Tag Archives: hfmd

The Second Child Syndrome

When X contracted HFMD for the second time in his life, I felt really guilty.  I attributed it to his poor immunity, caused by my lack of regular tonics during my pregnancy.

My fellow mother-of-two friend asked me if it was a second child syndrome.  I was puzzled as to what she meant.

It was only further discussion that I realised that we had inevitably slacked or become more lax with the second child.  We were less fervent in giving them regular tonics and supplements and less frantic about their dietary requirements.  Second child (or subsequent children) was also constantly exposed to their siblings.  Be it snacks or play, they would stretch beyond their limits and wanted the same as their older siblings.

To be honest, I had been very cautious about not letting Z touch snacks or chocolates till he was a lot older.  Z did not even get to see such sinful snacks till much later.  With X, I had little control because he wanted to follow Z.

As for play, I made sure Z nap 2-3 hours on weekends.  With X, he hardly get the same amount of rest because we were so busy with Z’s schedule or even our own agenda.  There was always too much excitement for X to consider napping and missing out on the fun.

I had been made to realise that my lax pregnancy days had carried forward to my parenting days for X.  I had no excuse to perpetually blame what I could not change but to focus on what I could improve for the future and not let complacency affect how we parent the second child.


It had been a long while since I tracked back and thought the past week’s entries bordered upon disorganization and randomness.

The fact was they were written in broken periods and small pockets of free time.

The weekends had been busy, a mad flurry of parties, outings and activities.

Our social calendar was so packed that we had to map our appointments carefully to avoid double booking. It was also during this period that X fell sick to a second round of hfmd.

At this juncture (belated and probably recovered by the time the post went out), I felt really sad about the level of pain X had to go through. I saw the cluster of ulcers in his throat. The previous hfmd strain that he contracted featured some ugly red spots but there was no ulcer. That had been a pain free process for him and my only guilt was that I was not able to take leave to look after him then.

This round, I had to count my blessings that I was able to take some leave days to babysit him. However, it pained me to see him asking for food and spitting out from the sheer pain of it.

We might have been too liberal in letting him join the activities with the older kids and exposed him to more risks. At the same time, we might have been too lax and tardy in giving him tonics and supplements.

I felt really bad that we had been an indirect cause of his plight and we could do little to alleviate his pains.