Yesterday I discussed my recent lapse of baby amnesia. Yes, I love babies. But having two of them, under my care until they’re at least 18? SCARY. It already takes me an additional hour to go anywhere with Little K. What would two babes do to my planning?
To qualm my fears, I decided to turn to my Fairy Blogmother, Elena of Mommy Is In Timeout for some advice. You should read her blog because it’s incredibly well-written. Plus, she’s literally a neighbor of mine, living just a few miles away. She has two adorable boys, Lanagan, 3½ and Cooper, 18 months, and one funny hubby named Charlie. She was kind enough to respond to some questions I sent her regarding how adding to your brood may change your world. Here’s her insight:
How was pregnancy different with Cooper? Were you more relaxed than you were with Lanagan? I dread it’s going to be crazy difficult while chasing around a little one.
The biggest difference when I was pregnant with Cooper was not resting whenever I wanted. I had an 18 month old causing level 5 mass chaos around the house. When I came home from work, it was go time the moment I walked in the door. It definitely made the pregnancy physically exhausting.
My body was also generous enough to treat me with 24/7 sickness the second time around. It was hard to explain to a toddler why Mommy couldn’t make his favorite snack because the smell of it would send her into a dramatic reenactment of her college days after a night out.
As far as being more relaxed – that’s a little hard to say. I had a miscarriage before Cooper, so under the circumstances, I was probably a little bit more apprehensive than before. I still consider myself that I was an easy-breezy preggo lady. I’m sure Charlie would disagree with that memory.
Did Lanagan act out when Cooper came along?
Lanagan was still fairly young when Cooper was born (2 years, 3 months). I don’t think he truly realized what was going on. I remember when he came to the hospital, all he wanted to do was eat my ice chips. The little baby I was holding was secondary to the crunchy frozen cubes of goodness.
I think the hardest thing for him to understand was that I couldn’t lift him after the delivery since I was recovering from a C-section.
Is it that awful to have two in diapers at once?
Oh, the two-kids-in-diapers days. We just potty trained Lanagan in April, so for 16 months, we had two in diapers. When Lanagan was finally done, I considered having some type of small ceremony out in the yard. Nobody RSVP’d yes, so I cancelled it.
When we were diapering the two, we worked out an assembly line in our bedroom. (Tip: we actually put the changing table in our bedroom so we didn’t have to buy two. Can make for a smelly romantic evening, but after a while you’re just immune to it.)
Between Charlie and I, we’d bring both of them to the diaper table and we each had our roles. Charlie would tell you his role was to actually change them while I just stood there talking and bossing him around. This is all true.
The hardest part is when you’re out and about with them on your own. Trying to change two kids in a public restroom – especially the momma-hater establishments without changing tables – is an art in and of itself. Changing one child, while locking down the other one with your leg to prevent playtime in the toilet, are skills they just don’t teach you in parenting classes.
Do you have any tips to share about balancing two?
Having 2 (or more) is definitely a balancing act. It is the definition of spinning plates.
I remember the first night we brought Cooper home. He was crying because he was hungry. Lanagan didn’t like the Taco Bell dinner I had slaved over preparing for him. Everyone was crying. Including me. Charlie and I stood in the hallway, looked at each other and knew we needed a game plan.
Forget using zone, it was time to switch to man-to-man. Since I was the lactation station, Charlie put me on baby duty and he was on Lanagan. I still contest it was all a ruse since Lanagan was the one that slept through the night.
Now that they’re older, we often switch up who we’re covering, but still use the same defensive tactic to this day.
The biggest thing is to not get stressed. One of them might have to wait, because you’re getting something for the other. They’ll adapt. I calm my mommy guilt by telling myself it will teach them patience. Their future wives may actually just thank me.
Do the boys get along being fairly close in age?
They are just now starting to play together really well. I can’t really leave them alone too long because I’m convinced they discuss devious plans on how to best test my parenting abilities.
Seriously though, some of the best moments of my life are when they hug or Lanagan tells Cooper that he loves him. There’s nothing like seeing your kids affectionate with each other.
Last fall, Lanagan would introduce people to his brother and best friend. He would say “Name’s Cooper” and point to him. It was the sweetest thing ever.
Thank you, Elena, for answering these questions in such an honest manner. I laughed a whole lot, I teared up at the last part, and honestly, it just made me feel good about the fact that I may not wait too much longer before starting the chaos of pregnancy all over again.
If anyone has any additional tips to share, please leave a comment. I need all the advice I can handle!