First off, I came across this post from MommyShorts all about having a toddler and newborn. And it is spot on. The title cracks me up, "Newborns are a Piece of Cake" and I can't agree more. Rosie is the easy one: she's at this glorious stage where she eats, sleeps, pees, poops, and that's about it. She's not complicated, doesn't care what she's wearing, eats one thing only, and can fall asleep anywhere. Now, two years ago I don't think I'd have been saying this about Patrick, seeing as he was my first churro and all of a sudden having a kid was way harder than anything I'd ever have done. But now, just as in the article, Rosie is the easy one--the toddler is the one that makes life c-r-a-z-y. However, having two kiddos--even if one is an easy little thing--is definitely something that is not a cakewalk by any means.
I absolutely love having two kiddos--especially having one boy and one girl (even though I was convinced I'd never say that, seeing as prior to Rosie's arrival I said I only wanted boys...I'm singing a different tune now! I love having a girl! And, shockingly, have been okay with all the pink!)--but boy, it is some tough work! When I had Patrick and Mike was at work, it was him I only had to worry about. If he needed to eat or sleep, that's what we both did. Now, with a newborn AND a 2 year old, who seem to be on kinda different schedules, I have to figure out how to juggle both of their needs--and do it solo a lot too.
Life with two has been a whirlwind of emotions: Chaotic. Fun. Stressful. Loving. Tiresome. Joyous. Loud. Happy. And so many more. Whoever said that going from one kid to two is a bigger "shock" and adjustment than going from zero to one was spot on--it's definitely an adjustment and has some very challenging times--and days. However, I wouldn't change it at all...because, THIS:
I mean, these kind of moments are what having two is all about. Yes, there's screaming and chaos and messiness and chasing Patrick trying to wrestle back the open pack of blueberries he snatched out of the fridge, but then there's this: pure love and bliss between my two babies. I look at these pics and all of that craziness of having two seems to melt away.
It definitely hasn't been easy having two, especially by myself. I've had to essentially relearn how to be a mom all over again. I mean, the basic stuff: feeding Rosie, changing her, knowing what her cries mean, praying for a 5+ hour stretch of sleep--all of that stuff is like second nature and has come flooding back to me. What I've had to relearn is how to handle TWO kids. Running to the grocery store or Target by myself and with the kids in tow isn't a cakewalk anymore: I have to now get Rosie into my Tula babycarrier while distracting Patrick who's trying to break out of his carseat, then find a cart (ALWAYS park next to the car corral--no matter how far away it is!), get Patrick out of his carseat while wearing Rosie, get my reusable bags and purse out of the car, and head off into the store, hopefully armed with a toy or something for Patrick to hold onto so he doesn't try and jump out of the cart. There was definitely a learning curve to this, and I'm by no means a pro with two yet, but I'm getting the hang of it. And that is JUST getting them to get into a store!--The rare occasion I venture out with just one kid (or, gah! heaven going solo) is a piece of cake.
Getting them both up and out of the door is another story! It's a coordinated dance we do every morning: Rosie starts to wake up, and I shoot out of bed so I can take Scooter out, get dressed, woof down a bowl of cereal, take my pharmacy of allergy meds, brush my teeth, fold the laundry, put the diapers in the wash (if it's diaper day), and get Patrick's milk and breakfast out. Then, I usually hear Patrick stirring and decide to leave him in his bed for a bit longer so I can get Rosie up, change and feed her (and, fingers crossed, Crib Gate 2015 flip-the-bed-around is working and there have been ZERO escapes or attempts! woot!). Then, after Rosie is milk drunk, I set her down, get Patrick up and changed, wrangle him away from his train table (usually kicking and thrashing) to put him in his high chair for breakfast, just as Rosie is starting to whine cause she wants to be held. I grab her, and then Patrick is launching his food on the floor for Scooter and I'm trying to field off Patrick feeding him more while holding Rosie. Once breakfast is over I get Patrick washed up, park Rosie in her carseat, get Patrick changed again (cause inevitably he got his shirt all icky from breakfast), and entice him to get to the car while I'm getting the diaper bag. WHEW. This process takes a good hour or so on a smoothly running day. However, then I catch this happening, my heart melts, and all of the chaos, tears, and crying of the morning make it all worth it.
(Plus, the fact that they are both napping for 2+ hours after lunch AT THE SAME TIME right now is heavenly heavenly heavenly and allows me to type up long-winded posts like this, among other things :)
I am by no means a two-kid-mom managing master yet--I'm working on it!--there are certain places I have yet to go by myself with the two burritos in tow (the park! uh, not ready for that one yet! and any non-kid friendly eatery or store). It definitely is all a learning curve, but I'm tackling it as best as I can, and getting oodles of practicing managing 2 under 2 solo, since Mike is working a LOT and a lot of overtime, because the fine people of the city of St. Louis are keeping him super busy with lots of crime.