Dear Jack: Will You and Your Sister Both Adopt the Only Child Mentality?

6 years, 1 months.

Dear Jack: Will You and Your Sister Both Adopt the Only Child Mentality?

Dear Jack,

Back in college, I was really into this book called The Birth Order Connection. It explains the theory of how our personalities are ultimately guided by what order we were born in the family.

It describes how an “only child” is different than a first-born child; but if a first-born child is at least 6 years-old when the 2nd sibling is born, both children ultimately become more like only children because those earlier formative years are not shared with another sibling of the same age.

When I Googled “traits of an only child” just now, here’s the first thing that came up:

“Only children, being firstborn themselves, tend to exhibit traits more similar to those of other firstborn children. However, only children seem to have better self-esteem and are higher achievers than children who have siblings (Brophy, 1989, p. 54).”

When your sister was born, you were about 5 and a half years-old; to be exact, 7 months shy of that 6 year-old mark. So really, you’re borderline on whether you will adopt a first born (older brother) mentality as opposed to an only child mentality.

And then same can be said for your sister, as long as no more siblings are born within the next 5 years. In theory, she may never really develop the mentality of “younger sister”. Instead, the two of you could easily both end up having that ultra-independent personality of an only child.

After all, the two of you will never really have to share your toys with each other. The two of you get to live next to each other, but always in different stages of childhood development.

Earlier this week on the drive to school, I told you, “Jack, when Holly’s your age now, you’ll be 11 years-old; you’ll be finishing up 5th grade when your sister turns 6; the age you are now.”

You laughed at the thought of it.

But that’s the reality. You are her older brother and she is your younger sister, but really the two of you may end up technically more like only children.

Love,
Daddy

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Dear Jack: Your Last Weekend as an Only Child?

5 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack: Your Last Weekend as an Only Child?

Dear Jack,

This past weekend was likely your final weekend as an only child. I recognize the significance of that and so I wanted to make sure we got out and made it exciting.

Dear Jack: Your Last Weekend as an Only Child?

On Saturday, our family met up with your friends Madison and Avery (and their families) at the park. You have known them both since you were around 1 year old.

Dear Jack: Your Last Weekend as an Only Child?

We didn’t realize it, but there were some vendors there including K-Love radio station. They had a man in a bucket in a crane truck who threw a foam ball to all the kids below. You loved it!

Dear Jack: Your Last Weekend as an Only Child?

That afternoon, we dropped Mommy off at the house to do some further “nesting,” while we went back to explore some more of McCutcheon Creek, where we left off from the week before.

In order to cross the water, we had to “build a bridge.” I found an old piece on sheet metal nearby, so I tossed it across the water and it landed on a rock; giving just enough length for you to get to the shore.

Dear Jack: Your Last Weekend as an Only Child?

Whereas the theme of our McCutcheon Creek expedition the week before was mud, this time it was trees. We were trekking through an area of the creek where the trees served as a canopy over us. Some of the branches were so low that we had to cross over and under them.

Dear Jack: Your Last Weekend as an Only Child?

At one point I abruptly announced to you, “Stop! Do you hear that?” We immediately heard a swarm of bees, but didn’t see them. I wanted to make sure we weren’t standing on some kind of underground bee colony.

Dear Jack: Your Last Weekend as an Only Child?

Fortunately, we weren’t. However, we were standing right underneath them: The tree we were standing next to was rotted out, with the bees having their home at the top of the tree!

Dear Jack: Your Last Weekend as an Only Child?

We turned around and escaped without any bee stings. It’s always an adventure when you and I go exploring the creek!

Dear Jack: Your Last Weekend as an Only Child?

And once Papa gets here when your sister is born, I have a feeling we will go explore more of McCutcheon Creek with him too. Even more fun!

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Your Last Weekend as an Only Child?

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

5 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

Dear Jack,

This past Sunday during your last (assumed) weekend as an only child, I took you to your friend Kendyl’s 5th birthday party on the other side of town. It was a time of several “firsts” for you…

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

It was the first time you had a friend from school who had their birthday party in their yard at their house, instead of an official party place like Chuck E. Cheese.

Therefore, it was the first time you got to play in a “bouncy house” in a friend’s yard at a birthday party. (It should be no surprise that I helped add even more thrill by serving as the “monster” who chased any kids who tried to escape from the bouncy house.)

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

You also got to try cotton candy for the first time; as they had a machine there that made it there on the spot. You liked the cotton candy, but you also seemed confused by it.

Another first for you at Kendyl’s party was chocolate coins. You really thought they were cool. Since it was hot outside, you decided to only eat one there at the party, then take the rest home; where they are currently chilling out in our refrigerator.

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

And perhaps the biggest first was the piñata. You’ve known about them for years now, having seen them on your favorite shows. But finally you got to experience it yourself.

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

You were 2nd in line; behind the birthday girl of course.

Her mom did a wonderful job putting the party together. No one was in a hurry to leave. We would have stayed longer had we not needed to get home to check on Mommy.

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

You had a blast. This was the kind of birthday party you see on TV shows and movies. It was a special fun time for your last weekend as an only child… unless Holly is born next week instead.

Love,

Daddy

Dear Jack: Cotton Candy, Chocolate Coins, and a Piñata

People Finally Stopped Asking If We’re Going to Have Another Kid

People Finally Stopped Asking If We’re Going to Have Another Kid

The first question was, “When you are two going to get married?

Then, “When are you going to have a baby?”

After that, “When are you going to have another one?”

From the time our son was about 1 year-old, until he was about 3 and a half, that last question was in heavy rotation.

So then, being the family friendly daddy blogger that I am, I began addressing the fact that my wife and I could easily be the couple that only has one child.

The reality of the two of us working full time in a major city got in the way of the concept of us having many as 4 kids; something we had at one point talked about, years ago.

So I began explaining here on my blog that the two of us could truly be happy with just one child; even if that wasn’t normal.

However, my wife and I mutually realized recently, “It’s been a long time since anyone has asked us if we’re going to have another kid.”

Our son will turn 5 years-old next month. By this point, people have stopped even wondering if we will “have another one.”

(That’s a funny phrase to me; “have another one.” I think of those Russian nesting dolls, called Matryoshka dolls.)

Of course, I never said we wouldn’t have another child. I simply made it clear we would be happy and content with just one; if that’s how things ended up.

I guess to a lot of people that comes across as, “We’re not having any more kids.”

On the contrary, I’ve mentioned a couple of times already this year here on Family Friendly Daddy Blog that we’ve never been more open to the idea of expanding our family, as I prefer to say it; than we are now that we are financially settled and moved into our new house.

But still, people gave up and stop bothering to ask. After all, having over 5 years in between kids is a lot of time.

It all comes down to us, the parents, being ready on all fronts; plus, being physically able to conceive a child.

Most families can have kids 2 or 3 years apart, and that works for them, culturally: Having 2 in diapers at the same time.

Culturally, for our family, especially at this point, having a Kindergartner and an infant sounds more our speed… if that’s how things ended up.

Dear Jack: You’re Starting Pre-K Next Week

4 years, 9 months.

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Dear Jack,

Our family recently attended the Rainbow Summer Social at Rainbow Child Care Center. They had a fire truck for us to tour; as well as a photo booth and carnival games.

You were very happy that you basically had unlimited access to just keep playing the same games and to have the ability to keep winning prizes.

Dear Jack: You’re Starting Pre-K Next Week

A collection of sticky rubber frogs made their way back to our house.

Next week you officially begin Pre-K. You and I, along with your current teacher Ms. Aimee, recently made a Jack-Man episode to promote the brand-new Pre-K classroom.

(Click the image below to watch our video.)

You’ve expressed to me that you’re particularly excited about your new classroom because, “it has really cool dinosaurs.”

Jack, this is your last year of preschool before I begin taking you to Kindergarten! A year from now, I’m sure I’ll be posting my (obligatory) “1st Day of Kindergarten” picture on Facebook.

Dear Jack: You’re Starting Pre-K Next Week

Mommy and I keep saying how you really are a boy now.

As your parents, we’ve grown accustomed to living with a boy version of a toddler. Now, with you nearly 5 years old, we’re living with a boy; not simply just a boy version of something.

These are the days of you getting to pick out which underwear to wear each day. You get to decide whether it’s going to be a Transformers or a Ninja Turtles kind of day.

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I look at your genetically unlikely blonde highlights as well as your genetically unlikely blue eyes and think, “This kid used to be my baby. But now, this is my boy.”

Though I might be saying this too much here lately, I’m just so proud that you are my son.

The future is unclear whether or not Mommy and I will ever have another child.

You may be it. Either way, you are one special kid.

Love,

Daddy

What If We Only Want To Have One Child?

June 5, 2012 at 10:04 pm , by 

A year and a half.

It’s a decision that only my wife and I can make for ourselves, yet we’re open to hearing input from the free world.

For the past several months now, we have been leaning towards the decision to only have one child. It’s not the stress of parenthood getting the best of us. After all, at 18-months old, our son is pretty low-maintenance.

He’s the best son we can ask for and we’re so blessed to have him. So… why overdo it and have another kid?

I love the idea of only having our son. We can pour all of our energy and time into this one special person.

Whatever interests and passions he wants to pursue, we can support him fully.

No conflicts with our other kids’ schedules. No fighting in the back seat on the drive to Florida for family vacation.

Less financial worries. Less stress on our marriage.

As we’ve talked to couples who decided to only have one kid, they share no regrets about it.

I admit: I want to be part of the cool “One Kid Only” club.

As I try to sort through this, I gather reasons why we should consider having another child:

Who will take care of us when we’re old? What if something happens to our son and then we have no children at all? Wouldn’t it be sad for our son if he had no siblings to grow up with?

While I can continue to think of more Debbie Downer questions like these, I really don’t see how answering them will change how I feel:

I want to raise an only-child. I believe I will be feel completely fulfilled with just one kid.

Right now I am 31 years old and my wife almost is. Biologically, we’re still good for several more years.

So how long do we wait before we know to go ahead and make it official? How long before I go “get the surgery” and I can move forward as the proud parent of one child?

Yes, I know: If my parents would have made the same decision then my sister wouldn’t be here. Neither would my wife, who is 9 of 10 kids.

I want my wife to get her “mating’s worth” out of me. That’s important. And it would be one thing if I was simply telling my exclusive thoughts on this, but I’m not.

In fact, though I’ve been kicking this blog idea around for months now, I didn’t actually plan to write or publish it.

But my wife convinced me otherwise. This is something we both feel the same way about, yet want to be sure about.

This can ultimately only end in one of three ways that I can think of:

A) We delay up to about 4 more years before I get the surgery.

B) We choose to have another kid.

C) We surprisingly get pregnant as we try to figure this out.

Okay, passing the mic to you now. The two of us want your insight. Any advice and direction you’re willing to share?