9 Ways To Tell Your Toddler Is A Second Child

by Katia Bishofs
Originally Published: 

Empirical studies conducted by me show that toddlers with an older sibling are 100% more likely to use the expression “buttface” before they turn three. And while not all households house an older sibling who is as committed to the use of the term as mine, there are other revealing tells to help you gauge whether a toddler is really that far ahead of the curve or simply is a second child.

When a toddler is a second child:

They’re the toddler running alongside a group of school kids at soccer practice.

Alternatively, they might be the toddler glued to the glass, longingly staring at the skaters on the ice rink. Either way, they’re convinced that it’s all about them. Whether they’ve been brought here to suffer as the victim of a cruel joke or to practice their own soccer skills (soccer being that game where you lift the ball up with both hands then toss it way up in the air and try to avoid it hitting your head) it’s all. About. Them.

They’re the toddler who talks about zombies.

“Goodbye, Ethel, go back into your house and don’t let the zombie catch you!” my toddler considerately warned our 90-year-old neighbor the other day. She couldn’t heed the warning as she didn’t hear it, but the premature exposure to zombies sure makes for some cringeworthy moments.

They’re the toddler with the Halloween costume that was all the rage back in 2012.

Want a glimpse into the evolution of the pop culture scene in the last decade or so? Raid a second child’s costume wardrobe. To add insult to injury, the costumes you’ll find will probably also display some wear and tear and at least a couple of non-removable chocolate stains.

Speaking of chocolate, they’re that toddler who knows about it. They’re also familiar with lollipops and juice.

And they’re probably corrupting other toddlers around them.

That being said, it’s possible that they’re the ones with the more advanced dental hygiene practices.

They’ve been exposed to mint flavored toothpastes and the likes, after all, and some of them are very open to experimenting with them.

They’re the toddlers who, when asked about their friends, are more likely to provide a lengthy list of school kids than they are to name friends their own age.

If you have a toddler with an older sibling, your toddler is probably in a non-reciprocal relationship with a bunch of school kids or preschoolers. I’d venture a bet that your toddler is probably a play date crasher. We’ve all seen it happen. A second before the door closes behind your older child arriving at their friend’s house for a play date, your toddler will make their move and weasel in.

They’re the toddlers who haven’t properly mastered the tricycle but are insisting on removing the training wheels.

Because if all of their older friends are doing it, why shouldn’t they?

They’ll laugh at a lot of jokes they don’t understand.

They’re the toddler laughing louder than anyone else in the room, because what the heck (an expression they use, of course) did the pink panther just do, and why was it funny and let me just blend in with the crowd.

It’s very possible that they’re the toddler who hit a school kid on the head, and not only did they get away with it but somehow ended up getting hugged and cuddled.

Because they’re the baby and God forbid we upset the baby.

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