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Introducing Two New MIT Students… by Bryan G. Nance

...classes of 2026 and 2028 respectively.

…classes of 2026 and 2028 respectively:

Greetings all!

As you know I recently added a new member to our family. Miles Nathaniel Nance made his way to the world on January 11, 2006 at 10:40 pm. My wife tried valiantly (15+ hours) to deliver naturally. Considering his size and length, lets just say I’ve never been so happy to hear the words Caesarean Section!! He was 9 pounds 15 ounces and 22 inches long at birth. My wife was ecstatic to hear, “Your Epidural is in.” Upon seeing Miles for the first time, I believe my dad said it best, “Wow, looks like you gave birth to a toddler!” Yes, he’s a very big boy.

As we settle in with our newest bundle of joy, we are trying to help his older sister (McKinley “Drama Queen” Nance) understand that having Miles around is A GOOD THING! It was all-good the first week that Miles was home, but slowly it became evident that she considers her brother to be a threat. At best, she thinks he’s pure evil, at worst she thinks he’s the Anti-Christ. Should I be worried that she keeps looking at his scalp for the 666 mark? In fact, given the tantrums that have become her hallmark of late, I’m sure that we could win as a write-in candidate for the Academy Awards. Her award; Best dramatic actress in a tantrum in the 2 and under category. If not the Oscars, she’s a shoe-in for the 2006 Chernobyl – Three Mile Island Award. A relatively new award, it is given to the to the 2 year old who best demonstrates the human version of a core meltdown.

NEVERTHELESS, we are all doing well. So the assignment for this entry is divided into two parts: one for the students and one for the parents.

Parents: thank you for your kind words and your timely tips for handling life now that we have an additional human in our life. Currently we are trying to negotiate the many needs of the MNN duo (McKinley Nicole & Miles Nathaniel) and other trivial demands of life, like: sleep; laundry; full time jobs; and kid-free times for the parents. I am calling all parents within the proximity of this electronic signal… Please post any tips that you may have that my wife and I could use against these two that might tip the balance of power again in our direction. As you well know, time is our enemy. In return, I promise to tell you all that know about the college process, so that you too may regain control of your house and life, one child at a time.

Students: please post your earliest recollection of your encounters with your younger or older sibling. Yes, I really want to hear about all of the not-so-nice things that you did to your kid sister or brother in an effort to regain your status as the “spotlight child.” I also want to hear from the victims. Please tell us your gallant endeavors to survive the most dastardly deeds perpetrated by those you call big brother and/or sister.

Let me hear from you soon!

48 responses to “Introducing Two New MIT Students…”

  1. Mike's Mom says:

    A parenting tip from a mom who knows…I used to buy little presents for my daughter (18 months older than my son) and tell her that they were from her brother. She loved him for being so thoughtful, and he was too young to whine about not getting anything for himself. Honestly, I remember the first two years being tough, but I am so glad I had them close together. They are still close and actually like each other! If her brother gets into MIT they will both be going to college in Massachusetts!! Good luck and congratulations and whatever you do, don’t lose your sense of humor…you’re gonna need it!!!

  2. YeSeul says:

    I think I hit my sister in the nose when she was born…or I could have made that up. I’m not quite sure anymore…

    But all is fine! Her nose is intact smile but she does snore a lot…

  3. oaklandmom says:

    Two gorgeous children! Oh! I am so jealous, I think having two children is a double blessing and I have only one who I may be seeing off to MIT next year!
    I wish I had some wonderful parenting advice..beyond love them and listen to their dreams I can’t think of any..perhaps those toddler & infant years are too distant for me. I hope I have a chance to say hello during CPW!

  4. Mollie says:

    I remember “trying to play piano” with my baby brother, and inadvertantly (I think) dropping him off the piano bench to hit his head on the pedals.

    He got me back though — when he started walking, he also started picking up kitchen spoons and heaving them at me from across the room. Unluckily for me, he has phenomenal aim.

  5. Molly,

    Does that mean that he’s now a Bi-athlete? I’m curious, at what age did your parents stop him from hitting back?

  6. Oakland Mom,

    I think you gave me the best advice of all! I’m often reminded of a little know Marvin Gaye Song, Piece of Clay. In the song he goes on to describe how all parents want their children to moldable.. like clay. Some for the right reasons and some for Narcissistic purposes. Your suggestion/approach seems to be most alturistic and appropiate.

    I look forward to meeting you at CPW. I’ll be the guy with the big bags under his eyes!

  7. Catherine says:

    Awww, they’re so adorable!

    Hmm. I remember my brother and I fought a lot when we were younger, being only 17 months apart. I don’t particularly remember specifics, but my mom tells me I liked to step on him. ^^;;

  8. Blessing says:

    They are sooooo cute! it’s hard to believe such a cutesy-looking angel could be the little demon you make her out as wink

    I’m the last of six kids, the only things I remember doing were throwing tantrums every time I lost a game and making my siblings take the blame whenever I got in trouble.

  9. Vivek says:

    Tip for Miles:
    Whenever I used to have a race with my elder sister I used to ask her to run diagonally and I ran straight. At that age she never realized that straight is shortest path but I was an evil who had this perception.wink Though I learnt it much later: P

    Tip for McKinley:
    My mom was too afraid of me beating my younger brother (I was so jealous) Whenever
    She had to leave him for a few moments with only me around she used to put him on a high bed and in middle so that I do not reach him. I soon found out a new way, I used to pull the bed sheet to bring him closer and beat him to my satisfaction.
    : P
    (I was a superpower- hahaha)
    Hope Bryan you will never let McKinley read this. Congratulation for having such wonderful kids

  10. Nabeel says:

    I would definitely do for the 2008 brass rat because of its classy look and great sophistication.

  11. They are beautiful.

    It’s difficult, but try to remember that the new baby has COMPLETELY upset your daughter’s world! She was the center of the universe before, and now she has to share…or even, at times,step aside.

    My advice for dealing with almost all the challenges of child-rearing: respect your children’s feelings, even when you don’t want to agree or reinforce them. There’s a difference.

    It’s too easy to say something like, “No, you don’t really hate your brother,” (at that moment she really does!). It’s more effective and respectful to say something to the effect of “You’re really mad at your brother right now. I know it’s hard. But you may not hit,(poke, bite, whatever)him.” Give her another option: she can leave the room. She can “use words” (“I’m REALLY mad at you!!”). And at other times, reinforce madly all positive behavior. Tell her what an important job it is to be a big sister. Tell her how much you value her “help.” Let her help make decisions, such as which outfit he’s going to wear.

    I still remember the trials of being the Big Sister.

    And as for parent alone time, I’m sorry, I never figured that one out during the first few months.

    And as for sleeping, no help there, either. Our MIT-hopeful son needed very little sleep the first year of his life. Our pediatrician said that he was an “active infant” (yeah, so?) and that the only consolation he could offer was that such children were often quite intelligent. He may have been throwing me a bone, but in our son’s case, it was true!

    So hang in there. Try to roll with it! And enjoy it as much as you can.

  12. Lipei says:

    Hey Mr. Nance,

    I actually had a lesson in Psych today about sibling rivalry. It was pretty cool b/c my teacher explained the reasoning behind McKinley’s aggressiveness toward Miles (attention, invasion of space). So theoretically speaking (isn’t that normal MIT-speak?), McKinley would be come an over-achiever in order to garner you and your wife’s attention.

    Either way, I think they’ll grow up to be great people and have great futures. I can only remember when my brother was born that I continuously reminded my parents to stay sane.

    http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=676

    That’s a strip from PhD Comics about paternity leave and such. Pretty funny.

    Anyways, enjoy these moments with your son. They will be treasured forever.

  13. Congratulations!!! How is it that guys who work in MIT Admissions have the most beautiful, charming, healthy-looking kids in the world? What’s your secret?? Is it all the stress and coffee? Anyway, as the mom of an MIT freshman son, I was reminded by third coast mom of how little sleep I got during that first year! He was INTENSELY INTERACTIVE from day one–exhausting for an older first-time mom! I recall one particular afternoon putting him in his crib for a nap, collapsing on the sofa thinking I now had a few precious recuperative moments, only to have him suddenly appear in the living room saying “Hi!!!”with a devilish grin. He had figured out how to climb up and out of his crib and down to the floor. My heart sank. I knew nothing would ever be the same–in a heartbeat he had redrawn the boundaries of his world and mine. I was given the same consolation prize that bright kids don’t need much sleep. But, in retrospect, I would give anything, knowing what I know now, to be able to have even just one more magical day again with him as a child. The best advice I can offer is to try to maintain the perspective that our children are just rentals–they grow and change so quickly, and before you know it they’re over six feet tall and moving 3000 miles away from you and walking along infinite corridors and doing psets all night. Enjoy and savor each fleeting moment while you can.

  14. Mia says:

    Congratulations Nance! Such beautiful children!

    I am an only child, but I’ve known my mom’s best friend’s daughter since she was born. She IS my sister. I’m turning 18 in a month (she just turned 15), and yeah, we still hang out.

    Anyway, one delightful memory – during one of her earlier birthday parties, I threw a tantrum because they wouldn’t let me open her presents and keep them for myself.

  15. Julia Yoo says:

    Wow where to start?

    Well when I was ten days old, my sister, who was three at the time, tried persuading my mom to drop me on the floor to see what happens. Yeah, I’m glad that didn’t happen.

    Then when I was six months old, my sister locked me into my parent’s master bedroom so my dad had to break the door open to rescue me from my sister’s evil/negligent deeds. And whenver my sister broke something around the house, i.e. radio, she would say “the baby did it!” even though I couldn’t walk or talk.

    Yes and the nightmare stories go on…but luckily i survived and now my sister and I get along very nicely. But as you may have already heard, sisters start getting along when one moves out to college. Haha, nah jk my sister and i have been tyt for quite a while.

  16. thekeri says:

    I’m an only child, save for my part-time (step) siblings.

    The first time I met my younger stepsister-to-be, I was nine and she was eight- and just starting to get really picky about spelling and grammar.

    All I remember is her needing to go to the library for some reason, and her repeatedly asking me “Do you want to go to the liberry?”

    I honestly couldn’t figure out what she was saying, so I asked, “What?”

    “The liberry!”

    “What’s that?”

    “THE LIBERRY!”

    “I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU!”

    My mom walked into the room to find us in a nonstop screaming match, because she still couldn’t say “library,” and I still couldn’t figure out what she was talking about.

    “LIBERRY!”
    “I DON’T GET IT!”

  17. Kristin R. says:

    I hear my brother pulled off whatever was left of my umbilical cord after I came home from the hospital.

  18. Carly says:

    ahhhhhhhhhh they are too cute. well i dont have any siblings but lived wit my cousins most of my life. so when my little cousin arrived and she got all the attention, i was about 4 yrs old and she like 5 months. i pick her up and apparently i was trying to threw her up and down like parents do but i think mine was more evil driven. Though i almost dropped her but forunately my mother came it time. i think is more of a jealousy thing. My older cousin tried to threw me out the window when i was real young. so maybe my family is just really violent who knows? but still beaware of such things.

  19. Vaibhav says:

    Bryan: I have found that a strong backhand does wonders for discipline.

    Heck, if it worked for me momma, I’m certain it will work for you! smile

  20. Vaibhav says:

    BTW I was just joking with last post… Corporal punishment sohudl be used in moderation wink

  21. they are soooo cute!

    i was nice to my younger siblings….my little sister did stab me with a pencil though…

  22. j says:

    Mike’s Mom’s suggestion is a good one…When I was born my parents gave my brother (three years older) a book and said it was from me. He loved me tons, probably too much. He didn’t fight back when I dug my fingernails into him.

  23. Hm, earliest recollection of sibling encounters. Well, I must say that we didn’t start fighting until we were much older. However, there were three(four for a bit) of them against one of me. I couldn’t hope to compete with that.

    Thus, my earliest memory is of pulling myself up into a picture of the, then four, of them in a kind of box-on-poles-on-wheels. Unfortunately, whoever took the picture cut me out, so I have no proof. Anywho, at the time I was nearly three, and they were newborns.

  24. Sophia Elie says:

    I am super competitive, but my sister is a slacker. I already had the spotlight so I wanted to give my sister the spotlight. I pushed her super hard on her ABCs, reading, math,everything. I still do it to this day and she’s 15 but she thinks I’m mean. It’s for her own good though. In a way I’m super protective of her. I want her to be able to apply to the same schools I’m applying to now.

  25. Sophia says:

    Look at Miles and all that hair! He’s just too cute! I just wanna eat him.

  26. Julie says:

    What beautiful children!

    I don’t actually remember this, as I was under a year old, but there are pictures and the story keeps getting told:
    I am the younger of two girls, and apparently my sister was very jealous of all the attention I was getting when I was younger. My mother tried to make her feel better and let her feed me. My sister tried to shove the bottle down my throat. Instead of stopping her, my mom grabbed the camera.

  27. Well, I am an international MIT applicant for the class of 2010. I am very happy for you and also wish to congratulate you on the birth of your children. They are cute and look somewhat lively. Hope to hear more from you in the coming days.

    Wish you all the best as you raise them to become good ambassadors of your family, MIT & the world at large.

  28. neha says:

    ummm actually my brother was really nice to me when I was younger, except when he went through the phase oh where he was hoping I’d at more like a boy. He used to fight with and wanted me to fight back. I was like 4 and he was 10. Overall, I had a good experience with him. My problem was trying to get my parents’ attention. Since we fought a lot they seemed to have gotten tired of listening to me, so I would get on their nerves until they listened. lol

    Since my brother and I had a big gap, we worked well together. But since your children are close in age… there could be way more competition. I’ve seen it in my friends with their siblings. I say good luck! Beautiful kids. smile

  29. Jen says:

    i dont remember the first time i met my younger brother, but i think when we were that young i actually liked him. my parents let me hold him, and when he got older he actually ran around the house naked screaming that he would get his diaper changed unless i would do it. i dont think i liked that very much. as we got older we fought all the time, i was bigger so i always won, and in the eyes of my parents i was the angel, so he always got blamed for the fight, even if i started it! haha those were the days. we get along great now tho.

    funny story tho.
    i went to korea with my mom when i was around 4. one of my cousins (two years younger than me) had been living in japan so she only spoke japanese. i spoke english. i was outside playing with my two older cousins who only spoke korean when my cousin came out with my jacket on! apparently i was so mad at her that i asked her to give it back and i tried to take it off of her, and we started yelling at eachother. me in english, her in japanese and my cousins watching had no idea what either of us was saying. they ran and got my mom to try and sort it out. my mom thought that i wouldnt mind my cousin wearing my coat… boy was she wrong! i bet it was quite a sight to see. i wish i remembered it!

  30. Congrats on the gorgeous little bundle of joy!

    I don’t really remember much of what my brother and sister did to me because of the huge age gap (17 years between my brother and I, and 13 between my sister and myself), but I can comment about my little niece and nephew.

    My sister lets her little son hold the baby and tries to show him off in front of her, and say things like “Oh look, the baby is smiling for you! It’s happy that you did such a good job!” and clap the baby’s hands together for him. She also explained things to him, and that made a difference! She would tell him that the baby was tired, sleepy, pooing, or whatever, and gradually he started to understand the baby’s behavior and needs.

    Best of luck with everything Bryan! smile

    -Fatemah Boukhadour

  31. Christina says:

    What ADORABLE children.

    Congratulations, man!

    When I was extremely little, I used to hoist myself up in my crib each and every morning and call for my brother by yelling, “Brub Brub!!!!!!!!!” NEVER called for my parents. Only brub brub. And he would pad in (4 years old himself) and pick me up out of my crib.

    As for sibling rivalry…it definitely existed, but I was completely oblivious to it. Watching old home videos sometimes makes me cringe; my brother would pretty much throw me out a window and I would just laugh hysterically and tell him how much I loved him.

    THAT’S changed. :-D

  32. Waciuma says:

    wow, you have two very cute children. worked out just like my older sister and I: she’s two years older, we were both born 22in., but were only 8lbs. and change.

    so, if things follow that pattern, don’t be surprised to see McKinley pulling Mile’s eyelids open while he’s asleep and saying “Wakey Wakey!”

    oh, how wonderful older sisters are…

  33. Grace says:

    Tip? I’ve got a twin brother, so basically my parents bought double of everything so that we would be equals and not throw fits when we were younger.
    According to my mom, there’s this Chinese idea that it’s blessed to have a girl as the first baby, then a boy for the second (or something like that). Congrats to you and your wife!

  34. Anonymous says:

    class of 2026 and 2028..
    what if they skip first grade?

  35. Sean says:

    Lol, I remember following my older brother around the playground on my first day in pre-school. I wouldn’t stop following him, so he punched me and made me cry. T_T

    Those are really sweet pics! :-D

  36. nehalita says:

    well… my first memory was the day my mom brought my little brother home (i was 7). i mashed up some bananas for him and was ready to feed him and my mom told me he doesn’t eat food yet. boy was i disappointed. i mean, i waited 8 months for a brother and all he did was eat and sleep? phhhh.

    never felt neglected though. i think i throw more tantrums now than i did then. guess it kinda unnerves me when i see him getting away with things i never would have gotten away with.

  37. Stephanie says:

    This first time I remember being seperated from my older brother is when he left for his first day of Nursery School. I desperately wanted to go with him and I thought that by kicking and crying I would get to go too. Sadly it didn’t work and I had to wait a year. :(

  38. Johnson says:

    Hello Mr. Nance,
    One of the things that has really struck my younger brother and myself was the amount of “baby stuff” i garnered versus he.
    lol. for example: One night, my mom showed us the baby book that recorded everything about our baby days and to say the least, my parents showed more attention towards the circumference of my head than the date my brother first lost his tooth. My parents felt really embarassed by the affair; my mom couldn’t explain it…lol.. and it really was quite funny to see my parents grasping at straws as they tried to explain the situation.
    After letting them struggle for a while, my brother, being the charmer that he is, just laughed it off and we moved on.

    I guess the tip is to ensure that a kind of equality prevails between the first and second born.

  39. Andrea says:

    Bryan, congratulations to you and your wife. My sage advice – Hug them each day and tell them you love them. Much too soon, it will be mid-March in their senior year in high school and they will speak of MIT with that faraway look in their eyes.

  40. galliver says:

    Congrats Nance!

    My attention-getter was the most innovative…I came back from a vacation with my dad about two weeks after my half-sister was born…then promptly got a really bad stomach flu. Of course, I couldn’t eat anything but steamed rice for two months, but I got attention!

  41. Karen says:

    Congratulations – I am a Mom of two boys, 17 & 19. A book that I reccomend highly was “Siblings Without Rivalry” by Adele Faber. Time is on your side – once your son is able to walk and interact with his big sister it will be easier for them to become friends. We used to always try to show our older son how much his baby brother enjoyed him – pointing out how only he could bring out the baby’s special laugh. It is a wonderful time – enjoy!

  42. Kate says:

    wow! 9 lbs and 22 in long? yeah that seems like a 1 year old to me! they are too adorable, and McKinley has gotten so big, it really has been that long hasen’t it? Anyway, I have always been the middle child, but I could do no wrong, so I can’t reallys speak much to the MN2 sibling rivalry. But yeah, McKinley looks like she’s gonna light up a Broadway stage someday.
    Blessings wink

  43. Sara R. says:

    “I’ve never been so happy to hear the words Caesarean Section!! He was 9 pounds 15 ounces and 22 inches long at birth. My wife was ecstatic to hear, “Your Epidural is in.” Upon seeing Miles for the first time, I believe my dad said it best, “Wow, looks like you gave birth to a toddler!” Yes, he’s a very big boy.”

    HAHAHA! good lord what is your wife trying to be superwoman! your baby is beautiful AND WHAT A GORGEOUS LIL GIRL i bet shes going to be a great older sister.

  44. Minh says:

    Awww, they are so adorable! Congratulations!

  45. Anonymous says:

    That book she’s holding in the picture… that was my favorite book when I was small! Now I’m Course 16. LOL.

  46. Stephanie says:

    Wow, so incredibly cute!
    Congratulations!

  47. casellia says:

    Congratulations on two wonderful kids!

    As the younger sister of a four-years-older brother I was usually the one who was more prone to violent outbursts. I can’t remember any time he actually hurt me, but many times when I drew blood. Maybe guilt sticks in the memory better. Anyway, we had many good times building lego creations together and eventually learned to get along. About the time he got his admissions letter to MIT (December 2001) I realized that he was really special and I should be nicer to him. I think we get closer (and more alike) every day. So even if it takes time, your kids will eventually get along. And in another week I may be in the position of deciding whether or not I want another four years of following in his footsteps.
    Good luck, and don’t forget to slow down and watch the miracles as they learn to walk and talk and develop into independent people.