29 august 2010, first out the traps

We brought back an interesting souvenir from hungary: my niece. So we've had a girl and a teenager in the house for a while, which is very different from two boys under ten. A characteristic however with even more influence is that our visitor is the second-born (of five). How many conversations I've had about the first being thoughtful, diligent, diplomatic and polite, intellectual, an avid reader and a sensitive soul; while the second is more carefree and adventurous, outrageous even, argumentative if not downright rude, sporty, flexible, always pushing the boundaries and with a lower attention span. There is such a wealth of experience here it simply must be nurture not nature, with the way all we parents rushed to the doctor with the hint of a cough with number one, whilst letting number two sleep off that bloodied lip, as we knew he'd survive to the morning. We also expect more, tutor more and just simply had more time and no need to split our attention. Number two also learnt from number one, with that infuriating babbling to midnight when they slept in the same room actually playing a very useful purpose. I think too of my own childhood and how I, rather than my 14-month younger sibling, was always so much more into lego, monopoly and such things. I guess I was always that much better, which made it always that bit more fun. There's quite some literature on this of course, with much evidence that first borns do better in life - so now would be the time to boost the others, though not of course at the expense of the baby that will always be the first.