Erin and Ben Napier are thrilled to watch their daughters’ relationship blossom — but that doesn’t always mean things are peaceful in the HGTV star’s home.
“They’re finally playing together,” Erin tells PEOPLE of daughters Helen, 4, and Mae, 17 mesi, in this week’s cover story (in edicola venerdì). Adds Ben with a laugh: “But they’re also finally jealous. If one of them gets in Mama’s lap, then the other one is close behind, and there’s a fight fixing to happen.”
“And if I try to put them both in my lap, they just pull each other’s hair,” adds Erin. “So it’s a struggle right now, Onestamente.”
At the end of each day at the family’s new country house in Laurel, Mississippi, there is one ritual that brings calm: bath time.
Helen has taken on the responsibility of getting Mae ready and into the tub before following behind. “Mae feels like she’s at the beauty shop, suppongo. È davvero dolce,” dice Erin. “And then I supervise. I watch them and just tried not to cry, because Helen doesn’t understand what’s so sweet and so special about this.”
Ben, who Erin jokes has become a weepy girl dad, is treasuring these times too. “I’ve never been worried about birthdays,” lui dice. “My 30th birthday came and went, e 40 is coming. The thing that upsets me is that I spent 35 years without Helen or Mae. They are growing so fast.”
The couple also have big plans for their family of four when the girls get a little older.
“Once Mae turns 4 Anni, we are going to see the world. We’re going to do all the traveling,” dice Erin. “We try to take a family trip every year right now, but it’s difficult. We’re in the difficult season of travel. Seventeen months old is not the easiest.”
“We’re going everywhere,” says Ben, who names Montana and Europe as destinations at the top of their list.
The family also owns an airstream trailer that has allowed them to travel more locally in comfort and style, even while social distancing during the pandemic, but they’re eager to get further afield and introduce their girls to new experiences.
“Your brain goes into autopilot when you do the same things every day,” dice Erin. “So you’ve got to make memories doing unusual things to remember it. And so we’re looking forward to that.”
lei aggiunge, “They’re only going to be little for such a short time. We know this is special and it’s fleeting too.”