Sunday, February 21, 2016

Two Kids

I still need a little practice at this "2 kids" thing. (Moms of 3+ kids, kindly hold your fire).

I think of having kids as a little like learning to play the piano. Students can play the notes separately just fine, but the first time I ask them to play two notes at the same time they look at me like their brain might explode.

That's what 2 kids feels like to me.

I have faith that I will get better at this, but there's this thing called "leaving the house" that leaves me feeling exhausted by the time I make it to the driver's seat. Mary requires extensive negotiating at each juncture. Putting socks on. Putting shoes on. Keeping the shoes on. Putting on a jacket ("But mom! I like being cold!") Getting IN the car. Getting IN the carseat. Getting in the carseat with bum down instead of out. Last-minute delays: "I need WAAAAAATER!"
One of Mary's cuter delays: "I giving myself a hug!"

Matthew is too little to require negotiating, but inevitably I'll forget something crucial on the looooong list of stuff to remember when leaving the house: diapers, wipes, binkies, blanket, extra outfit, nursing cover, water for me, burp clothes, and so on.

Sometimes I successfully pack it all and then leave the diaper bag by the door as we drive away. Leaving the house FAIL.

And mealtimes are always a crisis. Not one of us is very cheerful when hungry, and at lunchtime we all seem to be hungry at the SAME TIME. Poor Matthew always wears part of my lunch on his face. (I'm not that good at eating left-handed while nursing him).

A 3-year-old and a 3-month-old are easy and hard in opposite ways. Mary eats when I do, takes only 1 nap a day, can feed herself if I provide the food, and doesn't need to be carried anywhere. But she has OPINIONS and her OPINIONS rule my life. Matthew has almost NO opinions, but requires hours of my day immobilized on the couch feeding him, while trying to read a book to Mary that she is balancing on Matthew's head.

In the middle of all this, we just bought a home and moved into our new house. Three days in a row I haven't unpacked a single box during the daytime. THREE DAYS. Isaac is a tactful husband but I can sense a little confusion in his carefully worded, "So, um, what did you do today?" Fed the kids, gave them baths, and made dinner, thank you very much. So what if that took ALL day?
Bad memories of packing...

I keep telling myself that in the history of the world probably billions of women have had 2 kids. (Pull yourself together Camber!)

Then I tell myself most of those women didn't have to get their toddlers into carseats.

TWO kids! And yet, sometimes I feel kind of awesome. Like when I successfully carry a wobbly-headed baby and a 30+ pound 3-year-old down the stairs at the same time. Or when I manage to get all three of us taking a nap at the same time. Or when I catch Mary taking a binky to her crying brother and telling him, "It's ok! Your sister's here!"
At Matthew's baby blessing

There was a time when I doubted whether we'd have one kid, let alone 2. Ungraceful as I am at handling both of them I feel blessed beyond measure. And, though I admit that some days I want bedtime to come an hour early, the kids are no sooner in bed than I start thinking affectionately on them, no matter how hard the day. I'm pretty in love with my 2 kids.