Saturday, January 17, 2009

The abstract child

At RDU, waiting for flight. An Asian dad in his 30s bounces his 3-year old girl in a very pink outfit on his knee. She giggles and gurgles uncontrollably, all the more so as her bounces her higher.

In some ways I feel like we skipped or truncated this stage with Graham, but not with Natalie, which raises the question: is it a first child thing? Does the first child evoke in the parent an urge for the abstraction of childhood that is to some extent slaked by the time the second comes along?

Could this be reflected in the slew of research on birth order issues? (Larry Sullivan et al) Only the shadow knows.

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