By Bryan Timmons

You read that title right, our house is run by a tiny terrorist and a toddling dictator. And oddly enough, I kind of love it.

Avett (22 months) is a great kid and a wonderful big brother. Stone (6 weeks) is quickly adjusting to a somewhat structured life on the outside, but I keep it real around here and there aren’t unicorn pellets in their diapers, and things aren’t roses and rainbows ALL of the time.

Case in point…

The Terrorist

So, there’s a funny thing about having a second kid. A couple weeks before Stone was born, we ran into some friends/parents of two and after catching up for a couple minutes, they dropped a little nugget of wisdom on us that I’ll paraphrase here: having a second child is a case where 1 + 1 does not equal 2. More like 200.

Exsqueeze me? A-baking powder? Why didn’t I ever think of that? Give me just a minute to pick up the pieces of my mind that you’ve just blown. Here I was thinking that we were kind of jamming on this parenting thing. Fast forward to present day, and I’m finding that they were right. Having two kids, especially just 21 months apart (and yes, that was on purpose), is no joke.

Sure some things are inherently easier. Diapers? Piece of cake. Confidence that you’re not going to pull off an arm getting him into that onesie? Sky high. Feeding, burping, etc. No problem. But then come the curve balls. Stone likes to exercise his lungs far more than Avett ever did. What’s that about? My normal baby whispering tricks aren’t working and the volume is turned to 11, and the other kiddo is asleep a mere 20 feet away. HELP!

Editor’s Note: We have mastered the middle of the night combination shush-walk/door close/diaper change/prep for feeding technique, and to this point have avoided waking up Avett (knock on wood). And since I’ve been back at work, my better half has taken on night duty, bless her heart.

We were lucky with Avett’s ultra easy-going manner, and I know that. And we’re lucky with Stone too. He’s healthy, growing like crazy, and is starting to settle into a schedule and a routine. As an added bonus (not to my wife), I’ve created a plethora of freestyle raps with horrible lyrics about things I can physically see at the moment and really honed my beatbox skillz, as those tend to calm him down when a normal shush just won’t do (watch out Eminem, I’m coming for you!). We’re all figuring it out, slowly but surely, but don’t worry about us. We’re equipped for anything – we have help from big brother. AKA….

The Dictator

What you see here is a very regular occurrence at our house. This kid loves the vacuum or “vaaaaaaaaac” or “vac-room”. “Vac. Keeeeeen. On. Hahahaha”. Seriously, his enthusiasm for a purple cleaning machine is borderline unhealthy. Funny thing is, when you do bow to his demands wishes (and with the dog hair in our house, he usually has a valid point), he scrambles up onto the couch to happily supervise me. From a safe and respectable distance.

We are immensely lucky to have grandparents in town that are able to keep Avett during the day. Fortunate. VERY fortunate. But with that comes some trade-offs. I think it’s physically impossible for a grandparent to say no to a grandchild and while that’s quite a lovely situation for an aspiring tyrant, it makes things a little tougher on parents of said tyrant to lay down the occasional “not right now, we just vacuumed this morning, buddy”. And like most other new-ish parenting things, we’re figuring those things out along the way.

Are there dull moments with this new family of four? Not many right now. But you know what? I don’t know if I’d change a thing about our little crew. And watch out world, because we’re taking Team Timmons v4.0 on the road. I think we’re sometimes guilty of staying in because it might be easier than going out for some kind of random adventure. But it might not always be more fun, so we’re making extra effort to “just do” things with this newly updated family of ours, and also to enjoy more than just those freshly vacuumed floors…

Team Timmons consists of Bryan, his wife and co-pilot Ruth Ann, Avett (22 months), Stone (6 weeks), and two weimaraners. When he’s not chasing the kids, Bryan tries to find time to pick the banjo, brew beer, and train for this year’s edition of the New York City Marathon. Keep up with all the latest at

Find out more about Fatherly Fridays here!

Previous Fatherly Fridays:
Ten Easy Ways Dads can be More Involved with Their Kids – by Travis Finn
5 Parenting Tips from a Seasoned Dad – by Kim Williams
Programmer Preschool – by Scott Rigdon
Tolerance – by James Raper
Oh So Very Wrong – by Jon Lowder
I’ve Bought Six Wedding Dresses – by Teddy Burriss