Julie Bowen: No Brotherly Love Amongst My Boys

11/11/2009 at 06:00 PM ET
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Brotherly love is — for the moment — unheard of in Julie Bowen‘s household.

With the actress having welcomed fraternal twins John and Gus in May, first-born Oliver McLanahan, 2 ½, is having a tough time adjusting to big brotherhood.

“He hates them, but you know what, tough, he’ll get past it,” Julie tells Celebrity Baby Blog at the March of Dimes 4th Annual Celebration of Babies luncheon.

“He’s a boy. Boys don’t like babies. He’s the oldest. He definitely fights for my attention.”

Fortunately, Oliver has much to keep him busy — the toddler has started preschool!

“He’s [in] two days a week,” Julie shares. “He loves it.”

Despite his resistance to John and Gus, Oliver is all about his new teachers!

“Apparently, he’s working his magical charms on the teachers there,” laughs Julie.

In attempts to win back his mother’s attention, Julie jokes that Oliver has even taken to using his charisma on her!

“He tries to get me to stay in bed with him — he strokes my face and tells me I’m beautiful,” she reveals.

“He’s like a seducer. He’s like, ‘Mama, you stay here, you’re so beautiful,’ and I’m like, ‘Yes, yes.’ I’m being seduced by a two-and-a-half year-old.”

Click below to read about the John and Gus’ latest accomplishments.

And as Oliver is starting a new phase in his life, the 6-month-old twins are reaching milestones of their own. “They are both rolling over and eating solids,” Julie reports.

Their similarities end there, however! While one baby boy resembles “a white Shrek, he’s really fat,” his twin brother — “tiny and nimble” — is the polar opposite.

“One is one of those fat future people from WALL-E. So they are very different. And they eat the same things. It’s not my fault, it just came out that way.”

Calling her twins “adorable and great,” the Modern Family actress loves nothing more than to spend quality — albeit a bit dirty! — time with her brood of boys. “With the twins there are times just rolling around on the floor with them in their own puke because they throw up sitting up,” she confesses.

Raising three under three is no easy feat and Julie, 40, admits that motherhood has taken its toll. “I’m really tired all the time and I no longer have any illusions that life is about me, whether that’s good or bad,” she muses.

According to the busy mom, even her personal hygiene has been negatively affected by her schedule. “I wash my hair less frequently,” she admits. “Just got to make do!”

Oliver, John, and Gus are Julie’s sons with husband Scott Phillips.

— Anya with reporting by Tiffany Matloob

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , Kids , News , Parenting

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Showing 27 comments

Sabina on

Ooooh, cute!

mrsh on

I never adjusted to having a younger brother. But, we were really far apart in age, and we have nothing in common.

Micheley on

I love all three of her boy’s names!

buggs on

funny. and true.

miaow on

Fair enough, poor old Oliver…but he’ll enjoy having them later. I do disagree though, some boys LOVE their baby sisters/brothers. Just different personalities.

J to the Dine on

This interview was really cute!

Erika on

She seems very sweet with them! The oldest boy is so cute.

I agree miaow- But I think some people just want to excuse their child’s behavior by using gender stereotypes. Not accusing her of this, I don’t think she meant boys can’t like their siblings but probably that he was less into it because boys don’t really play with dolls as much. But I know one neighbor who wrote her son notes to excuse him from homework 3-4 times a week until 5th grade because ‘boys just don’t like school work’. True story She also excused her daughter from gym when she didn’t like it, because she wasn’t athletic.

Sadie on

My 2 year old boy loves his 9 month old twin sisters to bits. I agree with Miaow… little boys are just as capable as loving babies as girls are.

Liliana on

I, too, think it depends on the individual child.

My oldest was five when I had my second child so I’m not familiar with having children closely spaced but my son took to his brother quite easily after he arrived. Two years later, they have their good and their bad days. Sometimes my oldest thinks my youngest is downright annoying while other times, I’ll catch him showing his brother the rules of soccer.

I’m sure for some children, two or under, getting two new siblings must be daunting. While I’m sure others ease right into the role of big brother/sister, this isn’t the case for everyone. My oldest son’s aunt had twin girls three months ago. These two are her third and fourth children as she already has a five year old son and a two year old daughter. Her son has proven to be a great helper but her daughter is immensely jealous and often acts out. Most recently, she threw her brother’s toy dinosaur at one of the babies, leaving a pretty hefty bruise.

mary on

She is so funny and honest!

True on

i have a 4year old BOY, and my brother gave birth to ma niece in January, i had the privilage of taking ma nephew to live with me and ma son, MY SON was good with the baby, and he was so sweet and wanted to be in control, and i can see that he loves kids, so it really depends on the certain child, i disagress with her statement that BOYS DONT LIKE CHILDREN, its like she’s saying if her first born was a GIRL she would be acting differently.

Sam and Freya's mum on

Our son was 3 years, 4 mths when his little sister was born, and now, 22 mths later, is still besotted with her. He’s very caring and worries about her, wants her up to play with, so I think boys can be very sensitive, just depends on the child. Sam loves to help with her, wants to push her stroller, and they pat each other on the back on head when the other one hurts themselves and Sam gets ice pack for her even if not needed!, is very cute. Very lucky, and relieved…

Think a lot of it comes down to individual personality, he’s always been pretty good natured generally, and our age gap may have helped him understand a bit more, being almost 3 1/2 at the time. They are great litte pals, nice to see them play together -just making most of it while it lasts, teenage years and all to come, lol. Having said that, much as kids are a blessing, not being judgemental but I don’t envy Julie being 40 & exhausted with 3 boys under 3 – yikes! Kudos to her & I’m sure it’ll be more fun when they’re less dependent down the line & can all play together, but I’m personally a fan of the (approx) just over 3 year gap!, such as Jennifer Garner has too, from memory…

deedee on

she has her hands full! Luckily it sounds like she is handling it very well–rolling with the punches and having a sense of humor is definitely needed with 3 under 3. If she was a control freak she would be in big trouble…..

Lilly on

“a white Shrek, really fat, one of those future fat people……”

Wow. Weird thing to say!

Lisa on

My oldest sister never adjusted to our sister (the middle child. I’m the baby). She’s almost 33 years old and she’s still incredibly hateful and mean to our sister. He could change his mind about his brothers later, but I think it’s something they should keep their eyes on so that they can take steps to remedy it before it’s too late if he doesn’t start to get used to them.

JM on

i have had five children in the space of 7 1/2 years (one set of twins) so they are all quite close in age. and they have their good and their bad days, generally though they get along and like always having someone around to play with. but i agree that it has nothing to with being a boy or a girl. my oldest is a boy and he is the loveliest big brother his siblings could ask for. very caring and patient and he understands that he can’t always come first, and in fact sometimes has to come last because he’s oldest, and he has understood that from when his first baby sibling was born.
but each child is different and just because they don’t get on now doesn’t mean they won’t in future.

Christie on

Lilly – I think she was comparing one of the babies to characters in the movie Wall-E since she said “one of those fat future people from Wall-E”.

I don’t envy her! I have a 4 1/2 year old daughter and a 4 month old baby boy and I have a tough time sometimes. Like someone else said she seems to be handling everything great with a sense of humor which is ALWAYS needed when kids are involved :)!

happymom on

I love how honest she is! It’s so refreshing to read about a celebrity saying it’s difficult instead of spinning it (especially when you know that most of them have tons of help and really aren’t doing the nitty-gritty). It’s very typical, especially at her older son’s age, to feel jealous of new siblings.

dee on

I’m 2 years older than my brother and my parents said I had terrible fits after he was born. We pretty much didn’t get along until we were both out of the house, but our relationship is really good and we appreciate each other now that we are 26 and 28.

Lila on

My daughter pulls those tricks to get me to stay in her bed too. She will hold me and say “I love you mommy, and I know you want to sleep in her with me”. She is funny!

lindaloo on

2 1/2 yr old in preschool…really???

Liliana on

Lindaloo, I’m sure it’s just a program that meets two or three times a week. My two and a half year old’s class, while not referred to as preschool, meets every Tuesday and Thursday for three hours.

momoftwo on

So true! When our youngest was born my older son was 4 and he looked at him and said, “that’s it? he just lays there?” We said yeah until he’s a little older. He just walked off and went to play on his own. I think he thought he’d have an instant playmate.

Sharon on

does anyone think she looks like heidi klum in this picture?

JanaL on

“Tough, he’ll get over it” – that’s not funny or amusing to me. Instead of digging down deep to make sure all her boys are getting what they need, she’s farmed out the oldest one to preschool and depending on a toddler to boost HER ego by telling HER she’s beautiful. I feel sorry for poor Oliver – it’s obvious his needs don’t come first.

Ashleigh on

Wow, JanaL. Way to misconstrue the entire article.

Cheryl on

I did not like Julie’s comment in the article “boys don’t like babies.” My 10 year old, Cameron, absolutley LOVES his 1 year old brother, Ian. It all depends on the child. Personally, I think she just doesn’t want to admit that her son obviously has a jealousy problem. Alot of ways to avoid this, has to come from the parents. We always enforced how great this was going to be for Cameron and how he was finally going to be a big brother (he has an older sister who’s 11). We focused on all the things he could teach him and we talked about how Ian was always going to look up to him, instead of – “just get over it”. And you wonder why he doesn’t like the twins? DUH