“When are you planning your second?” is a question that gets asked now by friends (and sometimes strangers) who have more than one child. I was hoping this line of questioning will have ended after getting married and having Saharah. It seems we’re always playing catch up, though. Once you’d had one the question is always in the back of your mind and at some point needs to be addressed. There are many positives for having a second (or third etc). Social development being a seemingly obvious one. We went out for dinner the other night at a place that had an outdoor play area for the kids. It’s how we roll. We were almost immediately captivated by a young girl far younger than Saharah navigating her way around the jungle gym with great skill and self-confidence. It turns out she had two older brothers and started following them around from an early age and quickly learnt how to support herself and become self-sufficient as far as being mobile was concerned. The order of things is such that we adapt to our situation, but without having two children to look after I wonder where the extra time is taken from to look after one more (or two etc). When Saharah is not feeling well, things get real. Two children not feeling well blows my mind, and it’s not a matter of if…surely.
The most interesting fact I’ve learnt from parents of multiple children is that the kids are very much different in their personalities. During a recent Family Portrait in Ballito, Mark and Jenna described their two boys as polar opposites. Blue eyed, blond haired Josh has a soft soul and gentle nature while younger Caleb is extremely strong minded and determined. It was interesting watching the family dynamic. Both kids were full of confidence and eager for the entire shoot. Joshua was a little more cautious around the water, though, while Caleb didn’t seemed phased at all. Getting covered in sand did not bother either child, even when Caleb managed to get some all over his face. I try to focus on the kids as far as determining how the shoot should go. Keeping them engaged is key and although that is the objective, each family is different. Jenna is a photographer from Bulawayo and I’m not sure if having the kids in front of her own camera was the cause, but her family was an absolute pleasure to photograph. Shooting on the beach at high tide with fairly strong winds can be tricky with young ones, but they soaked it all in and together we had a great time.