Why is the 2nd Child Crazy?

What’s up with #2? Why is it that more often than not the second born child is crazy? That’s certainly the case with our second child. I often think of him as my own personal Charles Dickens “He’s the best of times, he’s the worst of times” His name is Greyson and I have found myself referring to his antics as being Grey-Cray. I’m not alone in this either.

I’ve run into so many parents who have had similar experiences as us. Our first born child was so sweet so perfect. It was almost effortless to care for him. He was always smiling, he slept through the night early on, he reached all the milestones early, he obeyed and things were smooth. We had convinced ourselves we were the greatest parents in the history of the world. We couldn’t wait to have another perfect child.

Well the day came when we had our second child but our world was turned upside down. Suddenly we had a child who didn’t smile, didn’t listen and marched to the beat of his own drum. As the boys grew up I noticed neither of them would lie to us, but it was for completely different reasons. Our oldest wouldn’t lie because he knew it was wrong and he wanted to make right choices. Our second wouldn’t lie because, quite frankly, he just didn’t care. Just the other day our 3rd child accused Greyson of biting her. His response was: “No I didn’t. I tried but you ran away.”

I’ve spoken with several parents who have told me that if their second child would have been born first they would have never had any more kids. We always knew we wanted several kids, so I’d like to think we would have pressed on even if Greyson would have been born first but it might have caused us to wait longer.

Now don’t mistake what I’m saying to mean Greyson is a rotten kid. He’s incredibly sweet, funny and full of life…when he wants to be. His best times are some of my favorite memories and when he is in a good mood he makes the world a better place. But when he’s having one of his grey-cray days he is the biggest source of frustration I’ve ever experienced. In the end, I feel blessed to be his dad and I’ll take his good days with his bad. That is just part of what makes him unique.

So what about you? Is your second child your wild child?

featured photo by Remember These Things Photography

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67 thoughts on “Why is the 2nd Child Crazy?”

  1. Considering I had two sets of kids this is a complex answer but I’ll make a long story short. My two youngest are 19 months apart and basically grew up just the two of them at home. So with that being said my youngest daughter Kelsey is the typical second child!

    I’d go into details but it would be an entire post in itself! We’ll put it this way… I have said on more than one occasion that there isn’t enough wine in the world to deal with her! And I’m not a big drinker! Ha!

    Hang in there I’d like to say it gets better but she is almost 14 and hasn’t grown out of it yet!

      1. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news so early in the morning! It’s a tough job but somebody’s gotta do it! 😉 She has however learned SOME self control so there is an upside the craziness isn’t an almost everyday thing these days… There is some hope! Have an awesome day Mike!

  2. My second son whose now 6 is absolutely nuts. Just a passionate kid in every way. I have found that to be consistent with our friends as well. Not sure why that is but you got to love them. Thanks for the post.

  3. I have two girls and it is exactly like you say with your two boys. The first one is so sweet and almost perfect like. Then her sister I always say has had a mind of her own since birth. Several of my friends with two have similar experiences. I love her spunk though. She’s harder to raise than her sister but wouldn’t trade it for anything. I recently wrote a piece called “Defending the Defiant Headstrong Child” that is all about this second stronger willed child.
    Angela @ Stepping into Motherhood (http://glennbabies.blogspot.com)

  4. My first child is my tough one which I think is really rare. I don’t know if I would have been able to handle it if I’d had a regular kid before him though! I was young and didn’t really know just how difficult he was compared to most kids until he was about 4.

    1. Crystal, thanks for commenting. I knew it couldn’t be 100% across the board that #2 is the most challenging. I was hoping to hear from some who had different experiences. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Yep! My 2nd child is the crazy one…..I laughed out loud about your boy not lying! He sounds exactly like my girl. It’s true….If she was my first I would not have had any more….lol x

    1. Well good thing you had her 2nd 🙂 it’s interesting to me how they have their own unique personalities at such a young age. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting. Have a great evening.

  6. Hey Mike ! This is Joe from CT/Frontline…Love the blog man !

    We have an almost 2 year old boy and our second child, a girl, is due at the end of July . Our boy Jackson is a nut case! He’s a mess maker, thrower , recovering juice spitter. He didn’t sleep thru the night until he was 14 months. He needs constant attention and interactions . He’s the funniest kid I have ever met . He is a constant source of entertainment . He is very smart , very talkative , knows what he wants and will let you know that . I wouldn’t have him any other way , but he is definitely a crazy tough kid ! If our little girl ends up bring the crazy one , Melissa and I are dead meat !! Hoping our family will be an “exception to the rule.” Keep up the good work .

    1. Joe!! So glad you stopped by the blog!
      Oh man, for your and Melissa’s sake I sure hope your daughter is the “easy” one.
      Those “crazy” kids are so great though 🙂 So full of life and adventure. I can’t imagine my life without Greyson.
      Have a great day!

  7. Haha! Love the honesty.
    Personally, speaking as a “2nd child” I always think of it as the “1st born” was the test child and I was the one who was parented properly…

    Having to contend with having hand me down clothes from my brother, muscled out of things at an early stage you have to learn to wise up and quick… he’s just defining his battle ground 🙂

    I think (again as a 2nd born child) its the 1st borns fault for lolling you into a false sense of security 😉 ….. These feeling never go 🙂

    Great post

  8. My second child is the good one – it’s my first who drives me up the bleedin’ wall! He never smiled as a baby and is still a grumpy git; my second boy is – at least on the surface – all smiles and sunshine. They are now 12 and 14 and wind each other up constantly. Such is sibling life, I think. #brilliantblogposts

  9. I wouldn’t say our second (middle) child is wild but he’s distinctly different from his older and younger siblings – much more introverted, obstinate and likely to retreat into his own world. It’s a fascinating dynamic to observe – the other two are so alike but Toby is very much his own character.

  10. Very true! My experience with almost all my friends is that the second born is the trouble maker.

    Both my kids were in a family member’s wedding last year. The photographer was following them around throughout the day, getting lots of shots of the ringbearer and flower girl. He had a lot of time getting to know them and their very different personalities. He told me and my husband that he had once read a book about psychology and family dynamics and that each kid subconsciously tries to fill an independent role in the family. So you have the first kid, who’s generally calm and perfectly capable of standing out by being the only kid. Then you have the second kid who realizes that nobody at this party is doing cartwheels and screeching, and they fill that role.

    In a way, I can see that. But in another way, my daughter was born a wild, un-tamable beast. I can’t imagine that at 2 hours old, she could subconsciouly figure out to be a wild child.I know this though: if she were our first, she’d be an only child. There is no way we could have the energy to have two of her.

    1. “Nobody at this party is doing cartwheels and screeching” I love it!!
      That theory makes some sense, but I agree with you in that my son was crazy from the moment he was born. He wouldn’t have that awareness yet. Thanks for stopping by.

  11. I’m so pleased you did this post Mike and linked up with us on the #bigfatlinky this is something that I needed to read! My second one is exactly the same. Especially when it comes to lying as well. It’s so frustrating especially in comparison to the eldest. I have friends who have no problem with their second child. But they are also parents of girls and I wonder if it’s different for boys and girls although looking at your comments may be it isn’t completely that straight forward. It’s definitely something I question regularly! Thanks again for linking up.

    1. You what’s funny Martyn, as I was writing this I was trying to think of everyone I could who had more than one child to see if my theory held true. I thought about you but I’ve never heard you mention anything like this about your second so I thought maybe it didn’t apply to you. But I guess it does after all. Judging by all the comments it seems it’s quite common. Kids have their own personalities we can expect all our kids to be clones of each other. You’re a great dad and you’re doing an amazing job with those two boys.

  12. Finally, someone else who shares the same experience. My daughter lulled us into a false sense of security with parenting, she was an easy baby, slept through at 3 months, no issues with teething, never needed a pacifier, was always calm and would often take herself to bed as a toddler because she was tired. My boy was born and was an utter nightmare, everything was so much harder, he didn’t sleep through until he was 2 1/2, he has so much energy and throws tantrums like I’ve never experienced before. I love him to bits, but he’s certainly made life that little bit more “interesting”.

    1. Lol, did you read other comments? We are apparently in great company. I had no idea the response this post would garner.
      Gotta love those kids that “make life more interesting” ha!

  13. I have two girls and clicked on this post on #thebigfatlinky because out second child is completely crazy! She is also hilariously funny and, like yours, seems to be completely free of feelings of guilt! Many of my blog posts are inspired by her adventures, so I guess I should thank her for giving me writing material!

  14. This was such a funny and interesting post to read, I have only one child, Boo who is 14, and she is crazy, wild and amazing, but I wonder if that because both me and my husband are quiet and calm? I can’t imagine having too Boo’s though, I would need 3 extra pairs of hands!!

  15. I honestly can’t answer this question, and honestly don’t want to be able to! My wife still has hopes for a second, but I’m completely happy with our one little girl. She’s enough!

    But, loved this post as it gave me a good laugh. I know biting is frowned upon, but Greyson’s response was priceless!

    1. Come on! You don’t want a crazy second child??? Lol
      There is definitely something special about all that one-on-one time you get when you only have one.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a note!

      1. It would be slightly cool if we had a second and it was a boy, but I’m not willing to take my chances. Too scared, too tired, and don’t want to move into a bigger home, which we’d have to do! I guess if it happens it happens, but not trying for it!

  16. Oh God I’m so scared now – my second is on the way ha ha! You know, the more I think of my friend’s 2nd children, the more I think this might be true – you’re on to something! Argh – running scared now 🙂 Great post! Mim @ http://www.mamamim.com #brilliantblogposts

  17. I’m not sure I would call my second son a wild child, but it is interesting to note how different my boys are from one another. In some ways, the younger is more mature than the older. Of course, they both have their strengths and weaknesses. This is one of the fun things about having 2 of the same sex. It’s is interesting to observe their differences and their similarities. Blessings to you and yours.

    1. You are right. I’ve always thought it was so interesting how two kids who were the same gender, had the same parents, lived in the same house and were so close in age could be so different from each other at times. I hope you have a blessed day as well. Thank you.

  18. Omg this is soooo true our 2nd has been a nightmare! Love him to pieces but a nightmare is the only way to describe him.. he’s ridiculously bright far the expression too clever for his own good was made for him im sure .. my eldest boy is soft cuddly and lover chilling out pops on the other hand rules the rooSt hates to sit still is bonkers and loves to fight like a maniac! Definitely agree that #2 is the worst . #bigfatlinky

    1. Oh come on! Where’s your sense of adventure?! Lol
      Sometimes when you’ve got a good thing going you need to know when to stop! 🙂 Thanks for dropping by. Have a great day.

  19. It’s safe to say that you understand how I feel about this post. #1.) You tagged me in a Facebook status involving this. #2.) I know Greyson.

    It’s certainly true for us. Fletcher is always disappearing, climbing aND carrying on. I love this blog post. #bigtopblogparty

  20. It’s our no.3 who’s a Contrary Mary! Our number two is the most level headed, even tempered child I’ve ever known and our first is the erratic very chatty one. I sometimes wonder what numbers 4,5,6,7,8 etc would be like if we had them. I find this kind of thing so interesting!

  21. Ok so I have a 17 and 12 y/o First born was sweet, amazing and just had no clue that we had a child just like you. Then the second came along and blew the roof off our house. Oh two daughters 🙂 Now the oldest as she became a teen well she turned our world upside down, and the other is on the teen path and is so sweet!!!! So there is hope for you 🙂 The oldest came back to us at then end and is awesome now!!! Off to San Francisco to attend University.

    Good luck

    xoxoxo

    1. Oh I didn’t think about them flip-flopping who was the wild child. Thanks for giving me this scary thought to consider. Haha. I’m glad everything seems to have worked out. Thank you for stopping by and commenting. Have a great day.

  22. I’ve got no children, and am the youngest of six, so I have no words of wisdom to share with you. It does sound as though Greyson is definitely forming his own little personality.
    Thank you for tossing your hat into the ring at the Party Under The Big Top! I hope to see you again next week!
    #BigTopBlogParty

  23. Hi Mike,

    Just stopping by again to say thank you for linking up with us at Party Under the Big Top! I’m glad you were able to make it over to the #BigTopBlogParty this week! Hope to see you again at the next Party Under the Big Top too!

    Don’t forget we go LIVE every Monday night/Tuesday morning at midnight EST!

    Wishing you a fabulous week!

    Much love,
    Lysa xx
    Welcome to My Circus
    #BigTopBlogParty

  24. Our strongest kids give us our biggest headaches. But when they’re on? They’re ON!!! My second child is now a cop in our fair city. 6’8″ tall and a body-builder. No one argues with him. But he’s kept that second-child wry sense of humour!

  25. I have 5 and the second child has always been by far the most difficult. Sorry to tell you this, but he’s 17 now and still causes the most trouble and worry. Lol

  26. That photo is genius! But it is the other way around in my house – my first child is the kind that makes you question your abilities as a parent, whilst my youngest is all sweetness and light, for now at least. She may have heard me say that and turn into a “typical” second child as of tomorrow – who knows
    #wineandboobs
    Alice x
    http://nipperandtyke.wordpress.com

    1. Haha! The first kid gives you hope that #3 will be sweet. Our 3rd and 4th kids were both pretty easy going…it is just that 2nd kid that’s a wild child. Thanks for stopping by.

  27. Yes! The second child is nuts, and so lovable. He’s the favorite of many relatives b/c he’s so funny. Why is it always the #2 kid? Families who stop at 3 think it’s a middle child thing. I was #2…but the thing is our #3 is a middle, and he’s very clean and careful, so I’m with you. It’s a #2 kid thing. What is up with that?

    1. I don’t have answers. But it seems to hold true quite often that #2 is the wild child no matter how many siblings there are.
      Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day! Merry Christmas

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