First Kid, Second Kid

Crappy Boy and Crappy Baby are playing with something.

It goes under the couch.


Crappy Boy yells for me to help. I’m busy so I can’t rescue their toy at this exact moment. He stands there and continues to yell for me.

Enter Crappy Baby.


Rather than stand there and helplessly yell, he gets the broom and fishes the toy out himself.


Then my mind starts rolling.

Is this a birth order thing? Birth order is fascinating. A first kid, second kid thing? But I thought the older child is the one who is classically more independent while the younger kid remains the baby of the family? Is Crappy Baby more of a problem solver? Is Crappy Boy just beingย lazy and smart? Will Crappy Boy ever fish out toys from under the couch? Is Crappy Baby so independent because he was the second child and didn’t get his needs met as consistently?

Oh dear, more crap for me to think worry about.

Then later, the same afternoon…


Crappy Baby wants water and I’m on the phone.

Enter Crappy Boy.


Crappy Boy gets water and gives it to Crappy Baby.

Birth order, first kid, second kid, problem solving, needs met, blah, blah, blah?

Who cares! They were helping each other. I was missing the whole point.



I compared their behavior in this post once upon a time.

Psst! Only about 10% of people who like my page on FB see my posts in their feeds these days. If you want to not miss posts, the best thing to do is to subscribe via email. All you’ll get is an email with the link to a new blog post. No spam or penis enlargement emails. Well, unless I wrote a blog post about it, but that’s highly unlikely.





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62 Responses to First Kid, Second Kid

  1. Kim says:

    It pisses me off that FB changed their methodology for what gets posted to my Newsfeed. Thankfully, I subscribe via Feedly so I never miss one of your hilarious (and touching) posts.

    • Kim says:

      Ok what is feedly?

      • SonrisaMaria says: is a RSS Reeder. You can put all the blogs you follow in it, and it will automatically update your main page with new posts from all the blogs you follow. You would have to get into the habit of opening the website/app if you’re not used to a separate RSS Reader, but it’s great for those who read lots of blogs! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. KyFireWife says:

    Awesomeness. Sibling helping sibling. PLUS momma letting go of worry? Great post.

  3. I keep blaming birth order for all sorts of things, but I think it turns out that their strong personalities account for 99.6% of everything they do, and that probably wouldn’t change no matter who came first.

  4. I don’t remember my sister and I being helpful with each other. But my kids are like little angels with each other. They seriously make me cry sometimes, and I am a cynical asshole, so that’s hard to do.

  5. Katie says:

    Love it!
    Haha what is going on on your couch?

    • Charity says:

      It’s called Kidsandpets. Once you get it, it spreads all over the house. Nothing you can do will stop it.

      Resistance is futile.

      • Deb says:

        I call it Toddler Dust. Kinda like Fairy Dust but with glops of yogurt and disturbing amounts of sand.

      • Christina F. says:

        Very very true.

      • Di says:

        I’m okay with it when it’s Kidsandpets. It’s when it’s Husbandmess that I get mad. I mean, come on, how many creatures do I have to clean up after?!?

        • Kamron says:

          Omg right? I clean coffee off the floor daily. Apparently I am the only one who cares. And by the way, your couch looks like mine…except one of our cushions is half eaten by the dogs. I am not kidding…and not replacing until the couch falls apart.

    • Devon says:

      I was going to say we have the same couch! Hahaha!

    • amber says:

      I drew it in the style of realism.

      • Megan B says:

        I nodded when I saw your couch drawing and said “yep”. I have two small children and a cat. Love your blog! LOVED your book! Sent one to my cousin (of two small children) in Japan.

      • Lauren Elysia says:

        I just realized that my couch has turned into YOUR couch. When I started reading your blog last year it still looked pretty good! Then, baby turned to kid. I didn’t even notice the transition!

      • Michelle M says:

        I found it! Can’t believe you have had our missing glove all this time! LOL

        (That is totally my couch too!)

  6. I worry about the amount of attention each kid gets, too. I think our third will just assume she was raised by wolves…

  7. Jennifer says:

    Hahaha the stains on the couch are priceless!

  8. Sarah G says:

    Or I could just obsessively check for a new post a few times each day ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not that I do that…

  9. My 7yo recently realized that she can get snacks and water for herself and my 5 yo. Oh, it’s a BEAUTIFUL thing to not be needed for every. single. thing. they need every. single. time!!!

  10. Jackie says:

    I recently found my 5 yo using a step stool to get out bowls so he could pour him and his sister some cereal (they eat it dry anyway) when we forgot to leave some for them already done in the fridge. Resourceful little guy. It was a nice seeing them fend for themselves and not have to get up so early in the morning. Now if we can teach them to be quieter, not fight, not run down the hall, and to turn on the tv by themselves we might be able to sleep in till noon! or at least 8 am.

  11. Mary Ann says:

    Thanks for another bright spot in my day — lovely!

  12. Lauren says:

    I swore all my children would be raised exactly the same with the same amount of time spent with each of them and blah blah blah

    Then I had my second child and realized it’s physically impossible to do that without a time-turner because you still have the first kid! Then I also realized, second kid also has first kid attending to him, so really it sort of balances out!

    PS. I love your couch! It’s the kind of realistic detail that means I might actually be normal!

  13. Vivian says:

    Penis enlargement emails!!! Hilarious! ^_^

  14. Jack says:

    Birth order is always second to how tired a kid is. My older sister generally did things for me but not much for herself. That is until she found out she could boss me around to be her servant.

  15. Laura says:

    My girls are like that too! My oldest won’t kill a bug, so the younger one does it (momma won’t kill the bugs either). They take turns breaking into the fridge and getting each other snacks. I like when they help each other – makes up for the other 20% of the time when they are hitting each other, lol.

  16. Mandy says:

    Madam, I believe you have stolen my couch.

    Wait, no, I’m sitting on it. My kids are outside in the yard “rescuing their eggs” (which are beach balls that roll out of their carefully-constructed “nests” every time we get wind), my baby is crawling around eating floor bits his sisters shed as they wander, and I am sitting here thinking how wonderful it is that I randomly clicked to go to your blog today, because now I will smile all day. I’m not sure if this makes me a crappy parent or just really lucky.

    My mother-in-law got me a Keurig for Christmas. I wasn’t inclined to keep it (cough cough environment cough waste cough cough) but then I discovered my six-year-old can make me tea and coffee. By herself. And now she’s teaching the three-year-old. Kids doing stuff is awesome. Kids helping each other and teaching each other stuff is awesome. Your blog is awesome. Gonna go have coffee now. The end.

    • Allyson says:

      I love my Keurig! Not only can the 10-year-old make coffee now, but he can also make himself hot chocolate. It’s a beautiful thing.

  17. Amber Lena says:

    This is off topic a bit, but you need to get that ringtone with Dewey from Family Guy saying “mama, mama, mom, mum, mama, mummy…” I have it on my phone and it cracks people up. But that’s what it’s like with little ones!

    • amber says:

      I could never use that ringtone. I’d just ignore it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Allyson says:

      My ringtone for when my daughter calls is of Candace from Phineas and Ferb yelling “Mom!” over and over. Her ringtone for me is the Wicked Witch of the West’s music from the Wizard of Oz.

  18. Ginger says:

    Omg I am so glad I am not the only one with a couch that looks like that! Ugh mine are SO filthy I’m begging husband for leather or plastic easy-to-clean furniture!

    • mbaxtermomma says:

      WE bought a red leather couch pre babies as it was on sale , not thinking into the future and is the best ever most stuff comes off it, now if only i could get a PVC one

  19. Mel says:

    If you download and use fb purity you can set your facebook feed to always show most recent, and you will see all the feeds. You can also block the suggested posts. It works wonderfully and has stopped all my swearing at fb ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Liz O says:

    Genius. Sometimes you just have to slow down and see what is right in front of you and not over analyze. note taken!

  21. SLTA says:

    My boys don’t seem to get the “hey, I can help you” part of that. They just either stand there and ignore the other, or egg him on. *sigh*

    Maybe I need a vacation. Cause I don’t think they’re really that bad.

    And thank for fixing Facebook’s stupidity!

  22. Korinthia says:

    I love it when my kids help each other. I think you’re right, that it’s the only point that matters.

  23. christie says:

    Sweets (4) and Noggin (1) share a room. Noggin constantly throws her paci out of her crib and I used to have to go in their room all. the. time. to get it, put it back in her mouth, and then wait for her to throw it out again.
    Now? Sweets is taking over- she is now getting up, getting the paci, giving it to her sister. Only thing is she only does this when they are first going to sleep, when she is still awake. She’s such a sound sleeper she sleeps through all the middle of the night cries….so I go in, get the paci….blahblahblah.

    • Linda Mechel says:

      Mine are all grown now, but when they were at the stage of losing the paci all the time while in bed i actually put 10 or so of them in there. It let me sleep a little longer as she usually would find one.

      Also when they were about 1 and 2 (I had 2 girls) on Friday nights (so we could “sleep in” on Sat morning) I put a big box or bowl in one corner of the bed with cherrios or crackers, a couple of toys that were only given on those days, a sippy, anything interesting.
      It usually worked at least for a half hour or so. They would get up and see the bowl and be so interested in it they didn’t wake us up so early. Sometimes we would wake up and hear them babbling to each other about what they got, etc.

    • Allyson says:

      When my son was 18 months and my daughter was 3, she would retrieve his sippy over and over and over, every time he launched it from his booster seat onto the kitchen floor. Finally one day, I heard her stamp her foot and say, “Dammit, Jake, you said you wanted your sippy!” That was the day I learned that a) even she had her limit, and b) I might need to stop swearing in front of the kids quite so much.

  24. Zilla says:

    I solved the couch problem by getting one that has a good half foot gap between the floor and the bottom of the couch. Plus, it sits in the middle of the room instead of up against a wall. It’s impossible for anything to hide underneath and is easy to get the vacuum underneath. I like it so much better than my old (regular height) couch for that reason. Nothing worse than losing something to that disgusting toy-garbage-dust bunny-sticky-filthy abyss that happens under the couch when you have kids!!

    • Amanda Havens says:

      Sure wish I could convince my husband we need a couch that’s higher off the floor. He hates that style but I get so tired of retrieving toys from under our normal height couch with a broom handle.

  25. Lisa says:

    I know facebook is shoddy that way so I just always go back and read any old posts I might have missed. Plus the more you click on links, comment, like, ect from a certain page the more they end up on your newsfeed. So if people want your stuff to show up they need to click on it and say something!
    (I have a blog too and one of the things that can help clicks on your page to keep it active is posting links by other people. So whenever my friends post articles/links I find interesting/relevant to my blog genre I share them on my blog facebook page. If people ‘like’ those it counts as activity so they are more likely to see my actual blog links when they come up too. Know what I mean (and facebook sucks for trying to make us pay for boosting posts!!)

  26. Gail says:

    It is sort of amazing what sorts of problems they can solve when you ignore them, nicely of course. My only issue is that their dealing with some issue usually involves a lot more mess than it would if I’d dealt with it. But I’m lazy, so I nearly always choose cleaning up LATER versus dealing with some issue NOW.

  27. My first and second stake care of each other. Now that they are 6 & 8 I think I’m done parenting them. Right? They have each other, right??

  28. katrina says:

    I have ten children so the birth-order-thing really messes with me. Which kid of mine is the classic middle child? or would that be all kids who fall between #1 and #10? I have no idea.

  29. I have a 5yo and 8 month old. You have just given me a glimmer of hope.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  30. Deirdre says:

    I was nodding my head the whole way through the post, “Yep, the second one is the problem solver!” (but my second one was also the one who started getting water for himself at a much younger age than the first did – in fact, BEFORE the first ever had). But then the end hit me. I work hard to never let on what I expect from them, but I’m sure it eeks out in little ways. So thank you, for making me step back and realize that they can sometimes just be acting like a kid/brother/more of a grown-up than me.

  31. ladiode says:

    About the FB thing, why are you not on Google+ ? I know it is yet another social network, but I think it is a very promising one ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. JoAnne says:

    This describes my kids perfectly!

  33. Melissa says:

    I get ALL your FB posts! I just click on GET NOTIFICATIONS on your FB page and every time you post, I get notified. It’s great!

  34. Diptee Raut says:

    I have you up on my blog roll. I wouldn’t miss you. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Sara says:

    Your Sofa! Can’t wait for the kids to get old enough to stop staining the furniture! When is that? Middle school-ish? 8 more years until I can sit on my sofa without cringing, never mind what’s in or under it!

  36. Roxanne says:

    I guess I’m part of the 90% that has been missing out on FB! I just assumed you were super busy writing books for Adam Levine to read. I have a lot to catch up on!