Two under two. Baby bunching. Two kids in diapers.
I’ve been told that having little ones less than two years apart is dreadful. It means (temporarily) resigning oneself to a life that is a chaotic circus filled with poop, tears, and temper tantrums. While I was pregnant, strangers would often offer “helpful” comments such as, “You’re going to have your hands full!” or “They’ll keep you busy!”
Well. Yeah. But how’s that different from “normal” parenting?
Our stint with two under two has (thankfully) been short. We’re almost through our six weeks, and they have been way better than I feared. Maybe it’s because (dare I say it?) Z is an easier baby than A ever was.
Why are second babies usually easier? Nature or nurture? Our confidence? Her personality? Why are first children the ones who are normally more fussy/colicky/difficult? I have no idea! But I thank God multiple times a day that Baby Sister is not as fussy as her big sister was!
The biggest difference is that Z goes to sleep. It’s as simple as that. With Big Sister, our bedtime routine would include hours (and hours and hours) of rocking, bouncing, swinging, shushing, driving, and dancing. (Anyone else think our firstborn may have been colicky? I sure do!) With Z, we put her down when she’s tired and well-fed, swaddle her, and she sleeps. There are times when she doesn’t even need a paci! How is that possible?! A went without a pacifier for exactly three nights. Three tear-filled, fussy, restless nights. (And yes, she still naps and sleeps with her paci. Don’t judge.)
With that said, of course there are challenges. Of course it’s not always easy. The other day, I took the girls with me to pick the dog up from the being groomed at Petsmart. I had the baby in one arm and in the other I had the toddler’s hand, the dog’s leash, and my purse. The baby started to fuss. The dog wrapped herself around the toddler. The dog knocked the toddler down. Both girls started screaming. A stranger told me that it looked like I needed a few more hands.
The hardest part of our “normal” day is first thing in the morning. Both girls wake up between 8 and 10. That’s late for a toddler and infant! So what’s the problem? Well, because both girls wake up between 8 and 10. Z takes her sweet time eating, pooping, and burping. A is generally content to play in her crib for an hour or so (again, I realize how lucky I am!), but sometimes she has a rough morning. Sometimes she’s crying, and I can’t get to her as fast as she needs or wants. Sometimes she takes off her diaper. Sometimes said diaper is filled with poop. Sometimes she pees (a huge puddle) in her bed. Sometimes the baby ends up screaming while I take care of her sister.
I wrote this while the girls both took two-hour naps in their own cribs. (Beautiful!) Unfortunately, they both decided to end their naps at the exact same time. Big Sister woke up an hour early because her diaper was dirty and her blanket was wrinkled (picky, picky!). The baby was waiting patiently for me to change her big sister, but apparently A’s cries were contagious and/or Z realized she was starving. Consequently, I (once again) had two screaming girls.
I told Nate the other day that I never imagined I’d actually love having a newborn. I’m more of a fan of the talkative, mobile, interactive toddler phase. But I love having a newborn. And a I love having a little toddler. Together.
Two under two isn’t so bad, but our big girl is turning two. Let’s see how I like the terrible twos/new baby combination!