May 23 2013
“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
I 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 →
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 →
Feb 14 2013
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
“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
Normally 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 →
Dec 11 2012
My son loves garbage trucks. Every morning, without fail, he keeps his eyes peeled. When he finds one, he says, “Mommy, Ga-bage Tuck! Watch it?“
Having raised three girls before him (and another girl after), this vehicular fetish is a bit new to me. The novelty of his request is a big part of why I am so willing to indulge my waste-dump-loving little man whenever possible. Plus, I never tire of seeing his wide, saucer eyes light up as the stinky garbage cans get dumped into the truck and crushed by…whatever that crushing thing is. Read the rest of this entry →
Dec 10 2012
My parents separated over 18 years ago and since that time, my younger brother and I have seen three marriages between them and one more divorce. We’ve gotten six step-siblings, lived in seven houses, and many times struggled with finding a place in our parent’s new world.
We were told all the right things, things that you don’t understand at 4 and 9. We never thought it was our fault or that we had caused the marriage to end. We never considered that we were capable of breaking apart our family. We were 9 and 4 and had parents that loved us as much as any parents have ever loved their children. They were parents who would have died for us without blinking, parents who went without to give us things we didn’t need. They were great parents, but they couldn’t figure out how to put aside their anger for one another, their hate, and so even though they would have died to give us life, they never figured out how to live to give us something greater. 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 →
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 →