Hello my friends! I almost didn’t make it. Between driving around listening to the ‘Frozen’ soundtrack while looking at Christmas lights and hand-washing my husbands work uniforms in the bathtub (because our friggin washer broke), this almost became a “Terrible Mom Tuesday” blog. But here I am! With 2 & 1/2 hours to spare.
Anyway, as most of you know, I have 2 children who are 16 months apart, not quite “Irish Twins”, but close a-freakin-nuff.
Having a second child so that Kaiden could have another little buddy to play with was part of our plan. My sister and I are 17 months apart, and despite giving each other black eyes and scratches all over our bodies when we were kids, I couldn’t imagine what life would have been like had I not had her around. The decision to reproduce again was quick and spontaneous, therefore-there were many things that I did not take into consideration prior to hatching Chloe. I knew it would be a challenge and I knew I would struggle at times-I had no idea what to expect and I have come to realize many different things over the past year. Mainly I have learned that my mother was a Goddess and it’s no wonder she built a Tiki Bar in our backyard….
Below is a list of 10 things I did not anticipate when I made the decision to have 2 babies so close in age:
- There will be diapers. So. Many. Diapers. My children like to synchronize their bowel movements so that the moment I change one, I hear a familiar rumble coming from the other one-followed by an evil grin. They are conspiring against me – I can see it in their little eyes.
- I have to start preparing to leave the house 30 minutes before go-time. Long gone are the days of getting myself dressed and heading out the door. Even though I am only making a quick trip to the grocery store, I must now not only lay out an outfit for myself (usually pajama pants & my husbands shirt); I must also lay out one boy outfit, one girl outfit, 2 back-up outfits (because, poop) 4 pairs of socks, 4 shoes, 4 diapers, wipes, 2 binkies, a snack, and toys.
- Despite my best efforts, it’s nearly impossible to get them both to fall asleep at the same time. One drifts off, while the other cries out, rebelling against naptime. I have to start all over with the first one and hope the second keeps its mouth quiet long enough for the other to enter deep sleep. I magically get the second one to sleep as well – then the Jehova’s witnesses come a-knockin on my front door and they are both back up..
- I’m covered in sweat by the time I get them both unbuckled, out of the car and into the store. People in the parking lot point and stare as I wrestle one child out of the confines of their seatbelt yelling “Don’t fight it! Just let it happen! Then run full speed to the other side of the car while carrying a little baby on my hip to release the other. Sometimes the onlookers clap when I’m done. No they don’t…. I made that up.
- Taking a shower is a challenge. I have a few options to chose from when contemplating getting myself clean. I have to either: A) Wait until another adult is present. B) Do it during naptime (Yeah, see that is when I scroll through Facebook and watch YouTube videos uninterrupted so, not really an option). C) Put one in a high chair and the other in a play pen and listen to them scream as I rush to wash my hair, getting shampoo in my eyes and slipping and cracking my elbow. Or D) Just not take a shower. I usually go with D…..Just kidding……no I’m not.
- I let my children use technology waaaaayyyyy more than I ever intended. Here’s me before: “Ew, my children are NOT going to be zombies, staring at a screen all day, what kind of parent wouldn’t rather spend that time interacting with their child?” Here’s me now: “Sweet Jesus, take my phone. Here, I pulled up one of those weird “Surprise Egg” videos you like-mommy needs 5 minutes of peace. Beat it”
- I would have to make life or death decisions in one second flat. Here’s the scene-I’m home alone with my kids, minding my own business, when I notice my son, is trying to stick a plug into an outlet with wet hands, as I run toward him, I notice Chloe has pulled a butcher knife out of the dishwasher and is trying to get a close up view of the tip of it. This is hypothetical, but crap like this happens everyday. It’s like being on Fear Factor.
- I would have to keep them separated during all meals, every time. Otherwise, my youngest will claw her brothers eyes out in an attempt to steal one of his chicken wings. Then he will scream and collapse crying, and she will pounce on the opportunity to take advantage of him while he’s vulnerable, and steal the rest of his wings.
- Kaiden not realizing that Chloe, is not a toy . This issue has gotten a little better as time has passed, he was a little rough with her in the beginning. Trying to squeeze the life out of her and drag her around by her hair. He realizes now he can’t do things like that, however- I still have to remind him occasionally like, “Hey Bud! Chloe is not a coloring book so, lets lay off drawing squiggles on her face, Kay?”
- And the last, but most important thing I did not anticipate-was being able to love my second as much as I love my first. I have more history with Kaiden, so I found it impossible to fathom being able to re-create that love for another person. The thing is, its a completely different type of love for each child-but equally as powerful. I love different things about each of them, and just when I think I can’t love them anymore, they giggle together and hug and my heart explodes all over the living room. Some people said we were crazy when they heard we would be having 2 children 16 months apart. Of course there are temporary moments of craziness: one has an accident all over the couch while the other is getting ready to jump off a chair. One insists on being held while the other needs food. Its a constant balancing and juggling act. Keeping both babies safe and happy while attempting to do laundry, clean the home, make dinner and work can be a challenge. We prayed that the lord would give us the strength to handle it, we prayed they would have a close bond, we prayed that we would be able to show each enough love and attention that they felt complete. The lord has given us so much more. Its double the diapers, food, car seats, clothes etc…but more importantly its double the love, joy, and laughter. I am feeling so grateful for the bond these 2 and their big sister share today, and even though I haven’t taken a proper shower since 2014, I wouldn’t change a single thing.