Having kids ranging from teens to toddlers creates some logistical challenges. The older kids like to stay up late and sleep in. The little ones wake up early. This squeezes the number of hours that the house is quiet. We’ll be splitting up the family during a few upcoming vacations because the older ones want to do stuff (and I want to give them the opportunity to do stuff) that would be miserable with the toddler.

But as the little guy rounds toward his second birthday, and as he becomes better able to communicate, it has been so fun to watch the sibling interactions. Older siblings are built-in toddler entertainment. Anything they do is tremendously exciting. They teach him words. He often prefers them to his parents — on one car trip he wanted crackers but refused to take the crackers from me and would only take them from his 6-year-old brother. I have taken the 10-year-old along when picking him up at a babysitter’s house because I know he never wants to get strapped into the carseat, but if she’s there in the car…

They all fight like crazy. On the other hand, they are members of a club that I can observe but will never be part of. It’s fun to see the little guy wear hand-me-downs that I remember from the big boys. And the shoes! Big ones, little ones, all lined up. We don’t have too many more years where they are all under one roof. I try to remember that when lining up seven plates on the kitchen island.

5 thoughts on “Siblings

  1. Yes! All so true. I am starting to feel college looming (in 4 years) and I know the one who will miss the oldest one tremendously is the youngest one. Sibling are truly the best.

  2. I sent your piece to my siblings. I am the oldest of five so I can definitely relate to your thoughts, my youngest sister is 13 years behind me a similar spread to your oldest and youngest.

  3. Ah yes, I definitely experienced this as 1 of 5 with a 17 year (!!!!) range from youngest to oldest! My mom talks about how, when I was a young toddler, I would only let my older sister feed me. We only have 2 kids and that is all we will have but I can already see a sweet relationship developing between the boys. The older brother is the baby’s favorite person, even though he’s constantly taking toys away from him, and taking over toys that the baby receives for gifts! We won’t have the helpers that you do but that is one big benefit of a big family. My parents went many years w/out needing a babysitter since the olders could always watch the youngers! And then when you have drivers, it gets even better. My older siblings had to help w/ taking us places, although we had way less going on than the average kid does these days since we lived in a rural area where there wasn’t much in terms of activities/extracurriculars. But ever extra driver still made a big difference for my busy working parents!

  4. I am 14 years older than my youngest sister and I loved what you wrote here. I also have a bigger age spread among my kids (youngest 7, oldest 15) and am realizing the number of years left with them all here are limited. We must treasure these noisy messy days because they will not last.

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