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Aug 27 2013

Dealing With My Firstborn at My Daughter’s Naming Ceremony

By at 3:19 pm

baby naming ceremony howard wolkeSo last weekend was my daughter’s simchat bat, or baby naming ceremony…

First of all, I’ve got to say that the baby naming was SO much easier to deal with than the brit (circumcision) was for my son J. Of course for starters, you don’t have to worry about any snipping. My wife was thankful for that if nothing else.

Also, it was really nice to be able to decide for ourselves when the ceremony would take place. The eight day requirement is kind of restricting. For E, we were able to look at a calendar and say, “Hmm, when would be the best time for us to do this? When will family be able to come for sure?” Plus the fact that you can basically create your own ceremony that fits your style is really nice, too. So, for all those reasons, there was a lot less stress with the baby naming than the circumcision.

However, the second child’s ceremony does introduce a different type of stress–how to take care of the elder child. J is at that unique age where he isn’t young enough to totally ignore everything that is going on, while still not being old enough to fully understand why people would all be gathered for his baby sister who doesn’t really do much and certainly can’t play with trucks or trains like he can. Read the rest of this entry →

Will I Have Another Baby in 5774?

By at 9:59 am

question mark with baby feetTo have another or not to have another? That is the question. That is what I am thinking about as Rosh Hashanah approaches. Not about apples and honey and atoning for all my lashon hara the past year, but is it time to have another baby?

Thankfully, I got knocked up easily the first time around. I don’t take it for granted that at 33 I became pregnant our second month of trying. Isn’t it ironic how much of our 20s we try NOT to get pregnant? Then when we start trying in our thirties, it’s not quite as easy as my high school health teacher made it seem. I remember Mr. Putnam saying if there was any semen within five feet of your vagina, there was a chance you could get pregnant. If we do have another one, I pray that it is as easy to get pregnant the second time around.  Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 1 2013

Baby Sister Writes a Letter to Her Brother at Camp

By at 9:57 am
orli writes letter to brother at camp

The letter-writing baby herself.

When Jordana heard that one of her sons was homesick at camp and missing, of all people, his baby sister Orli, she quickly banged out this poem from Orli to tell him it was okay to miss her and that she was proud of him… and he’s been better ever since. Future at Hallmark, perhaps?

DEAR Z,

I know I’m just a baby, and everyone thinks I’m cheeky –

But look at me! I learned to write! I am SO DARN SNEAKY!

I took the books down off the shelf, and reading took no time!

And look how amazing I am now: I even learned to RHYME! Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 26 2013

Happy Birthday! (And Sorry About That Whole Second Child Thing)

By at 3:52 pm

carla naumburg and rosie third birthday Dear Rosie,

You are 3 years old today. You should know this because we’ve been talking about it for weeks and your older sister threw an unbelievable tantrum yesterday morning that was allegedly about socks, but we both know it’s about you getting birthday attention when she’s not. Also, your Bubbe and Zayde bought you a fancy cupcake with sprinkles for your birthday dinner last night.

Now, I know that when your sister turned 3, she got a big birthday party at the park with all of her friends and a lot of fancy cupcakes, and all you got was dinner with your parents and grandparents. Don’t worry. We’ll get to the party just as soon as I can find the save the date email that I cleverly sent out to our friends and then promptly lost. (Let’s be honest, you’re a second child. You don’t really have your own friends. Fortunately, you seem to like most of the younger siblings of your sister’s friends.)  Read the rest of this entry →

May 23 2013

Why Can’t You Be More Like Your Brother?

By at 12:05 pm

little boy frustrated with homework“Why can’t you be more like your brother/sister?”

It’s a question parents are advised never to ask.

But, that’s a tall order to fill. At least for me.

I have three children. And, except for the fact that they look ridiculously alike (my husband’s and my joke is that if they gave us the wrong baby at the hospital, we got all three of them from the same family), they are all completely different. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 10 2013

How I Pretty Much Raised My Brother

By at 11:57 am

adina and brother alloparentingI had my oldest son a few months before I turned 30. Not young in the majority of the world. Not even particularly young in the United States. On the Upper West Side of New York, however, when I asked my doctor if, at 36, I was too old to think about having a third child, he told me, “Most of my patients your age are still thinking about thinking about having their first baby.”

The thing is, even though I gave birth to my first child in 1999, I’d already been raising one for about two decades prior to that. My brother. Read the rest of this entry →

How I Prepared My Son for his Little Sister

By at 9:52 am

baby nursery crib pinkThe 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 →

Feb 14 2013

True Love is Spending Valentine’s in the Hospital with My Ex and His New Baby

By at 8:02 pm

hospital waiting room

When I was a kid in school, I was really into Valentine’s Day. I’d analyze each valentine my classmates sent me, searching for hidden romantic meaning (“He wrote ‘Love’ instead of ‘From’! HE LIKES ME!”). I’d be eager for Valentine’s Day every year, because this would FINALLY be the opportunity for the imaginary suitor of my dreams to show himself and make some grand gesture with roses, a boom box serenade, poetry or all three.

It never occurred to me that I’d find real love in knowing I’d be spending Valentine’s Day evening in the lobby of a hospital, sitting and waiting for my boys to visit their father, step mom and newly-born little brother. Those are my plans for this evening, and I’m surprised to find that they’re the best plans I’ve ever had.  Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 11 2013

I Remembered Why I Love My Children

By at 9:54 am

mother hugging son“How are you and the kids doing?” my husband Uri asked me on our phone conversation three days ago.

He’s been abroad at a learning program in Israel and I’ve been home with the kids now for five days with three more days to go. “I’m really exhausted and feel pretty irritable and snappy at the kids,” I proceeded to share with him. “I guess I’m overwhelmed and haven’t had any patience for whining, crying, or sibling rivalry.”

“I’m sorry,” my husband said empathically; I knew after this exchange that he was probably feeling really badly for being way. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 17 2012

Sandy Hook: Three Different Kids, Three Different Discussions

By at 4:03 pm

three different kidsNormally the one to talk our kids through the milestones and tragedies of life, I found myself in the odd, and rare, position of being out-of-town as the tragedy in Connecticut was unfolding. From a thousand miles away, I could not hold them. Nor could I really talk to them from that distance.

Arriving home late Sunday night, I had no idea what, if anything, they knew about Sandy Hook. I didn’t know if they were afraid. Or sad. Or anything. What I did know is that I wanted to control the information. I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.  Read the rest of this entry →

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