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Making a list, checking it twice

In anticipation of last weekend’s toy sales, I started putting together the boys’ wish lists for Santa and family members who wanted to buy them gifts. They aren’t quite old enough to be able to write their own, so I thoughtfully clicked through with some toys I felt were age appropriate and fun. I probably put way too much thought into what toys my kids play with.

I really put a lot of weight on what Will gets because I know that his brothers will inherit his toys and be playing with chewing on them too. I have noticed that a lot of the toys Will has are music related, cars, trucks, or trains. I can’t help but wonder if he likes those things because we strongly foster that value, or if he just enjoys it. It is probably a little of both. If he came home one day and decided he wanted to be all about dinosaurs, we would totally allow him to explore that interest. But as of right now, he really hasn’t taken an interest in them.

When I think about all of the thought and care made in each decision we make for Will, I can’t help but feel bad that we aren’t always as thoughtful with the stuff we get for the babies. When I looked over the list I created, the majority of the items were for Will. I will cut myself some slack though because they are only 10 months old, so there is a limited amount of toys that we can chose from. Also, their first birthday is less than a month after Christmas. Still, we managed to add some more items to the list for them that I am sure they will love.

I am starting to observe that although the oldest child gets all of the new things and each decision is carefully made when it comes to how things should be done, it can be hard because they will not have the same freedom to explore many different options like their younger siblings.

For those of you with more than one child, have you noticed how your thought process or lack there of changes with the second+ kid in comparison to your first? How do you try to balance it?



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About Jamie

Jamie is a creative-techie mom, raising three boys under three (twins!) with her husband in Pennsylvania. Jamie now writes at The Red Robinson,


  1. Great post Jamie!

    I’ve noticed it with clothes as well as toys. We had so many baby clothes from Miles that we didn’t buy many for Spencer. I made it a point to buy a few special items for him before he was born and thereafter.

    I think the second+ born kids are hard to buy for because they already have most of the things you “need” for a kid.

    I guess you balance it by focusing on the experience of childhood instead of the *stuff* of childhood.

  2. Stacey Walters says:

    I don’t think we changer as much our thought process as much as we are learning what matters and what works and doesn’t. Our first one is trial and error and major learning for us. The second + are spared the first lessons. We are more comfortable and secure in our parenting. Plus the second + gets all of the first toys, cloths and parents experience.I know I am easier on the second + than I was the first, some things just aren’t worth the struggle and some things definately are and I learned the difference with the first.