Apr 10 2013
The conversation was simple and direct: Mommy had a baby in her belly and in the spring, when the flowers came out, so would the baby. Our nearly 2-year-old son took it in stride, though my heart ached for his pending journey into big brotherhood. Our goal was to involve him as much as possible so he could feel like he was part of the process and not a victim of the change. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 13 2012
This past summer, my husband and I decided to send our toddler to Jewish preschool. We agonized over our budget to see if we could make it work. I read up on gentle separation techniques and ordered him a backpack. Since the arrival of our second baby coincided with the start of the school year, we wanted to wait until the after the new year for him to start.
January felt so far away at that point.
Fast forward to last week. And by fast forward I mean three months of figuring out the logistics of raising two kids, getting dinner on the table, and exactly how many consecutive days one can use dry shampoo without looking like Nick Nolte’s mug shot (the answer is two). And here we are at our scheduled December meeting with the preschool director to discuss my toddler joining the class in a few weeks. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 5 2012
My toddler is slowly but surely adjusting to his new baby brother. I try hard to foresee battles before they ensue and we’re slowly getting back to our old dynamic. I’m getting used to taking two kids everywhere and I’ve realized that a fully capable toddler and I did just “run in” to stores where as a toddler, newborn and I take HOURS to simply leave the house in one piece. There is no “running in.”
At our baby’s 1 month visit, my toddler also had his 30 month appointment. My husband was with me and it was easier to just do both at the same time. Our toddler loved all of the attention he got and admittedly two minutes of the appointment was spent examining the baby and 45 minutes was spent discussing Big Brother’s adjustment. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 4 2012
When reading all of the advice posts to our editor Debbie about life with two kids last week, I started thinking about what I’d said to her the last time we saw each other. My son was 4 months old, my daughter was 3 years and 3 months. Debbie was about 8 months pregnant with #2. And she asked me how it was to adjust to two.
Without even thinking about it, I lied.
I blithely said, “Oh, it’s not so bad!” instead of telling her about how this baby would get so hysterical around 11 p.m. that he wouldn’t soothe for anything so I would spend hours upon hours walking and rocking him… which still didn’t work. Almost nightly, I felt so desperate that I’d put him down, walk away, and cry because I was so exhausted I couldn’t see straight. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 29 2012
Don’t cry. Laugh.
Earlier this week our editor Debbie Kolben asked for some advice going from having one kid to two. Carla and Tamara already offered some sage wisdom, and now Jordana joins in.
Ah, going from one kid to two, Debbie. I remember those days well. I remember looking at the new baby and thinking, “Who the hell are you, oh breast-sucking thing that takes me away from my other son?” I remember my older child, at all of 18 months old, very symbolically taking out his agita at the new brother-situation by cracking an egg in every room of the house while I nursed the baby. I remember the baby nurse, when she left, telling me that I should divorce my husband. Yes, this was overstepping the bounds of the usual “how to bathe the baby” provenance of the baby nurse. Since she ended up being right, though, we’ll forgive her the undiplomatic directness. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 28 2012
Earlier this week our editor Debbie Kolben asked for some advice dealing with her daughter’s adjustment to being a big sister. Yesterday Carla gave her ten tips, and here are ten more.
Oh Debbie, I am so sorry you’ve fallen prey to the toddler-who-received-a-sibling-torture. It’s horrible. I wrote about it last month when I was still buried in a toddler shit-storm on a daily basis.
I’ll be honest, the first few weeks I was like, “Hey he likes his baby brother, this is good, we’re doing GREAT” and then? My worst parenting lows. I could see no resemblance of my sweet firstborn. He was a monster and I had nothing but negative feelings towards him. I felt like I was always yelling or kvetching at him. He refused to listen to me and would do NOTHING that I asked. The tantrums were horrible. Meals? WORSE. My angelic boy who was my entire world was gone and I cried wondering if our relationship was changed forever. Read the rest of this entry →
Nov 27 2012
In response to Debbie’s plea for help yesterday in dealing with her daughter’s adjustment to being a big sister, Carla has some sage words of advice.
I was just trying to find the email I sent out a couple of years ago to all of my Mama friends with two kids–it was remarkably similar to yours. I’m certainly no expert, but now that my baby is almost 2 1/2, I’m a bit farther away from the shitshow that was our life for almost a year. (We’re still a mess on a far-too-regular basis, but it is SO much easier now.)
As you read this, keep in mind that my big girl was only 20 months old when the baby was born, and that she fractured her leg the day before I was due to give birth. Little sister was kind enough to show up five days late, which gave us some time to figure out life with a toddler in a hip-to-toe cast. So, if I seem a bit bitter or traumatized, well, I guess I was. But we’re better now. Read the rest of this entry →