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Good Vs.Bad

I have joked over the last 15 months or so that it feels like I'm in a second marriage where Aiden and Brennan are from my first marriage and Tate is from my second.  I've said this in joking because of the big age gap between the older two boys and Tate.  A 'his, mine and ours' kind of deal.  Like I've started over again.

I've always known I only wanted 2 years age difference between my kids.  Then when we started talking about having 3 kids, possibly, we said 2 years between the first two and 3 years between the last two.  It took us 8 months to get pregnant with Aiden.  I don't remember how old Aiden was when we started talking about trying for Baby #2 but I do remember Andy insisting we wait until he had graduated from college before having a second.  I was mad about this because I knew there would be a more than 2 year gap between these babies.  The month Andy graduated I went off the pill thinking it would be another long road to getting pregnant but nope - first month off the pill I got pregnant with Brennan!  Well that was easy! 

Once Bren was born, 2 years and 20 months after Aiden, while in the hospital with him, I very clearly remember telling my sister's husband that we were done, no more babies for us.  Fast forward three years and we decided to try for Baby #3.  It took us 6 months to get pregnant with that baby, which would have made him 4 years younger than Brennan,  not the 3 years we had planned.  We lost that baby, but quickly became pregnant with our little Tate.  He is 7 years 19 months younger than Aiden, and almost exactly 5 years younger than Bren.  Not what we had planned when we were discussing our future children all those years ago.

My sister and I were just shy of 2 years apart in age.  We always had a playmate, always had a friend, always had someone who was there because, for the most part, we were always in the same stage of growing up.  Andy's brother is 7 years older.  Andy often felt like an only child because David was so much older.  By the time Andy was old enough to actually do 'big kid/adult' things with David, David was a teenager who had his own life and friends and a job and wasn't around to be a friend to Andy.  Because of our experiences with our siblings we came up with the 2 and 3 year age gaps, which obviously is not how things turned out.

Having the big age gap between the big boys and Tate, I've been able to experience all kinds of good and bad things about that gap.

  • the big boys are super helpful. They can grab me a diaper and wipes, or go fill Tate's sippy cup with milk
  • if I need to hop in the shower while Tate's awake they can 'keep an eye on him' for me
  • they are great at entertaining him when I need to get something done
  • they are an extra set of eyes looking out for our dare devil Tate
  • Tate always has a 2 big playmates who love wrestling with him, playing ball with him, and love reading books to him
  • Tate always always has someone to coddle and spoil him.  If it's not me and Andy, then it's the big brothers!
  • the big boys are super patient with Tate, for the most part, and don't get angry with him like a sibling closer in age would when he takes their toys (although this does not help with teaching him about sharing, ha!)

The BAD:
  • the big boys can get too wild and crazy with Tate and forget that's he much smaller than they are, which leads to him screaming and crying (but loving the big boy play for the most part!)
  • there are time the big boys want to play quietly in their room but Tate doesn't understand that and goes barging in and disrupting them
  • there are Legos EVERYWHERE in the boys' room, and now that Tate knows how to open their door I can't keep him out of there and out of their Legos.  I find them all over the house, in his mouth, in laundry baskets... and he's good at breaking their creations
  • we were used to enjoying doing 'bigger kid' things and now we are back to making sure it's all baby and toddler friendly.  So far the big boys don't seem to mind too much
  • Tate likes his own space, too, and gets a little owly when the boys don't realize it's 'his time' and won't leave him alone
  • Tate learns all kinds of naughty, dangerous things from his big brothers.  Of course he wants to keep up with them, do all the cool things they do, but he doesn't realize he's not big enough, coordinated enough, strong enough to do them.  I have a heart attack at least once a day thanks to this.

As the year go by this will all change I'm sure.  And with the addition of a new little one this Fall it will add a whole new dynamic, giving Tate a playmate much closer in age to him which will make things fun and exciting and interesting and challenging. 

I love these boys so much and wouldn't trade them for the babies who would have been only 2 and 3 years apart from their older siblings.  I wouldn't have Brennan or Tate if things had gone as planned.  God's plan is much more exciting than my own. :-)

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  1. It's kind of funny how the two older boys are close in age, and the two younger will be close in age, with a bit of a gap between the two sets.
    God's plan is pretty fun to see as it unfolds for us!

  2. Things never go as we plan but God has it all figured out! You have a beautiful family. I don't think we are done yet, Adam does. Graycie and Lukas are 3 years and one month apart. I know that if we do decide to adopt again, the next will be much younger and I do worry about that. Maybe we'll have to go for 4!!!