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To My Second Child: I'm Sorry

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To my daughter, AKA The Second Child...

I'm sorry I skipped the puréed sweet potato stage and went straight to chopped up chicken kievs for tea.

I'm sorry that 80% of your wardrobe is hand-me-downs. And that most of them are blue, so people in the park think you're a boy.

I'm sorry I didn't read the pregnancy books the second time around, tracking your size from a lime to an avocado. You were a melon before I'd even had a chance to dust off What To Expect When You're Expecting, let alone actually read it.

I'm sorry I sometimes let you eat the baby wipes just to get a couple of minutes' peace. You look like you're really enjoying them, and I've got to get the dinner on somehow.

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I'm sorry you've already watched more TV than your big brother, and you're two years younger. And that I'm both proud and slightly mortified that your first word is Peppa (the Pig, not the condiment).

I'm sorry I drank all that coffee while you were growing inside me, when I spent my first pregnancy in a caffeine-starved daze. Green tea just doesn't cut it when you've got a toddler. And if it's any consolation, yes, I will forever feel guilty that I've damaged you in some way.

I'm sorry the growth chart in your Red Book has a grand total of 3 dots on it, while your brother was weighed every week without fail.

I'm sorry your toys all have teeth marks in them (not yours, might I add). And that anything with removable parts is missing at least one of them.

I'm sorry we had to tell the health visitor that yes of course you're off the bedtime bottle by now, when I just haven't quite got round to it yet. Yes, I'm probably ruining your teeth, but the alternative bedtime battle just isn't my idea of fun right now.

I'm sorry I sometimes let you suck a McDonald's chip to keep you quiet in the car, when even your brother's stock cubes were salt-free.

I'm sorry it feels like you're always stuck in the buggy while your brother does the fun stuff.

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I'm sorry you only got your first pair of shoes when you were actually walking down the street (in socks), rather than tentatively crossing the living room. 1) His cruisers cost more than my entire outfit, and 2), chasing two kids around Clarks is not the one.

I'm sorry you lived in sleepsuits for your first year, while your brother looked like a mini grown-up sponsored by Next.

I'm sorry you didn't get a fancy new bedroom, because when you arrived he moved into a freshly-decorated big boy room and you moved into... his old cot.

I'm sorry I don't give you as much undivided attention as I'd like to, because he shouts a (little) bit louder than you do.

I'm sorry that life is a bit different for you than it was for him, and that sometimes it feels as though you get the dud deal. I promise to make it up to you when he starts school and we get some time together, just us.

Until then, little girl: I'm sorry.

Love, Mummy x

This post first appeared on There We Go - a UK blog about parenting, family travel and everything in-between.

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