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May 09, 2006

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Mega Mom

Lots of opinions today, eh?

I'm a big fan of close together, but as we are going for #4, I'm assuming our end goals are different :)

Mine are 16 and 22 months apart. 3 boys. Best of friends, tons of fun. First was lovely. The second was even easier(although we clash a bit now.) The third is a doozy, but the most fun I could ever ask for.

Everyone has to do what works for their family and every kid is different. Life doesn't always go how you plan, so who knows if you'll get close together, far apart, or even a third kid (I have a friend who had the two children she planned and got pregnant on the pill 3 TIMES--yes, I think there is something amiss there :)

Best wishes to you ALL!!

kittenpie

I so hear you on the worries about what that other child will be like. Pumpkinpie was pretty easy too, and even so, babyhood knocked me out. I could so not deal with a colicky little monster. Even my MIL says her second was a nightmare after her first was a doll. pumpkinpie may be an only. I'm waiting till she's close to 3 to make the decision.

Brent

Wow! I haven't heard about Hammurabi's Code since 7th grade. Nice call, MD. Only you could somehow bring it up in relation to the marital contract. That's why I keep coming back here!

rebekah

We are having the same discussion these days in our house. Our sweet, fun and easy boy is 20 months old. I am 38. I'm accepting that all my excuses are irrelevant in the long run and we'd better get going. I've heard the same 'feels like a family with two or more' comment from people I love and trust. Go for it and as said in a comment above, fate will help you in however it should.

magnum myoblast

Hi MD,

Your post reminds me ask you a question, not that there will be an answer. Our first baby has been very easy so far, she is fucking adorable in fact, and like you I am a little gun shy at the thought of #2. I worry that we cannot hit the gene-shuffle lotto twice. The question is, when parents complain about having a difficult child, is it the child or is it the parents that are the problem? Some people are just more relaxed than others and are able to go with the flow better, maybe if you ask those people they will say two is no problem. Maybe our children learn their problematic behavior from ques that we are not even aware that we are giving them. Unfortunately, I cannot devise an easy or ethical methodology to test this hypothesis.

RBrown

As usual, I preface this as a SLAINK (single lowly advertising income no kids) commenter, so my argument has absolutely nothing to do with parenting, money, timing etc. I say the world needs more Peanuts and extensions of fine people like you and the BossLady so breed away. Please. We have to balance the Britney/Brangelina babies of the world.

Ali

Wait.
My sister and I are 6 years apart and I like it quite alot.
The more the years, I've found the better the connection later in life. In the beginning it's difficult with two people being on completely different growing patterns, but trust me, it's nice later.
2-4 years between each sibling's a good space range too.
Good luck

Alexandra

I'm in favour of narrower gap in ages. I'm the middle child and I'm 21 months younger than my older brother and 25 months older than my younger brother. We've always been very close; even through the years when we wanted to kill each other. We had similar interests, played the same games and went to school together for the most part.

Having said that, my nephew is almost 8 years older than his sister and they adore each other. But I have to say he ends up playing more of a parent role than a sibling role in the relationship.

As far as the second child being the opposite of the first child - in our family that only happened to the third child, who turned out to be so completely different that we used to tell him he was adopted...Anyways, he was definitely not the easiest!

If you want a second child, I would try for it and let fate decide...

twizzle

Being the mother of a 22 month old girl myself, I and most every other parent I know are asking ourselves the same question: should we make a sibling now or never?

I can relate to your wife's current baby mania. And the pain of childbirth? Feh! Forgetaboutit! The birth of a perfect baby completely eradicates that memory. Go for it, and soon before y'all are both too decrepit to keep up w/ two energetic toddlers!

tpon

t'pon says DO it, already!

of course, that could just be that whole "misery loves company" thing...

p-man

I cannot offer any useful response until #2 arrives. Can you, uh, pull something else until then?

LauraL

Hmmm ... be interesting to see what y'all do, MD. As the mother of one who is coming up on age 4 and currently discussing baby no. 2, I have no answers. I strongly believe that age difference between children is a minor consideration. I've known bazillions of people with varying sibling age gaps, and the relationship has more to do with the people than the age difference. Post-childhood, that is. And all kids fight, so you'll have to deal with that anyway. For us, it's more about the financial aspect. And yeah, I know everyone says to not let that be a factor, but come on. We live in the real world.

Good luck, babe! Can't wait to hear what happens.

Kim

If I were younger (just turned 40, kid is 13 months) I'd like to wait a bit, or maybe skip it all together. In my case it's the husband who is eager for another, and could I please see to it we have a girl this time? Sheesh.

Marty

From now on I'm going to start referring to myself as Guam.

bitemycookie

do it. do it now. if i am/can, so shall/will/can you. just give in to the insanity. i can't go thru this alone.

Kim

Honestly? I think she needs to hold her horses for a few months until you're *both* ready. From what I understand, two is far more than double the work. You want to be ready.

Multymfoiled

Isn't it amazing how soon they forget the birthing experience? As I noted in my blog, my wife had not only a challenging delivery, but and entirely terrible (and life-threatening) pregnancy. We had decided that one was it early on, prior to her week in the hospital. Yet, shortly after when the decision for me to have "The Procedure", there was a brief conversation about having a biological #2 (adoption has been the standing plan). The conversation was short as I reminded her of the "food bag" that kept her alive for two months, but nevertheless it was a reminder I thought I'd never need to make.

We have settled on adoption for a second child, and it was about 4 months into life with Vampbaby that Vampmommy brought out her desire to start planning for it. We've held off, as I don't have the mental capacity to conceive of two let alone the one we already have, but it's on the radar screen and getting closer.

I always look to my own background -- my brother and I are four years apart, and that seemed to work. My brother's kids are a bit closer in age, and it was bittersweet for him to have one child finally out of diapers when a second comes along to begin the cycle over again. Another friend of mine had his kids much closer, which makes those kinds of milestones easier to navigate.

Good luck navigating the decision, which of course is partly driven by rational thought and partly driven by uncontrollable human drive!

chunky930

i say if you two are physically and emotionally ready for another child, go for it! it doesn't sound like you would be heavily burdoned (financially), i mean you guys aren't exactly living off of oodles of noodles over there.

besides, think of all the great new material you'll have for the blog!

Hotlanta

The Falcons are going to the playoff this year!

Mom101

I think there's no right answer and that's the answer. Have em now, have em later. It's all good.

I wish you luck with the decision though. I think I am MD and BossLady all wrapped into one. Remember that scene in Chinatown: Her sister...her mother...her sister...her mother...

Yeah, that's me on the second baby thing. Ugh, I didn't help at all did I.

Brina

I'm not sure how old you and the bosslady are but if you're only going to have two kids, why rush to have the second child? We have two kids and there is a three year age difference between them. I thought that was perfect. The older one was out of diapers and was guite the useful helper when his younger sister was born. They're still close enough in age to enjoy playing with each other and they get along great. Of course, the decision is up to you but I thought I would let you know how our situation worked out.

krista

Well- I wanted to comment just to tell you that I like your ipod spoof picture. I just made one myself a few days ago for fun, so it was cool to see yours there too. there are more over at this stie called Weekly Photoshop Challenge: (If you are interested, here is the link: http://weeklyphotoshopchallenge.blogspot.com/2006/05/silhouette-results.html)

About child spacing. My kids are 5 years apart. I love it. The 5 year old loves the baby and helps take care of him.

Of course therea re benefits for them being close in age too though.

Jen

They will be different, but not in a good vs evil way....I wrote about my two today, go take a look at what I wrote. I would paraphrase here, but I can't leave any of it out....

Wolfbaby

umm having them close together has good points and bad... my children are actually very much alike in that they were both very easy infants to take care of they both slept well ate well and didn't have much problems other then chronic ear infections. The only problem i have had is keeping my toddler from doing serious damage to my infant. She dosn't mean to hurt her she just wants to play with her sister and now LOL. But they are definetly close. my youngest laughed smiled and talked first to her sister.... I swear her first word will be her sisters name... my oldest is 2 and 1/2 and my youngest is seven months.

sweatpantsmom

GO FOR IT!! NOW!!! JUMP HER!!!

Seriously, I don't think there's any
'right' time to have a baby. Any baby. Whether it's the first, or second, or, in the case of some of those people you see on Oprah, the fifteenth.

When we decided it was time for a second we were pretty nonchalant about it. Although I didn't have any problems getting pregnant the first time, we had heard that sometimes the second one requires more, uh, 'attempts.' We figured by the time we had the second one they would be just over three years apart.

But fate! Is a funny thing. Who would've thought it would happen literally (cause I did the math, over and over in my head) THE FIRST TIME.

Our girls are fifteen months apart, and I think it's perfect. They're best friends (99% of the time. The other 1% is pure evil) and do everything together. I say heed the call of BossLady's uterus. NOW.

Anne Glamore

I would not presume to give you advice about family planning (we didn't "PLAN" a thing) but the comments have been interesting as hell!

Amy

Wow, couldn't possibly get through all those comments, especially since I'm still laughing at your post.
Here's the thing: most everybody's going to think that the spacing of their own kids is the best way to do it. And you will too, whether you have the second now , or a few years from now. You can't predict if your kids are going to be good friends or arch enemies. My theory was to get the pregnancy thing over with, since I sucked so hard at it, and now, almost 2 years after the second one, it's pretty fucking great. My two are different, but my second has been a much easier toddler than my first. It will be the same for you guys--some stages will be easier than others, depending on the kid.

Really, though: if BossLady wants a baby, you better give her one.

LeeMarvin

MD,

Oh yea, you should plan for 3 or 4 total. Buck that national trend for one or two. Really, after the first two, the last two basically raise themselves. The younger ones learn faster, and mature quicker because they're around the older ones and pick up things quicker. Remember, they're sponges.

To coin a famous movie,

"[Insert above topic here]...is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you're gonna get". (If that's been used in one of the bazillion posts above, sorry!)

It really doesn't matter if you do it now or later. Some things will be the same and some will be different, no matter when you actually DO IT.

We've discussed this before. I'm on the "go for it, now" team. Get them little fishies to swimmin!

panthergirl

You want my 2 cents? My kids are 9 1/2 years apart. And I like it that way. While it was tough to "start all over", it was also a lot easier when kid #1 was big enough to help out.

That said, kid #2 WAS the polar opposite of kid #1 (Emma was such an easy baby that I knew I couldn't get that lucky twice. And I was right.). While that was difficult in the baby stage, now that Lucas is 11 he is still the opposite of Emma and it's a good thing. He actually does his homework. ;)

I hope you guys come to an agreement about this. It's a really important decision. I'm on the "wait awhile" team. I think that when they get older, it's tough to have 2 kids close in age.

Lira

All I can comment on is OUR perspective. Our daughter is 4 and our young boy is 6 months. Thus far, it seems to be a great age difference. Our daughter is a great helper and has made having a second child very enjoyable. I can't imagine having two infants at the same time. So if you're only going to have two kids...what's the hurry?

Not-For-Profit Dad

Now, we've never had just one, but my experience has been that two kids is like having two different flavors of ice cream in your bowl. Chocolate and strawberry are very different sensations but each wonderful in their own way. I say go for it.

Queen of Ass

I have to remember that nightie line the next time I don't want to have sex.

I say go for it, and let me babysit!

freezio

The Voice, as an infant, was a colicky insomniac, who wouldn't eat. Now that he's older, he's just an insomniac, who won't eat. But his smile will light a room up like you can't believe, and he is the most loving, tender guy imaginable. When he's not too busy punching me in the neck.

My recommendation for the age difference between children is three years. Why? That's what I did, and I favor my own opinion.

Genuine

Run like the wind...

Grins

I only have one child so probably not the best one to advise on this. However I did come from a family of 3 girls all of almost exactly 2 years apart. It was great to be so close in age, I wouldn't have traded it for anything. And although I'm perfect, my sisters didn't turn out to be devils. Bwahahha, kidding. Sorta.

Dollymama

Hey!

I can tell you that I do not think there is any greater likelihood of first and second children being extremely different than with any other sibs. They are all similar and different in various ways. Get over it. ;)

I think that plenty of people have kids that are easy enough to deal with on their first and second kids. That explains why so many people have only two kids and remain thinking that they did everything RIGHT with their kids and that they know it all. The truth is that if you have enough kids, eventually you will learn that you don't know squat. ;)

As for spacing, two years has been really nice for my kids to still be close enough to play together, but not so close that it killed me. My first two were over 3.5 years apart and it was way too long. The older one really wanted a friend, and that meant he was almost five before his sister was much fun to play with.

Looks like you're getting tons of advice. I suspect that you won't be able to resist the Boss Lady's advances for long. Why not get her knocked up and let her stay home and feather the nest for you?? :)

Michelle

Husband & I are also thinking abt the dilemma of having another kid. Why shld we? Because we're decent ppl who would care for our children [better than most ppl who are popping them left & right]. Why not? Because we're happy with Sweety, we're lazy & want to have a life. But we already set a deadline for next year. If no baby is delivered, then the store is closed. Good luck on your decision.

Angry Dad

Could you get any more advice on this?! What a wealth of opinions and collective diagnosis. There's no right or wrong time, if you want it, just do it! And by the way, enjoy the practice!!

JGS

Even though you probably already have too much advice, I'll throw my 4 cents in. Two children certainly seems to be twice the work - especially because one of you will now almost always deal with a child (whereas one was always free before). Another thing to think about, our Okapis (boy/girl twins) are wonderful, but we don't get much individual time with each of them. I think the ages of 2 & 3 so far have been the best. Remember, it will take at least a month or so for her to get pregnant and 9 months for your "walnut" to arrive. That gives you almost a year to enjoy your little peanut (and to get yourself psyched up emotionally and financially for the next one).

Good luck and I can't wait to hear how it turns out!

PHAT Mommy

My sister and I are 7 years apart and it sucks. My son is 6 years older than my daughter and that sucks, too. OK, it doesn't totally suck. He's a big help a lot of the time. But they can't really play together or occupy each other when I want to write a damn blog post. Psh. If I could do it over, I'd definitely have them about 2-3 years apart.

Izzy

lol...reminds me of when I had 2nd baby fever.

Signed,
A woman who also had a 36+ hour labor but would do it all again for that 2nd baby :)

Adrienne

*I'm going to try and keep this short* In my honest opinion, if there's a chance you want to have another child, you should start trying. Its not like it's going to happen overnight (unless you're magic.. if so please share your secret with me) so it may take 3-6-9 or even 12 months to conceive, let alone the 9 months until delivery.. So, something to think about.

just susie

You can't predict the personality of your kids to know if they will be friends or not. My sister is 6 years older than me and we have gotten close just since I've had a child of my own. But growing up..not so much. But I'm so happy to have her in my life. Also - you could end up like me. I conceived Liam very easily (1 try!) We have been trying to conceive #2 for 5 months now. I feel very foolish to think I could predict when I would get pregnant. It's out of our hands! And I try to pretend Dan isn't only getting nookie during O-week (and I'm not talking Oprah). Good luck!

Lisa

Great post! We have 4 of our own, so if I may...

To begin with, I am from a family where my older half brother is twelve years older than me and my younger half sister is five younger and my youngest sister is eight years younger. I can definitely say that when I was a kid, I often felt alone, with no one that I could relate to. I was in grade school and my brother was in college and getting married. I was in high school and my little sisters were still playing hopscotch in grade school. Even though I knew we were a "family unit" it often didn't feel like it to me since my relationships with my other siblings were anything but close. I feel whole-heartedly that this was due to the age gaps between us.

Fast forward to today... those relationships have somewhat changed/grown thanks to the passage of time. Time has a tendancy to close age gaps and give those that once had no reason to relate to one another, a few things in common. Although my brother never had kids, we are now BOTH adults and can relate on that level. My younger sister now has two kids of her own and we can commiserate with one another on those challenges as well. I am grateful that we can all share and relate and have relationships NOW, but back then, it was hard. I never felt I was close with anyone... never felt I had a "buddy" or an aly. Just my experience. ;)

Speaking of my own kids, My fist and second (both boys) are 2y 10m apart. An average gap, I guess. Then came my daughter only 21 months after our second. It was kind of tough at first having them that close together (and that's realative, compared to a couple other families I know) and today, they are extremely tight. They fight like cats and dogs - seriously... they scare the crap outta me sometimes. But 20 minutes later, I can look over on the couch at the two of them watching a video together... he with his head in her lap and she stroking his hair. Very touching. It's times like that when I realize that the closeness (both in age and in relationship) that they share is something that's sadly missed out on by a lot of parents so hesitant to have siblings too close together.

Which is NOT to say that there isn't something to be said for those extra coule of years apart! LOL Believe me, having only one set of diapers to change at a time really is a big deal. ;) But still, something to ponder. And again, just my .02¢.

And don't worry. Yes, the second (and third... and fourth) ARE totally different from the first. But not necessarilly in a "bad" way. All of our kids were different, but ironically, it was our fourth that has given us the most trouble been the most challenging. On any given day, you can hear me say that it's a good thing that E was our fourth... because if she had been our first, she would've been our only. And I am NOT kidding with that statement, either. LOL And I see that according to Peanut's age, you may have yet to begin experiencing the "Terrible Twos". You might want to hurry up and have that second baby now my friend, before that (#%*&!) phase starts and it causes you to reconsider procreating again altogether. ;)

Anyway, just another total stranger's perspective. Thanks for noticing me. I love your blog - got ya bookmarked. :)

smriti

Well my brother and I are 15 months apart and i cant imagine it being any other way.

I have a 13 month old son and I am alread brooding....I envy other pregnant bellies and small squirmy babies... heck if i hadnt had a c-sec and money was no object I would have spent the rest of my life having babies. Having said that, let me mention that work is important to me. I have carried my son to work since he was 2 months old and reported with him hanging around my chest.

Go for it... have a dozen...

Edmon

A thesis is a fomarl study of a subject matter, a written report that explores a topic, a research paper. The narrative is all the words in the paper/report/thesis. An outline of your narrative is an outline of the study/paper/report/thesis you will be writing. Each year in English classes, you write, starting with words, then sentences, then paragraphs, then stories and essays. How to do each has been explained to you over the years, including how to outline (organize an outline is a method of summarizing the writing's organization) each (paragraph, story, essay what to write first, second, third, etc., and why you put thoughts/points in a certain order). Each of these built upon the one that came before: an essay is an organized group of paragraphs, a paragraph is an organized group of sentences, etc. All of this has been leading up to a thesis, where you choose a topic, research and make notes on the writings of others on the topic, organize the information into a logical writing, analyze what you've learned and add to the literature or knowledge on the subject by adding your own reasoned thoughts and ideas, which you justify by using others' works and your own analysis. You've been taught how to outline: A. ___. Indented and under A: 1. __ 2. __ 3, __, Maybe a. __ and b. __ under some or all of the numbers. Then B. __ C__ Your textbook Table of Contents is an outline of the material in the textbook. (You can think of the textbook as a long thesis.)First, you choose a topic. One current possible subject is Childhood Obesity: a lot is being written, reported, and studied on that. You'd do some preliminary research and pick one aspect of the subject as your topic: for example, Overcoming the Causes of Childhood Obesity. Research that, make notes (including information to make correct citations of others' work on the topic), think about it from various angles (is there an umbrella under which all causes can be grouped or are the reasons too different), try to think of an umbrella or classification for the reasons. What various ways can the causes be overcome? Think how your thesis will run what you'll say first, second, third. Then write the outline (the Table of Contents, if you will, of your paper).A thesis involves a lot of work and takes a lot of time (weeks, if not months). Your teacher is breaking it down into parts to guide you. She probably handed you a sheet of information; if not, she discussed it in class. She has deadlines for several of the parts to be turned in, because you can't do it all in two weeks and she's helping you stay on top of the project so you can do it and do it well. Being able to complete a project that can take months (even years) when you have other things to do is a very, very valuable skill (a large part of life), and she's trying to teach you how to do it by helping you do it once on a relatively small scale.You can expect to do at least one thesis in your senior high school year, and probably in your junior year. In college, expect to do at least one or two each semester for different courses, not just your English courses. They will be longer, more detailed, and more complex and will take hundreds of hours of effort and no one will be standing over you and reminding you that this needs to be done by now if you're to meet the paper's deadline and get a good grade on it. Theses are assigned so you learn valuable information (and in the hope that you'll add to the collective knowledge on the subject). Your teacher is preparing you to do them for college, and for many, many types of jobs after college, by having you do this one. Because you don't even understand her words, you have a lot of re-reading and catching up to do, because, I can assure you, this was not the first time the project was mentioned. This was only a reminder of the deadlines for two parts of it. (Even if you think you'll never have a job where you must write a report, EVERY job requires that you understand different things and juggle different tasks, many of which occur over long periods of time, so the organization, analysis, reasoning, and time management parts of the thesis will aid you no matter what type of work you do.)

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