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THIS Is Why You Have That Second Child

Photograph by Twenty20

I always knew I wanted more than one child, but I didn’t realize how much I would love witnessing the sibling relationship develop. Don’t get me wrong, there's plenty of sibling interaction I can do without. Fighting, tattling, conspiring, these I can pretty much skip. But there are so many awesome sibling milestones that don’t get enough hype. The next time you feel like you can’t possible referee another sibling squabble, look forward to these milestones and know that it really does get better.

1. Story time

It doesn’t get much better than watching your oldest read a book to your youngest. Not only is it beyond adorable, you realize that they no longer need you every time someone has a hankering for "Brown Bear, Brown Bear."

2. Shared bedtime

After years of an exhausting staggered bedtime ritual the point at which they can both be tucked in at the same time is the type of milestone that requires an extra large glass of wine in celebration. If your kiddos share a room you can sip your Pinot while listening to the adorable sounds of siblings falling asleep.

3. Playground pals

Imagine a world where you can go to the park and sit on the bench. There will come a time when your oldest will be willing and able to push their little sibling on the swing and one day they will both be old enough to operate the seesaw with zero parental involvement. That's right, ZERO.

The moment when each sibling goes out of their way to comfort the other is one for the books.

4. Handy help

Shoes tied, coats zipped, hair styled, there will come a time when your oldest can help their younger sibling get out the door. As an added bonus, older siblings often complete these tasks with a lot more patience than a mom who is already running five minutes late.

5. Loving comfort

The moment when each sibling goes out of their way to comfort the other is one for the books. The oldest tries to soothe the crying baby and you see that special bond start to form. And then one day the youngest gives their big sibling a hug when they look sad, and you feel the magic of family. Watching such genuine kindness can erase hours worth of frustrating moments from a parent's mind.

6. Best defense

When one of your children sticks up for the other it feels as though everything is going to be all right. They might not always be nice to each other, but the day they have each other’s back is one they won’t soon forget.

7. Built-in babysitter

The holy grail of sibling milestones: when they can be left alone with the oldest in charge. There’s a whole wide world out there just waiting for you to rejoin it, if only for an hour.

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