The (so-called) dreaded three words… two under two. But is it really that bad? I’ve waited a month to write this post because if you would have asked me two weeks ago, I would have said, “It’s like a dream!” But now, not so much, I might speed up the post-partum hair loss and actually just pull my hair out.
I should start by saying I love my children. I have two incredible children, one with a budding comical spunky personality and the other who has a sweet little boy soul. Being a family of four is just awesome, for lack of better words. I really feel like a family with four now. A boy and a girl, and two loving parents…perfect.
But it’s not.
Things were going soooo smoothly, too smoothy, like the calm before the storm, I just knew it couldn’t be this good. I knew I should wait to write the dreamy post that would trick all of us into thinking two under two was easy peasy.
So, let’s first start with the good.
Leo is like a dream baby, sleeping really well, eating really well, and pooping really well (had to include that because THANK GOD no gas/stomach/colic issues). I had forgotten how much they sleep and was thankful for him being an easy sweet baby. It was a relief because I was certainly scared and anxious to see how the whole two kid thing was going to go. He was my chill little babe. Didn’t intrude with our family at all. Accepted with open loving arms.
Ivy. At first, she was perfect too! She was sweet on Leo, making sure to hold him (“Hold him, Mommy, hold him,” But like 10 more times in a row until I acknowledge her), always wanting him sitting with her, telling me when he was crying, hugging and kissing him, and most of all, being patient with us while we had to take care of him. She wasn’t throwing tantrums, wasn’t rebelling, wasn’t being mean to Leo, or us for that matter. She was going about her daily spunky behavior, like, HELL YA. Ok, WE GOT THIS. Who ever said TWO UNDER TWO would be awful?! And we were so busy! I made sure to get out of the house with her each day and we would go to art class once a week, or go to the pool, or zoo, or children’s play, or the park, or something, anything, to still have fun with her and make her feel special.
Well that was the first three weeks. And then the storm hit.
Ivy, ohhhh, my sweet, patient, loving Ivy, where has she gone?
It makes me think of Snow White – “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” IVY. IVY. IVY. IVY. (Except she’d be saying it rudely or whiny, instead of her cute little voice when she says her name right now).
Ok, so maybe not THAT bad, she’s not QUEEN of our world, but she has changed into something I don’t even recognize once in a while. Like, where did this WHINY WHINY voice come from? Where did all of this CRYING come from? Where did this ANNOYING behavior come from?! (SHRIEK, I just called my child annoying).
So I’m trying to remember, was she always this needy and I just didn’t realize? Or is it because now I’m busy with Leo sometimes and she’s begging and whining for something and I don’t have the patience? I hope it’s the later, because I don’t remember ever being annoyed with her.
Ivy has started to say “put Leo down,” and “hold you mama,” (I always said hold you, so she doesn’t recognize that it’s hold ME mama, yet, it’s kinda cute), and she even threw a toy at him yesterday. EEEEEEK. Thank god it didn’t hit him. Or like when you’re nursing and you have NO IDEA where your other child has gone, only to come back from the garage with five popsicles in her hands, oh goodness, deep breath, deep breath.
I am learning from all of this though. An instance the other day that had us both wailing. She had started wanting something I don’t even remember what, and I told her no, and she just LOST IT. I actually had to just walk out of the room the other day and leave her there crying, the crescendo of her wailing was like a knife in the heart, and I just sat there in the other room, tearing up in defeat, not even knowing what to do and thinking “I can’t do this.” I took a deep breath, eventually gathered myself, and went and just held her, I think we actually held each other.
And that’s when it hit me, she is still my baby. My BABY. She’s only 21 months. I can’t expect her to grow up over night now that there is a younger one in the house. It had seemed like she was all of a sudden so old now with Leo around, and I could recognize that I was treating her like she was older. But, it will take time, and she will still have her fits, and her whining, and her tantrums because for goodness sakes, she’s also entering her terrible twos through this. And we need to be patient with her also, just like she’s trying so hard to be patient with us.
So all those people who GASPED at me when I said they would be 20 months apart, touché, touché. Yes it is hard, but is it any harder than being farther apart? Who knows. We were happy to have them this close, and yes right now it may be hard, but I’m sure it’s not the last hard stage that they will grow up together through.
There was a very good line that I read in the book Am I Messing Up My Kids (we are reading this in our book club and it is SOOOO hilarious and helpful), the chapter was titled, “Would My Kids Say I Love Being a Mom?” And such a good question to reflect upon. As my heartrate boils and I’m pulling out my hair and/or crying in defeat, I need to remember one thing –
THIS IS WHAT I’VE ALWAYS WANTED.
I wanted to be a Mom, I wanted to have children, I wanted to have a family, I knew it would be challenging. And when I think about my future and past and about these things that I wanted in my life, I picture smiles, and laughing, and having fun, and those are the days I should dwell on, not these bad moments, these challenging moments. They last so briefly and then they’re gone. You have a new day, a new hour, or your child takes one of those naps that you’re like hell ya, and then your baby comes to give you a hug and kiss and gives you that look like they just absolutely adore you… and then you know your kids would say that I love being a Mom. I LOVE BEING A MOM. I would ask for one thing though… could we speed up through these terrible twos? #andshesnoteventwoyet