Category: sibling rivalry/love

Why You Are Not My Favorite Child

Our children insist we have a favorite child. I’ve explained countless times that there is no such thing. I’ve tried sharing that I, too, used to think my parents had a favorite, but now that I’m a parent… yada yada yada (they stop listening).

My husband’s favorite line is to tell one of our kids that they are “Top Ten.”

We have ten kids.

Now our lovely children enjoy debating who is in the Top Five. Sometimes one will call out a sibling saying, “You definitely made the Top Five today!” Others deem that they will remain bottom five always. It goes on and on. Honestly, it’s getting old.

So I have decided to tell my children how I really feel.

Dear Children,I’ve come to realize that none of you are my favorite and here’s why:

I’ve come to realize that none of you are my favorite and here’s why:

The reason why it takes me so

Why My House?

Why is it every kid in the neighborhood has to play at my house?

As I sit at my computer trying to focus, all I hear is the neighbor girl’s blood-curdling screams of joy while she chases my boys for a kiss or a touch. Go home. Better yet, go home forever and never come back.

I would say this to her but I don’t want to be responsible for her outpatient therapy in the future. I’ve told them all to play in the cul-de-sac or at her house but I’m pretty sure my kids are not allowed in her yard. Then again… they don’t WANT to play in her yard. She has a dog. I have sons and they are afraid of dogs. What did I eat while I was pregnant?

I don’t think other parents are dumb enough to let this go on every day.

Are we the fun parents on

Twin Tube

Twin picture

Not So Much with the Easter Bunny

Easter Bunny Fear

Lessons I’ve Learned from Parenthood

Parenting Lessons

Who said being a parent is easy? No one, but then no one tells you it’s NOT easy either. Until after you’ve given birth. Then advice finds you quicker than you can say “Cesarean Section.”

Other parents forget to tell you their knowledge comes from the trial-and-error of raising their own offspring. In the early days I continued under the false impression that bringing up a child would be a doddle. Several years later, I’m here to report a few of the Lessons I’ve Learned from Parenthood:

Lesson One: The first five years are the best (excluding the sleepless nights). I’ve never felt more pride than when my bundle of joy smiled his first smile, took his first steps and said his first word that I had been longing to hear… “Dad, Dad, Dad.”

Still, there are things that make you smile, like fishing the car keys out of the trash bin or saving

Confessions of a Gender-Neutral Mom


Early in my first pregnancy, we decided against finding out the sex of our baby. “One of the few surprises in life,” people told me. There was more to it than that, though.

I didn’t want my unborn baby to be gendered before birth, to be born into a room decorated according to stereotypes or dressed in a wardrobe of pinks or blues. For as long as possible, I wanted this baby to remain a baby— a miracle, and nothing more.

My newborn clothes were browns, creams and yellows. From the very beginning, I set out to raise children who are not defined by gender, who could see opportunities for themselves across a broad spectrum of interests.

It surprised me when I realized my own bias. I’m now determined to correct it.

Our first child was a boy, and as soon as he was born, the “It’s a Boy!” cards arrived in the mail,

Letter To My Daughter On Her 7th Birthday

Today was your birthday. Last night I kissed you before bed, hugging you close while your little brother made siren noises and flapped his arms like a wild bird. I whispered in your ear about your special gift, the one you gave me, when you made me a mother seven years ago.

Your annoyance at your brother–completely understandable because, boy, is that kid loud–began to fade and a sweet smile spread across your face. I told you about the night you were born, a story you’ve heard dozens of times, and you drank it up like a thirsty bird.

How I was lying in bed, frantically going over my labor notes from class, wondering how on earth I was going to have a baby, when suddenly, I felt a stabbing pain in my abdomen, and bam, just like that, it was on.

“Did it help to read the notes?” you asked, brow furrowed.

One of These Things is Not Like the Other

Why We Should All Have Seven Kids

I’m in early morning boot camp class when the instructor, Karen, finds out that Chrissy, one of the women in the class, has seven kids. Karen’s obvious shock and massive self-editing effort were fun to witness.

Karen wanted to say: “Are you kidding me? Did you have seven kids on purpose? Do you know about birth control? Are you part of a fundamentalist church? What is your husband like? Are you OK? Do you need help? Do you have your own reality TV show? Are you kidding me?”

Karen’s editing was only partially successful, leading to several mildly inappropriate questions. Chrissy was gracious. She was used to this response.

Then another woman in the class said she saw Chrissy with all of her seven kids at the grocery store recently. She said  Chrissy’s kids were not complaining, hitting each other, asking to buy something, demanding attention or getting lost. Chrissy said, “Well, they

These Are the Days

My favorite days at home with my girls–ages 5 and 8-months–are the days when we go slowly. The days we lie on the floor of our kitchen and try to teach Annie to crawl by crawling around ourselves. The days I sit in the rocking chair in Annie’s sunlit room, with both girls on my

The Best Gift I Gave My Daughter Was Her Little Brother

I am an only, adopted child. I knew one day I’d have children, but if pressed, I wasn’t sure when. If you asked my parents, they would’ve said, “Michelle just isn’t going down that road.”

I thought we’d have one child, maybe two? I didn’t know if I could even bear the thought of two.

I knew nothing about having siblings. How do you handle fights or the competition? I wasn’t sure how many souls would fill our family.

But the best gift I ever gave my daughter was her little brother.

Riley was born exactly two and a half years after Avery. His name was supposed to be Nalu, but he didn’t look like a Hawaiian wave. We hemmed and hawed and finally decided on Riley. It was the moment when we left the hospital that I turned to my husband and said, “It’s a unisex name just like Avery, and ends in

How To Have A Nice, Quiet Dinner With Two Small Children

5:00 pm: Locate the one, specific plate they will each condescend to eat off of. They will usually be dirty. Clean them.

5:05 pm: Fill their plates with food. Be sure to include:
a. One food they will almost definitely eat (this will be something that only technically qualifies as food, like Chef Boyardee or hot dogs).
b. One food they might, possibly, in a fit of wild adventureness, decide to try one bite of before spitting out (this will be something unassuming looking, like rice, or maybe carrots).
c. One food they will never in a million years touch but which you feel you must put on their plates for your own peace of mind (this will be something green).

5:20 pm: Make your own dinner. This will be leftovers, since after cooking for the kids you don’t have time to cook for yourself.

5:22 pm: Call the kids to the table.

5:23 pm: Kid #1

No Return Policy

My three-year-old son stared in horror as I delicately cut my newborn twins’ hospital ID bracelets off with a manicuring scissors so I could scrapbook them.

As he burst into tears, I calmly reassured him that I hadn’t harmed his new siblings and, in fact, they slept through the whole thing. But that wasn’t the problem

A Thousand Words

Amazing how kids can say exactly what they’re thinking without using a single word.

With Great Power Comes Great To-Do Lists

Like Peas in a Pod

I’ll Look After You, Bro, Always

Just Hanging Out with My Brother

A Simple Trick: One Divides/One Chooses

A regular lifesaver in our family is the common Solomonic solution to having only one piece of gum (or any other treat) and two (or more) children. This one is called “One Divides and One Chooses.”
One child, knowing that the other will ultimately get to choose his or her piece, divides the

The Kids Hijacked My Playlist

My commute used to be quiet “me” time–listening to NPR, an audiobook, or a few favorite songs to help me enjoy a moment of zen. It was the time between commitments and demands.

Now my commute–all 90 minutes of it–goes like this:

Twin A: “Mommyyyyyy, I said I want to hear ‘Electric Avenue’!!”
Twin B: