Nina In New York: Dear Second Baby

A lighthearted look at news, events, culture and everyday life in New York. The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.
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By Nina Pajak

Dear Second Baby,

First, let me just begin by saying how excited we all are for your arrival. You, dear baby, are the unique individual who will make our family whole. You’re the last piece of the Pajak puzzle, so to speak. We can’t wait to meet you, to see who you resemble, to get to know your personality. Your sister, in particular, is eager to take you by the hand through the world as she knows it. Honestly, I’d take her advice with a grain of salt, she being only three and all. She’s going to make a very compelling case for why you should listen to her on all accounts all the time, but trust me — there are still some pretty sizable gaps in her wisdom. On the one hand, finding a ladybug outside amounts to a “really special day” for her, which is more than admirable. On the other hand, you’ll probably want to look elsewhere for pointers on hand washing and swimming technique.

Anyway, this is a long way of saying that when you choose to enter this world (let it be soon, mm’k?), you will find yourself in a household filled with lots of love. That being said, there are some things about which I should probably warn you. Just to be sporting about the whole thing. I am your mother, after all. I’ll always be looking out for you, kid.

First off, there’s the volume level. I’d say the average decibel of standard, peaceful conversation falls somewhere between a car commercial and a leaf blower. Your sister tends to announce every thought that passes even fleetingly through her head with the insistence of a carnival barker. And the line she toes between enthusiasm and venomous rage is tissue paper-thin. Which, in turn, has worn my patience down from a once-great glacier to a few ice cubes floating in a glass of lukewarm iced coffee. We’re nice people, I swear! We don’t mean it. Lots of people will vouch for us, okay? I assume you’ll simply adapt to sleeping through loud noises, but either way just please don’t take any of it personally. Love, we’ve got nothing but love. And love comes in all shapes, sizes, and amplifications. Remember that always.

Second, there’s this thing about your room. It’s . . . well, it’s going to be. You know what? Let’s come back to this.

Then there’s the matter of your possessions. More specifically, you don’t have any. Your sister will very likely take you on an expansive tour of all of her toys and various accessories. And much of what has been earmarked for you did once belong to her, it’s true. While she was born into a brave new world of first-time ownership, your birthright is of a more secondhand nature. But don’t think of it that way! Think of it this way: everything you have will have been carefully considered, tested, and either approved or chucked due to various inadequacies. You won’t be inheriting a bunch of used stuff. You’ll be the beneficiary of a painstakingly curated and well-loved collection of only the best and most effective and efficient pre-owned products.

In fact, that’s a great way to look at pretty much all of life in the Pajak household. While your sister benefitted from the undivided attention garnered by a first and only child, she also suffered our mistakes. You, on the other hand, will be blessed with two much more knowledgable, experienced parents who learned the hard way what works and what doesn’t. We’ve straightened out our priorities, relaxed quite a bit, and regained our senses of humor. We’ve made our peace with a wholesale loss of control, and in doing so we’ve actually harnessed a teeny, tiny bit of said control. We know you’ll be fine if you cry for four seconds. We know you don’t need to be catered to like a baby Pharaoh in order to be happy. We know it’s cool if it takes us an extra six months to get your room ready (don’t worry! It’s totally going to be ready soon-ish). Fret not, my child. Your needs will be met in a timely fashion. True, the level of service around here may have been downgraded from an obscene “Four Seasons” to a more than adequate, affectionately casual if somewhat scattered, “independently-run B&B.” I’m told this will make you a more laid back child. I think that you probably won’t care. I hope you’ll still enjoy your stay with us. We’re really, really looking forward to having you.

Love,

Your mother

Nina Pajak is a writer living with her husband, daughter and dog in Queens. Connect with Nina on Twitter!

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