Yesterday, my baby turned ten weeks old. That means for ten weeks, we’ve been parents to two children. We have kids, plural, and I’ll be honest, that fact is still sinking in. The thought of having two children; a newborn and a two year old, terrified me for a little while but now I feel like we’ve got it under control. It’s loud, messy and quite often ends in tears but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here are some of the things that have surprised me from the last ten weeks of having two little ones…
Sometimes We Get To Leave The House
I thought that having two would mean we’d go out less but the opposite is true. Since having a baby, we’ve made more effort to get out and about. There’s an element of using excursions to tire out the toddler and a bit of ‘if we don’t get out the house today, we may all go insane’ but on the whole, we’re more aware of needing to do things with our time. The weeks are passing so quickly and we don’t want to waste a second. Plus, by going out at the weekend, it relieves the guilt on those days where we can’t get out for whatever reason. Even if it’s just a walk, we’ve been far more active than we ever were in the newborn days with just one child. It takes us absolutely hours to leave the house in the first place and we end up bringing half of our belongings with us in one bag or another but we’re out!
Sometimes It Melts Your Heart
We were sat in the car the other day and the baby starts crying. ‘Don’t be sad’, pipes up the toddler, before launching into a rendition of Twinkle Twinkle, ‘I want to hold her hand’. In that moment, I think my heart exploded with love. Whilst he still routinely asks me to ‘put her away’ so that we can play, he adores her and the feeling is mutual. I was so worried that at (only just) two, he’d struggle to adapt to the concept of a sibling but he’s taken it in his stride. There is nothing quite like watching two humans, that you’ve made, interact and love each other. It’s enough to make my ovaries weep.
Sometimes We Forget One
This sounds bad. And it is. But the reality is that sometimes, I forget we have two children and by that I really mean, I forget about the baby. Yeahhhhhh. That baby that I carried for forty two weeks sometimes just blends into the background. She sleeps a lot, she’s quiet and her brother is a whirlwind. I have genuine concerns that one day I’ll be in the car and realise I’ve left her snoozing in the Moses basket at home whilst her brother destroys the car behind me. I wouldn’t. I really wouldn’t but by the time it gets to the end of the day and her brother’s in bed, I often realise I’ve not really spent any time with her properly that day. Poor thing.
n.b. We could never forget the toddler. Mostly because he is so loud and so full of beans that you can’t even wee without him climbing on the toilet behind you.
Sometimes It’s A Literal Sh*t Storm
I don’t know quite how they do it; whether they have a radar or a secret code that I’m yet to crack but I can guarantee you that if one does a poo, the other will. The good thing about this is that both the two year old and the baby are still in nappies, so it’s a contained issue for the most part. However, changing the two year old is like attempting to wrestle an octopus. And changing his sister is made far more challenging by his want to ‘help’ which usually takes the form of him wanting to inspect her dirty nappy. One day we genuinely went from changing her, to changing him and then before finishing him off, had to deal with a poo explosion that resulted in us all getting in the bath. There are never enough nappies, or wipes, and the change mat seems to disappear on an hourly basis. But on the plus side, I do have a little helper who likes to run and put the dirty bags in the bin. Usually whilst shouting ‘POO-EEEEEEEEY’. Well, at least he’s happy.
Sometimes We All Cry
The thing with two children is that you never outnumber them and for half of the week, they outnumber me two to one. Which is fine for around 95% of the time. There have been times where we’ve all cried. Where the baby won’t settle. Where the toddler is leaping off of the sofa for the seventieth time. Where it all just gets a little too much to handle. There have been days where I’ve lost my patience, there have been days where we’ve all just sat and had a little cry together about things and you know what? I’m okay with that. Parenthood is hard at times. As much as I hate to get upset in front of them, I think there’s a certain healthiness to children seeing their parents cry. It lasts a few minutes. I have a word with myself and more often that not, we end up going on a walk to reset ourselves.
Sometimes You Have To Pick A Favourite
‘You’re the winner of girls over five, you’re the winner of the boys category and you’re the winner of the girls under fives category’. I can’t tell you how many times in my own childhood that I’d hear lines like that from my mum. Every single time we’d ask her to pick the best drawing or judge who’d won something, she’d throw out this line and it would drive us mad. ‘Just pick one!’ we’d shout and she’d always refuse. It’s something I can already hear myself doing, despite the baby being far too little to understand if I said she’d lost. I can’t imagine having to chose between them and yet, sometimes I do because sometimes they both need me at the same time. It’s hard having to prioritise one upset child over another, or even just the needs of one over another. It’s a constant compromise of what you can offer; Meals for the toddler done whilst balancing the baby across my lap mid-feed, comforting his grazed knees with his sister strapped into the carrier between us when he trips on a walk, a constant ‘I’ll just do this before I can do that with you’. It’s tough but I also think I’m more aware of it than either of them are.
Sometimes We Get Time To Ourselves
I never, ever thought I’d say this at ten weeks in but some nights, we actually get time to ourselves. Okay so it’s rarely over meal times but it happens. The toddler is in bed by six thirty (ish) each night and more often than not, a mammoth feed bang on dinner time, means that the baby is flat out in the Moses basket for half of the evening. You’d think we’d use that magical time to catch up with each other in peace, to enjoy each other’s company, to get some jobs done or work our way through the list of half-finished conversations about plans for the next few weeks. No. We do what most parents do when faced with a no child hour or two; we sit on our phones in silence, usually looking at cute photos of our little ones and wondering if we should wake them to give them a tight squeeze. Well, it’s a little too quiet without at least one of them up!