Kristi Gilbert: A Little Game of 'Terrible' Two on Two
Between late-night frolics and food refusals, Ken and I have our hands full with Ava while little Jack watches quietly.
Most days I feel completely outnumbered. I sometimes ask myself, how on earth do mothers of multiple kids do it?
Shock treatment? Cages?
Having one baby is hard; don't get me wrong. Though absolutely worthwhile, it's a huge adjustment, giving your own life up to commit your days (and nights) to such a small little being.
But two kids? Holy crap! What have I taken on? Some days I feel like I can totally relate to those old Calgon commercials.
For starters, Ava and Jack are on different schedules for all their activities—playing, eating, sleeping, you name it. Between the two little whippersnappers, it's hard to ever get a break, which means my blogging, Pinterest and Facebook addictions have taken a major step back. (Not that my absence from such social sites is a necessarily a bad thing; I probably spend too much time on them anyway. Blessing in disguise, I suppose?)
I have recently found that I’m completely neglecting my almost-6-month-old's nap schedule. Not because I don't care. Instead, it's because I'm too busy managing my ever-so-busy toddler, who is going through what the modern world knows as The Terrible Twos. (The nap subject throws me for a major loop because I was overly committed to getting Ava on a solid nap schedule when she was Jack's age.)
Daytime-dozing shortages aside, though, little Jack out-sleeps his big sister every night! With a late-night feeding here and there, he sleeps a solid 12-hour stretch regularly, while Ava only gets 10.
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Know what else stinks, figuratively and literally? I no longer get to indulge in the afternoon nap that I loved while pregnant with Jack. Instead, I’m either dealing with Jack’s "30-minute visitor," the only reason he wakes after 30 minutes of sleeping (every ... single ... time), or battling Ava to stay in her bed and not get up to play. Did I mention The Terrible Twos?
We recently had to remove the light bulbs from Ava's lamps and duct-tape the light switch down to keep her from getting out of bed and playing at 3 a.m.—one of her newest customs.
I thought I had her beat with the lack of lamps and the tape, but then the little bugger went and trumped me: she has now mastered the child-proof door handle. I woke up yesterday morning to find her playing in the living room, all by herself, while we were sleeping soundly in our room.
How sad is that? It was scary, to say the least. Thank God she didn't hurt herself.
Most of my time is spent picking up Ava's messes. Cleaning up after her is like shoveling snow during a snowstorm: just as I get one room picked up, I turn my back and the little tornado has torn another room to shreds.
We've come this far; let's keep the rant going, shall we?
Ava has also turned anorexic on me, refusing to eat any of the food I put in front of her. Talk about a picky eater! Not sure where that came from.
If she had her way, she would live on a diet of chocka nook (chocolate milk), chetcha (ketchup), and snakth (fruit snacks). Without fail, each time we have dinner she refuses to eat, while Jack always insists on a bottle at the very moment we sit down at the table. I need more arms.
(Side note: I'm convinced Jack's first words will surely be, "Hold on, Jack," because I'm always asking him to give me a minute while I "deal" with his sister. He always obliges, playing quietly in his exersaucer a.k.a "the circle of neglect," as my friend Ashley calls it. Can you say Mommy guilt?)
So what's next up on our list of newfound obstacles? Traveling!
Our upcoming vacation, which I briefly touched on last week, has me fearing for my life! How are we supposed to get our luggage, car seats, strollers, and everything else to the gate with the kids in tow?
Furthermore, are we going to be that family on the plane that is apologizing profusely to everyone within 10 rows for their screaming children? Which reminds me: add Xanax to the packing list.
Just last week, Ava took Jack's Peepee Teepee and put it on his head, saying, "Look Mom! It's a party hat!" (There's a pic of it on my blog, and it's hysterical.) Little did he know that she put a wee-wee cover on his head.
He didn't seem to mind. Never does. Little angel.
And maybe I'm being a little dramatic. Despite the fact that Ava is in the thick of her Terrible Twos, I have to say that on most days she's a pretty easy, happy kid. And Jack is by far the most content, happy child I've ever seen.
I'm blessed with the best of 'em. And no, I'm not partial. Not at all. ;-)
I'll wrap it up with a tip for all my fellow multi-kid moms out there.
On days where I'm frazzled beyond belief I try to remember the lyrics to the Darius Rucker song "It Won't Be Like This For Long." The lyrics of that song are all so true. It immediately turns my frustrated face into one of thankfulness for these tiny little children I am fortunate enough to call mine.
Not so bad, eh?