Life at Erin and Ben Napier’s home is not always quite the blissful “Home Town” scene viewers might imagine as they parent two busy, bold and imaginative little girls. In a new interview, the HGTV stars opened up about some of the unexpected challenges they’ve faced as relatively new parents, from sibling rivalry to play time. Here’s the scoop on what the Napiers shared…
The Napiers Say Their Toddler ‘Only’ Bites Her Big Sister
In a newly-released video interview with US Weekly correspondent Christina Garibaldi, the Napiers gave some insight into what it’s like at home lately with their daughters, four-year-old Helen and 16-month-old Mae.
Recorded on September 16, 2022, when the Napiers gave a makeover to their local Salvation Army shelter, the HGTV stars said that they’ve adjusted pretty well to parenting two kids, but that it can be a bit chaotic at times.
When asked how Helen is adjusting to her little sister getting bigger, Ben said, “She’s an incredible big sister, but we still have some jealousy.”
“We’re trying to share toys and that’s very hard,” Erin added. “They’re starting to play together and that’s exciting because Mae is almost a year and a half and she wants to say things and do things and take things from her sister. So, they’re having fun and playing together, but they’re also having a little jealousy over toys.”
“And mama,” Ben quipped.
“And mama,” Erin agreed. “Always.”
Ben further explained, “If one of them is in mama’s lap, the other one is coming right there!”
And while Helen can communicate her frustration, the parents admitted little Mae sometimes resorts to physically trying to get her way.
“Mae bites Helen and no one else!” Erin exclaimed.
“Yeah, she won’t bite anybody else, but she’ll bite her sister,” Ben said as Erin laughed. “Which is not, like, a good thing but…”
Erin Says She’s ‘Not Good at Playing’
In their US Weekly interview, the Napiers admitted they don’t miss their girls being newborns. In fact, they actually prefer the so-called “terrible twos.”
“I don’t miss the newborn stage,” Erin laughed.
“Nah,” Ben agreed, “everybody talks about the terrible twos. We loved two with Helen.”
With both girls, they found the stage from nine to 14 months was roughest.
“It was the hardest thing in the world,” Ben admitted.
“They want to walk, they want to talk and they just can’t do it the way they want to,” Erin said. “They’re very frustrated all the time. We’re loving…toddlerhood has been awesome. I love having toddlers.”
The couple shared that they each have their own parenting strengths; they said Ben’s great at playing like a big kid, while Erin’s better at teaching.
“He is extremely good at playing,” she said. “He’ll get on the floor and make up games with the toy horses and they go outside and they go fishing. And I like teaching Helen how to cook, showing them how to paint, showing them how to draw.”
“I’m not good at playing,” she admitted. “And I feel sad about that.”
Ben tried to explain why he thinks he is more inclined to engage in imaginative play with the girls than his wife is.
“Erin is the youngest on both sides of her family,” he said. “After Erin, there was not another baby born until Jim and Mallorie had Lucy,” Ben said, referring to Erin’s cousin Jim and his wife — Erin’s best friend Mallorie. “So, Erin didn’t spend a lot of time with little kids.”
“I haven’t spent a lot of time with kids. I really haven’t,” she agreed.
Meanwhile, Ben said he spent lots of time with younger siblings, cousins, his nephew, and with the kids at his church when he was a youth minister. He eventually left that job to pursue woodworking and renovation, but they both agreed he’s a big kid at heart.
“You’re like an expert at play,” she said.