pictures were actually him. I even contemplated lying and just pretending some were… (I have recently rectified that one . He’s 4 & a half now though!)

amy 1 year ago

i never thought i could love my second like i did my first but boy how wrong was i! i too was like a stat machine with my son, filling in baby books and printing/filling up photo albums then our daughter came along and i have no baby books to enter stats and about three photos in her album….why? because when were all together i spend less time photographing and more time playing, laughing and having fun with the both of them. they are so happy and bright and placid i cant wait to have number three who is due in 8 days 😀

Val 1 year ago

I really feel exactly the same way… Love this post!

Karen Hambleton 1 year ago

Soo funny and some true!

Kimberley Elkington 1 year ago

So what happens when your second child arrives just 10 minutes after your first and all three of us (mum and both babies) are jibbed out of the calm, peaceful luxury of experiencing what it is really like to have a first born baby, an only-baby for a year or two!

Pat Grady Calvin 1 year ago


Lindsay Gallagher 1 year ago

I don’t think I dropped Jacob but I have had to stop Grady from peeing on him in the tub. Lord help me some days!

Lyndsey McLaughlin 1 year ago

our poor, second Boys.

Sarah Cohen 1 year ago

I was so worried when I was pregnant with my second daughter that I would not be able to love her as much as the first. I’ll never forget an older woman- who I didn’t even know very well ( obviously I was telling my life’s woes to anyone that would listen!) – explaining it so simply to me: she said ” you have nothing to worry about, the love for a second child is like lighting a new candle from one that is already lit, the flame is one and the same”

Kim 1 year ago

This is so funny bcause it is so true. I have four children; the baby is 16. The receptionist at the doctor’s office asked me his birth date and I just looked back with a blank stare. I mean, I know he has one. In the spring sometime. Poor kid.

Andrea Sargis 1 year ago

My children are grown and having children of their own.i love reading all these thoughts and comments.its a shame past generations did not have this media to share their thoughts, stories,fears and their undying love and devotion to their children!!!keep up the great work moms!!!

Danielle Rogers 1 year ago

Maybe I could handle a second. This gives me hope.

Jenifer Cooper 1 year ago

Love this! So true!

Carolyn Cahill 1 year ago

All true.


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