Originally published December 13, 2011

Ethan: Logan cries when I hit him.

Nana Terry: Why do you think he cries?

Ethan: Because he’s a whiner.

Well, you can’t fault him for telling the truth. Little bro is definitely a whiner. Of course, he’s also 2. And you’re hitting him. That may actually be the bigger issue here.

To be honest with you, they really do get along most of the time. Logan idolizes his big brother, and Ethan has told me on more than one occasion that Logan is his best friend. When they aren’t fighting over Spiderman (never mind that we have a playroom filled with 167,000 toys, they will ALWAYS want the same one), they really are best buds. It’s more than I could ever have hoped for when we were preparing to have our second little boy.

I always wanted our kids to be close together in age, because I wanted them to be able to relate to each other. I wanted them to be able to play together. I wanted them to be friends. I’m 4 and 5 years younger than my sister and brother, respectively, and we honestly never had any kind of relationship (other than mild resentment and, obviously, the love that all siblings have because they have to). In fact, until I got married, I always felt like an afterthought to them. After all, I’m just the baby sister. Honestly, even now I feel like I’m not taken seriously – despite the fact that I AM married, have 2 children, hold a Master’s degree, and am a successful, talented person in my own right. They never ask me for advice on things – but continue to lecture. I will always be their baby sister, and nothing else.

I never wanted my kids to feel like that. I wanted them to grow up feeling like they understood each other – that they could lean on EACH OTHER. I never want my kids to feel like they don’t matter, or that nobody cares what they think. I especially don’t want them to feel that way about their family.

So, we planned for our boys to be pretty close together. And they are. They’re 20 months apart – which was just about perfect. They get along, they play at the same level, and they understand each other. I regret that we haven’t been able to give them another sibling yet, because now the age gap will be there. Hopefully, when we are ready for another baby, they won’t be too out of sync to get along and have a real relationship as siblings. We’ll just have to hope.

I won’t say it was easy having two babies so close together. It was a nightmare. I imagine it would have been a little easier if Logan wasn’t such a problem child…but oh, we had issues with him. First, he had reflux – which wasn’t diagnosed until he was 8 weeks old. Boy that was a fun 2 months. After the reflux, he just wanted to nurse. All. The. Time. We actually switched him to formula because he wouldn’t do ANYTHING but nurse. Imagine trying to interact with your energetic toddler while having a squirmy infant permabonded to your nipple. Not easy. When we switched to formula he was much better about eating, but he still wanted to be held every minute of every day. I couldn’t get dinner ready, I couldn’t clean, I couldn’t function – because he would scream himself into a choking, sobbing mess if I left him alone. As a result, I was stressed and irritated all the time, and Ethan was not immune that. Once we started solids – oh Jesus. That resulted in a food strike and epic nightly battle that is going on to this day, though we are making progress, finally. He didn’t stop being a brain-melting challenge until he started walking – which I had to force him to do with trickery and Goldfish crackers. He screamed and cried through his first steps, I kid you not.

However, once we found our groove, once he was actually able to play with Ethan, it got SO much better. What these two have is so special, so strong, so wonderful to watch…I would endure that first year again, in a heartbeat.

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