a peek inside the fishbowl

04 Jul, 2011

Guest post: A Melody of Twos, by Alecia Hoobing

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Guest postings

It’s GUEST POST WEEK here at the Fishbowl! I am busy undergoing a media detox of sorts and will be back in a bit. But just because I’m unplugging doesn’t mean you have to! I’ve lined up a variety of bloggers to keep you entertained. If you’re reading along I do encourage you to say hello and howdy-do so everyone feels welcome. Thank you!

It seems fitting that our only U.S. guest blogger’s post is being published on the fourth of July. I’m happy to introduce Alecia Hoobing of Hoobing Family Adventures. Thank you Alecia, over to you!

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Two months ago, I gave birth to daughter number two just two years, two days and a few hours after my two-year-old daughter was born. Did you get all of that? So we have a two-year-old daughter, Belén, and a two-month-old daughter, Eloise. Of course I find them both to be beautiful, intelligent and charming and I am madly in love with them, but that is a story for another day.

I found it interesting the range of responses I received when I answered the sibling age spacing question with the fact they were due to be almost exactly two years apart. Everything from “Ah, that’s what my kids are and it’s perfect.” to “Oh wow! That is CLOSE together” while winking as if to imply it was an accident and then of course, the most common, “You are going to have a baby AND a two-year-old! TWO KIDS IN DIAPERS! Have fun with that.”

That last response always got me thinking. We wanted our children to be close in age so they could play together and even perhaps share similar interests. In addition, not being a huge fan of the pregnancy and baby phases and wanting to minimize their duration in our household, we had planned for our children to be two years apart and by plan, we didn’t think they would actually be almost exactly two years apart. But alas, fertility is fortunately our friend and I found myself stressing about going into labor during Belén’s second birthday party. So when people were aghast at the closeness in age, I inevitably found myself questioning our seemingly sound logic.

Do we really know what we were getting into?
Have we signed ourselves up for some sort of parenting hell someone should have warned us about?
Surely it will all be worth it once they are a little bit older, right?

My mom called this week from the quilt store where she is employed part-time eager to share a story about a mother and two little girls who had come into the store that day. The girls were three and five-years old and played together splendidly creating a make believe world inside of the plastic castle sitting idly in the rear of the store. She shared this story with me because she knows I have questioned whether the age gap between our girls, though a bit difficult now will pay off once they are a little older. Especially after seeing those girls, she felt we had chosen ideal spacing between our daughters.

Two months in, I have to say it has been challenging as we expected, but all in all has gone relatively smoothly. Belén is interested in being a big sister and has not become too bent out of shape about losing her only child status. She loves announcing the state changes of Baby Eloise by proclaiming, “Eloise a-sleep.” Eloise a-wake.” The biggest challenge is toning down her desire to love on Eloise and squeeze her since her unabashed emotions and physical power are most generally way too strong to be received by an infant. It is not always possible reasoning with a two-year-old so occasionally our instructions to be gentle with her sister are met with an immediate u-turn towards the corner of Melt and Down, but she gets over it.

With the speed of time’s flight, in the blink of an eye, the two-year-old we will be reasoning with will be Eloise and we will be witnessing our two and four-year-old daughters playing together. As challenging as this current stage is, I don’t wish for it to go any faster than it is already moving. We will appreciate what the two year age gap has to offer at every age.


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5 Responses to "Guest post: A Melody of Twos, by Alecia Hoobing"

1 | coffee with julie

July 5th, 2011 at 8:20 am

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hi Alecia,

When you write that “people were aghast at the closeness in age, I inevitably found myself questioning our seemingly sound logic,” I couldn’t help but think … geez, people are aghast at a two-year gap? I thought that was supposed to be considered the “ideal.”

In our house, we have a 6-year gap and anytime someone asks my children’s ages, I always get a response along the lines of “Wow, that’s really far apart” followed by a pause for when I’m supposed to explain why. But frankly I’m tired of it. We shouldn’t have to explain or listen to people’s responses to our own family choices, but I know that reality often doesn’t work that way for us, does it? :)

So, here is my reaction to your 2-year gap: It’s awesome! I have a brother who is 18-months younger than me. He was always my good friend as we grew up and went to school and we are still good friends now. Your girls will have a wonderful time with the age gap and be able to share friends and the trends of the time will be the same for memory in later life.

2 | Krista R

July 5th, 2011 at 8:49 am

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Hi Alecia,

I think your 2 year age gap is great – most of my friends and acquantainces have similar gaps with their kids.

I have 3 kids – the first two are 17 months apart and the second and third are 21 months apart. My husband and I knew that we wanted 3 kids and the clock was ticking, so we decided not to wait too long in between, and luckily there were no fertility issues.

We got lots of comments about how busy we must be and I’m sure many people thought we were completely crazy. And it is busy. However, I believe that if you have kids, no matter the age gap and no matter how many, you are going to be busy.

My kids are now 8, 6.5 and 5 and they are each other’s best friends and totally in love with each other (most of the time!) As they get older and out of diapers and become more independent, the parents gain some independence back as well.

You are so right about the speed of time’s flight – enjoy every single moment because those moments pass in a heartbeat. A friend once told me that whatever age your kids are, is the BEST age. So true.

3 | Finola

July 9th, 2011 at 6:19 pm

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We had our girls 2 years apart for exactly the same reasons as you. I could have written this post myself in fact. And it totally pays off. The first two years were hard, yes, but they were good and went by pretty quickly. Now my girls are 7&9 and although they do squabble, they are the best of friends. It is fantastic.

5 | Alecia

July 27th, 2011 at 11:36 pm

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Very delayed response to the wonderful comments. I do think the age gap is ideal and I thank you for the comments.

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