Jack, Older Brother & Young Helper

Jack watching a show with Sam

Both Jack and Ben love the twins. In fact, sometimes it’s completely annoying that they want to dote on them constantly, especially when they can be so rough at times.

Ben is the worst. He wants to share a toy with Sam, so he shoves it in his face, smothering him. Or he wants to give them a hug until he squeezes them purple. I remember Jack was like that when he was Ben’s age too. At that time, Ben was the same age as the twins. I once came downstairs to find Jack had put a pillow over Ben’s face. Lucky for Ben, one of the perks of being a second child is your parents know it’s all a phase. I hope Ben will grow into a better big brother, like Jack has.

Jack Holding Aaron

Jack still can be annoying, but at times he is actually helpful. When a baby cries he will pick them up or try to sooth them. He can still be too rough, but I’m trying hard to let him interact with supervision. He can actually carry the babies. It’s scary to watch. I try to keep my mouth closed except for helpful hints.

“Hold the baby under the bottom.” I say as cheerfully as possible.

In the beginning I was more protective, afraid that any interaction between the older kids and the twins would result in disaster. I’m trying to change. Trying to encourage and show good interaction instead of just not dealing with it.

I’m reading a new book, How Eskimos Keep Their Babies Warm. It’s an insightful look at how other cultures raise kids differently. I don’t agree with all the ideas, like the Argentines who keep their babies up all hours of the night. But I like that the French show their kids how to enjoy their food. I’m very far away from their method of sit down, four course dining. But maybe one day?

Jack entertaining Aaron

I’m also reading how some cultures let the older kids help more with the younger kids. In America we feel we are denying them their youth by asking them to lift a finger for anything other than play, but in fact most kids love to help. Not just with child care, but with everything in the house. I don’t want to raise a man who can’t do laundry, cook or clean. I certainly don’t want to raise a man (or four for that matter) who will become someone husband who can’t do laundry, cook or clean.

So Jack has started the training process. He cooks, he helps with the babies. Even Ben can help with little things like throwing away a dirty diaper.

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