How is it with two?

I get this question a lot. In all honesty, it’s not that bad.

Space is certainly a tough change. The car has no seat room anymore. If a single person comes to visit we have to take two cars everywhere. Costco baskets are wide and allow for two sitting children. I can put the car seat in the basket, but then I have no room for groceries. Or I can put it up top with V, but then there’s a chance she’ll bump or shove the seat off the cart. Still, that’s where the car seat usually goes and thankfully V has never shown any signs of wanting to shove it. At the regular grocery I’ve started to use those carts with a toy car attached to the front. V sits in the car and Little A is in the car seat up top. The only problem is that the seat belts in the car are never functional, so when V gets bored she attempts to get out.

The park is somewhat of a challenge. Usually Little A will sleep for a good while in the stroller/car seat, but when he wakes up he wants to nurse. V is pretty good on the play structures now, but she still has a tendency to wander or to get stuck (usually on the top part of the monkey bars). So usually I go to the park when other moms I know are around, or if my husband is home so I can take V by herself.

At home it can be a struggle because Little A invariably wants to sleep in my lap, and V immediately starts asking for milk/juice/cheese/crackers/whatever or decides to poop as soon as he’s konked out. If she doesn’t get what she wants immediately of course the whining starts. Poor Little A has a lot of broken up naps and I keep trying to encourage him to sleep somewhere besides me.

How has V adjusted? Fine. She loves her little brother. The only problem is that she’s a toddler and doesn’t know her own strength and whatnot. So we get eye poking, foot pulling, head slapping, sitting on him (because she wants to be wherever he is), vigorous rocking (in the swing) and trying to pick him up. And of course as soon as we correct her behavior it becomes ten times more fun to do it. That said, she loves him very much, and he lights up to see her (except when she’s yelling very loudly into his face). He’s a little trooper.

Putting a hat on brother is fun. Yes, he’s under there.

We have two other moms in the playgroup that have since had a second child. Neither have really encountered any issues with the older sibling reacting poorly to the new arrival. I think it helps that all three of us have kids with a pretty small gap between ages. V is the most (22 months).

The biggest issue with having two is that you can only do so much at a time. One morning fairly early on V managed to flip over the front of her rocking horse, something she hasn’t done in a long, long time. Murphy’s Law dictated that she should land face-first on the metal bar on the bottom of A’s bassinet. So V was hurt and bawling, but the impact startled Little A awake so he was flipping out too. I sat on the couch, trying desperately to console the two of them with my limited arm capacity. That was not a good day. Most days we don’t have the perfect storm though, and things are fine minimally stressful.

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1 Comment

  1. Not sure if it helps, but it does get easier. Mine are 22 months apart (now 2&4) and I had many of the same challenges during the early days. Now they sometimes play nicely together and don’t need my constant presence in the room.

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