Thursday, October 20, 2011

Very early observations on parenting two children

This two kid thing is no joke. I applaud each and every one of you who has two (or more) kids because you seriously kick some parenting ass. Before Chloe was born, I mistakenly believed that her newborn days would mirror Noah's--lazy days lounging around, catching up on housework, getting my hair cut while she slept in her infant seat, wandering around Target, etc. There are two variables I did not consider and because you all are smarter and wiser than I you can probably guess what they are.

Variable 1: A baby who won't sleep unless she's held. Noah was not like this. I was UNPREPARED.


On Variable 1, the girl demands snuggling all day and night. She's warm and cute so I comply but there are times when I have to attend to things that require both arms. Things like going to the bathroom, showering (side note: if you know me at all, you know I am a must shower everyday kind of girl...add in spit up constantly in my cleavage and I can barely stand myself if I don't get a shower in the morning), eating anything that requires a fork and knife, and, oh, sleeping myself. See, I won't co-sleep. I do not judge at all if that works/ed for you but I am TERRIFIED of rolling over on the baby and Tim is such a deep sleeper that he wouldn't notice if he did. She does sleep in a bassinet next to the bed so she's very close but apparently the sound of our collective snoring is not enough to console her at night. I spend an inordinate amount of time holding her sleeping on my chest while propping my eyelids open with toothpicks. This is why the iPad was a brilliant birthday gift...I read YOUR blogs in the middle of the night. Keep the content coming...I NEED it.

She doesn't do naps during the day either unless being held. Case in point, between that last paragraph and now she gave up on the swing, refused a pacifier, squawked at the vibrating bouncy chair, refused to be held upright or cradled so I broke out the Sleepy Wrap and forced her into submission and therefore a nap. A nap that will last only until I unwrap her and try to put her down. At that point all bets are off. (Side note #2: if you have a newborn on the way, get a Sleepy Wrap. It was recommended to me by numerous friends and has proved itself invaluable day and night. I love mine, LOVE.)

See, I KNEW this could be the type of baby I got but I wasn't PREPARED for it. There isn't anything I can do but hold her and sleep her as I can and wait patiently for the magical 12 weeks when we can Dr. Weissbluth her little tush. Why yes, I am a hard-ass parent when it comes to sleep. Girlfriend is going to get on a sleep schedule as soon as developmentally appropriate. It worked for Noah so I have my fingers crossed it will work for Chloe. Of course, different baby might mean a different approach but damn if I won't give it all I've got.

On Variable 2, O.M.G. How did I not take into account that the FIRST child would continue to require his high level of care and attention??? Am I the biggest idiot in the world? Possibly. I blame the pregnancy hormones for blocking that concept entirely. Noah is still here and needs to be fed, bathed, attended to, played with, dropped off and picked up at school (only TWO days a week...I wish we could afford more, for his sake and mine), etc. All this while taking care of a newborn who, as explained, loves being held and nurses constantly. This is a learning process...learning how to balance the needs of a three year old with the needs of a newborn. Someone is always going to be waiting for something and probably crying because of it. This mom and dad need to just GET OVER THAT ALREADY and accept it as reality.

(Random tangent: Did you know there is a rap version of Itsy Bitsy Spider? Why yes there is and we have discovered it thanks to Pandora's toddler radio station...Basho Mosko sings "Itsy Bitsy Spider, WORD". Word.)

Anyhow, this gig is tough. Please don't misconstrue this as complaining because I am delighted to have two kids whom I love and adore and are seriously cute. If you have any advice to share, please feel free. Alternatively, if you would like to commiserate, feel free to do that too. And if you are Erica, I bet this just solidified your decision to stick with one kid :) And now I am going to post this without editing it and SORRY for that but she's screaming, he wants lunch and I have to pee. BADLY.


k said...

Bluntly put: the shit hits the fan in a major way with two. It is NO JOKE.

A small consolation since I can't come over and help, but I know your struggles. And if you ever need to chat or send off a venty email, girl, I am there.

Erica said...

I really didn't see that last paragraph coming and I am laughing inappropriately at work. Made my otherwise crappy morning. I did have a baby that wanted to be held all the time and hated the swing so I feel you. And yes, those wrap things are angels from above.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

So, I had a Moby wrap, which looks similar to your Sleepy Wrap, and I'll admit I went to the bathroom with Gavin still attached to me. As you know, you don't mess with a sleeping baby! =)

Anonymous said...

Oh my. This was scary to read, yet... I guess that's kind of how I've been picturing it, so you know. Still on the fence.

However, they ARE both awfully cute! Hang in there, I'm sure it calms down eventually! (I have no help, I'm sorry!)

Laura Diniwilk said...

I am dealing with the exact same situation over here. Adriana, my "variable 2", had a complete personality change when Lucia came home. Constant whining, screaming, temper tantrums, clinginess. I was SO NOT PREPARED for that. Our baby bjorn has saved my butt when I need to hold Lucy but still have to deal with Adriana. I hope you find something that works for you and that it gets easier soon!

Laura Diniwilk said...

Ohhhh I just read the other comments, I didn't realize a sleep wrap was like a moby and therefore a carrier/sling (I thought it was a swaddle and was confused about why you were taking it off to put her down). Don't mind me :)

Jessica said...

I hear you. I kinda feel guilty, because my second is an amazingly easy baby. (Except for when he has a cold, or got shots, or had a wonder week, or a growth spurt, or, god help us, an ear infection. But that's only half the time and it sounds like Chloe's like that all the time.)

Michelle said...

Two things I HIGHLY recommend:
1. Moby
2. Swaddlepod - basically a zip up straightjacket for babies, it helped Tate tremendously in the sleeping department

Andrea said...

I will be investing in a Sleepy Wrap, pronto. How have I never heard of these things before?

I concur with everything you said. I just had my third this month and also have a almost three year old and a five year old and things around here are rough, at best. Luckily everyone seems to be getting fed, bathed and some sort of sleep so I'll continue to call myself a successful parent.

Hillary said...

Late to the party here, but YES! The Lad wasn't a super high maintenance baby, but The Boy -- Oh my. He became just so BIG and LOUD and WILLFUL after his little brother was born. I was so grateful for daycare.

Amber said...

I just found your blog, BUT I THINK YOU CREPT INTO MY HOUSE AND WATCHED ME! Or at least I would think that but your baby was born a few weeks before mine and you would have been far too busy to perform random acts of covert ops. Thank you for this post. It's great and I wish I had found it sooner!