Saturday, March 25, 2017

How to Parent, No. 659

A typical day in The Brother's bedroom

First of all, don't worry about it if things go awry.

Secondly, don't pat yourself on the back if your children are fantastic.

That's it. *

* You can very possibly bear two sons two and a half years apart who then live in the same bedroom their entire lives and are raised in pretty much the same way for nearly sixteen and nineteen years (obviously birth order is something to reckon with, but for our simple parenting advice purposes, don't worry about it), yet are so profoundly different from one another that you might question whether you did indeed bear them. One of them can be exquisitely neat and profoundly perceptive with an invisible antennae sprouting from his head,  yet drive you to distraction with questions and the pursuit of material objects, as well as constant existential anguish from the age of two onward. One of them can be a preternaturally confident and cheerful soul who charmed the ladies when he was literally two years old with his easygoing manner, yet drive you to distraction as an outrageous slob who has a floordrobe despite laundry baskets two steps away and as one of those men who leaves a cereal bowl with a film of congealed milk on his bedside table for weeks.

Here we go:

Don't let the neatness fool you. The person who maintains that level of clean has other issues, including a propensity as a young boy to say I hate everything and everybody.

Don't let the mess fool you. The person who maintains that level of slobbery is also one of the more relaxed and good-natured kids on the planet.

As a parent, my best advice is to not congratulate yourself for the good stuff or berate yourself for the bad.

It's out of your hands, and you have absolutely nothing to do with either.

You can marvel, though, that they both emerged from your aching, enormous body, bloody, stunned and screaming yet intensely beautiful (that'd be them and you).

I had some big baby boys


  1. Sweetness itself those fresh babies all sticky and wet - funny how mine and I imagine yours too both cringe and grin at those pictures of themselves. Embarrassed - and proud.

  2. I'm going to say the top is Oliver, the bottom is Henry, but it doesn't really matter they are both beautiful, big babies. I think you got the best of both worlds.

  3. How much DID they weigh? What big, beautiful babies!
    Yep, I have four kids and they are each as different from each other as the moon and stars and a couple of different universes. And yet, as perfectly perfect as they can be.

  4. We don't give birth to babies, we give birth to people. It always amazes me.

  5. If there is a female gender equivalent to that post, I am living it.

  6. Amen. I have two that are two and a half years apart and they couldn't be more different, either. Crazy, isn't it? And wonderful.

  7. I am absolutely convinced that you can know your child's personality in the first 15 seconds after birth. My son was born, said "baaa" then chilled out. He's been chilling out for 21 years. My daughter came out, her head started spinning and she screamed. She wouldn't stand for being swaddled because she had things to do. She's been doing that for 19 years.
    The bedroom pictures made me laugh. Life would be so boring if all our kids had the same personality.

    1. Hahaha, this comment makes me grin! Not sure if Baby Bananaface has matched his... he is pretty chill though also very adventurous and energetic. I guess that part of his personality was represented by the epic labor haha

  8. Excellent Parenting advice! The 'Oscar & Felix' Bedroom Images made me Smile. We had an 'Oscar & Felix' sharing a room while growing up. I like how your Boys respect each other's Space though, no mess is migrating and no order is encroaching either, that is wonderful that they allow each other to just Be. Dawn... The Bohemian

  9. People usually want to give me oodles of credit when it comes to my wonderful daughter, but like you, I know that she alone deserves the credit. I was guardian and custodian for 18 years, and that's it. Love this post. And yes, you birthed some giant baby boys!

  10. Love it and the pictures are perfect!

  11. I LOVE this, likely because it hits close to home. Reading this made me laugh out loud. I'm a Mama of two boys, both large babies at birth, born 2.5 years apart, sharing a room, but not many personality traits. They are much younger than your boys, but I feel like I got a glimpse into the future when reading your post...

  12. "Floordrobe" -- I love that! I'm impressed these two can live together, being so different in their environmental preferences!

  13. A perfect illustration that we are who we are from our very first breath. Best parenting advice I've ever heard and those baby pictures!!!

  14. OMG I love this post! Yesss!!! Everything you say. We have floorobes over here, too, and now that I have a name for it I am a little less bothered by the concept. Thank you! Your boys are simply amazing, with all their individual threads of being. I am in awe of your parenting skills actually, and that's just the truth.

  15. Thank you for all of this, especially for the big bloody baby pics (you know I'd say that!)

  16. I love this post, and everything about this post. You're so right. Don't get too carried away with either the guilt or the glory of how our kids "end up."



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