I caught this one. I literally caught her as she was being born.
My wife and I chose to have home births, and everything went (relatively) smoothly with the first and third kids. There were some complications with No. 2, however, so we went to the hospital so my wife could be induced.
Once there, one thing led to another, my wife ended up on all fours in the hospital bathroom, the OB couldn’t quite get to her in time (I’m really rushing through this story), and I was the nearest person to the action. When I, well, looked underneath to see how things were going, I saw the top of a baby. I stuck out my hand, and this little girl dropped headfirst into my palm.
I promptly scooped her up to my chest, accidentally snapping her umbilical cord and sending blood fountaining everywhere. The OB had made it into the room by then and calmly clamped what needed clamping, checked what needed checking, and calmed down what needed calming down.
She’s had a relatively less chaotic life since then (my daughter, I mean; I have no idea how the OB has fared). As the second kid, she looks up to her big sister, for good and for ill. She’s the cuddliest of the three, and (don’t tell her siblings I said this), she has the best comedic timing.
Her: I’m hungry.
Her: Actually, I’m thirsty.
Her: Actually, I have to go potty.
She’s as stubborn as her older sister, but in a different way, which feels unfair to me. Until I had two kids, I didn’t know there were different kinds of stubbornness.
The biggest lesson she’s taught me is that a second child isn’t a repeat of the first child, which—sure—sounds obvious, but I’m amazed at how long it took me to figure it out. I love her distinct personality, her subtle zaniness, and her hugs. She’s a peacemaker, which I admire, but that quality also makes me worry, because I want so desperately for her to stand up for herself and make her own voice heard in a world/society/school/family full of voices trying to talk louder than she can—or will.
I’m apparently worse at drawing dimples than I am at hands, but I can’t draw ripples on the sides of her face, thus those little dents in my illustration.
Finally, some questions (and I ask for no reason, no reason at all): Fellow second children, did your parents take fewer pictures and videos of you than they did of your older sibling? And how messed up are you because of that?