One year later – what it’s like having two kids now

As I planned for the arrival of our second child, I polled other parents I knew to glean advice from those who had experience parenting more than one child (here’s their advice Part 1 and Part 2).

Then I wrote about how it was going for us after several months, and recently I jotted down all the best parts of having two.

As a parent yourself, you know nothing ever stays constant with children. They are always changing, growing, developing. So now that Nik is 15 months and Rohan is four, the dynamics are different yet again.

Here’s what’s going on with our family now

The preschooler tries to keep the toddler in check

My four-year-old son is constantly yelling “No!” to the one-year-old. Now that Nik can walk, he gets into everything, and Rohan feels it’s his duty to police him. It actually seems to bother the older brother when the little guy puts something into his mouth he’s not supposed to or does something he knows I wouldn’t approve of.

But I’m much more relaxed about things

Food flung from the high chair, books pulled off the shelves, magnetic toys slammed off the fridge door – I don’t mind any of it now. I just pick it up when I get a chance later, or even better, get Nik’s help to “put it back”. (I figure my anal retentive obsession with keeping everything tidy when son #1 was little may be the reason for the issue we’re having above.)

They play together more now

There are moments every day when the two siblings get along great and do something together. It might be just making the same noises and laughing at each other, or it might be a silly game where we turn the kitchen into a bowling alley while I’m cooking. Rohan surely loved being with his brother when he was a baby, but now that he’s older they come closer to really playing together.

The preschooler has lost his interest in sharing toys

This one has me baffled. The four-year-old never had a problem sharing until recently. Now he doesn’t want Nik to have anything, even going so far as to snatch things from him.

Big child is in preschool = easier days for Mommy

Rohan goes to school 9-2:30 Monday to Friday, so I get alone time with Nik. I try to balance special time with him and errands, so he can benefit from my full attention to help his reading, potty training and his general feeling of being important. Until we had this time together, I always felt he was being short-changed in his Mommy-time.

Still a challenge to spend special time with older child

I have a couple hours with both kids until Daddy gets home, and that’s usually when I cook dinner. It’s a challenging time, and I always wish I could find a way to really connect with Rohan after school before we start down that stretch of time. Still working on this…

 How about you? Do you have it down or are there still areas you’re challenged with while raising two kids?

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