When Will and Kate – excuse me – the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, announced they were expecting child number two, I read the report with the detached happiness one has when one lives in another country from the future King of England and the only tie to said peers of the realm is one’s propensity to use the word “one” when writing in a British accent. After all, Will and Kate’s marriage and the birth of their first child permeated every facet of our social media. I sympathized with her severe morning sickness and applauded her for not trying to have a pre-baby body by the time she left the hospital post birth.
Still, immediately after reading the headline heralding the “Heir and the Spare,” I started to wonder if Royal Baby #2 will suffer from Second Child Syndrome and what, exactly would that look like?
In my house, being the second child means my daughter has a baby book with only two pages filled out and was left in the middle of the queen size bed minutes after arriving home while Mommy ran to the bathroom. It’s meant choking hazards were not as carefully put away, and organic baby food in carefully numbered jars were replaced with mashed versions of the family dinners. It meant a diaper bag that wasn’t monogrammed nor was it even technically a diaper bag, wearing hand-me-down shorts from her brother, and having a bedroom that was left unfinished until she was nearly a year old.
Will the new Royal Baby only be documented with a two page spread in the tabloids rather than entire editions? Will only the first year be filled with special edition copies of magazines documenting each coo and crawl rather than every month? Instead of plates and spoons with the wee lad or lass’s face smiling back, will there be a mug?
Will and Kate – sorry – the Duke and Duchess, have famously attempted to raise Prince George, their first child, as normally as it is possible to raise the future King of England. Will the next in line for the throne have casual snapshots or will they forget the camera all together? Will play dates be carefully organized or will he or she just tag along with big brother?
We’ve seen it happen before. While we all know Violet Affleck, does anyone remember the names of her younger siblings? And after the whirlwind that was the arrival of young Shiloh Jolie-Pitt, can you recall – off the top of your head – the name of the twins? Second child syndrome is alive and well in Hollywood. It will be interesting to see whether the Royal couple falls victim to it as well.