The Not-Often Spoken About Challenge of Having Two Kids

cute baby"Oh, you have such a beautiful baby!" she gushed. "He's just so adorable! I just, I've never seen such a beautiful baby." She wasn't wrong. My son, when he wasn't screaming his Exorcist scream, well, he could have passed for a Gerber baby. There was something delicious about his big green eyes, his shock of brown hair, and his cupid-bow mouth. But I was his mother. Of course I can say that stuff.

I nodded and thanked her, trying to untangle myself out of the conversation without appearing rude. She did, after all, compliment my baby.  

However, there was another son, a bigger child, standing at my elbow, with equally adorable big brown eyes, a shock of dark brown hair, and an identical cupid-bow mouth. He was looking at us both expectantly.



The lady who loved my baby, well, she didn't seem to notice him. She only had eyes for my newborn, pinching his feet and trying to make him look at her as she babbled incoherently at him in baby talk.

My eldest, who doesn't quite understand social interactions (he's autistic), looked back and forth between the lady and me, like, "what's going ON, Mom?"

Desperately, I tried to unlatch the lady from my baby, who was now glaring at her, tears on the horizon.

She wasn't getting the hint.

So I pulled the baby's foot from her clutches and said EXTREMELY loudly, "You know who he looks like? HIS BROTHER." I then pushed my firstborn in between her and my baby and began to compliment him. After all, he was the one who could understand her. The baby wanted nothing to do with her.

"Doesn't he just have the most gorgeous eyes?" I prattled on, my eldest beginning to grin. "He looks just like his brother, DON'T YOU THINK?" I was daring her with my own eyes to disagree.

Finally, she noticed that I did, in fact, have two children with me. One of them cared about talking to her and the other would've preferred if she'd melted into the background. Guess which was which?

Hint: the baby didn't understand words yet.

It was only then that she began to speak to my eldest. He grinned, ear to ear, happy to fawn over his brother with her.

And when she left, I vowed never, ever to speak to a baby without first acknowledging their siblings. Because the baby? The baby doesn't care if I talk to it.

The toddler, however, cares very much.

How do you keep your older child happy and not feeling left out when you have a baby, too?

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