“So, what’s it like having 2 kids?” – It’s a question that has been posed to me a lot lately.
In case you’re new to le blog (welcome to the dark side), I now have 2 rugrats under my watch: a 27-month-old (that’s 2 years, 3 months for those of you who are too tired for mathematical calculations) and a 10-week-old. You want to know what it’s like?
Well, on the weekends it’s awesome. When someone comes to visit, it’s swell. When it’s just the 3 of us – me and the 2 mini-humans, it’s shit.
“Nikita!” You’re thinking, “How could you say such a thing? Your kids are so cute! How could it possibly be shit?”
Brace yourself, because you’re about to experience some real talk:
Sure, they’re cute… but here’s the thing: TODDLERS WEAR YOU THE FUCK DOWN.
Have you ever spent the day with someone who has no ability to reason, who lacks common sense entirely, is unable to gage danger and STILL wants to do literally everything “by self”?
I’ll put it to you this way: Ever seen a little girl wandering the aisles of Walmart in a tutu and pyjamas while eating a lollipop?
That is a child who has WORN HER PARENTS THE FUCK DOWN. To the point that they were like, “you want to wear your pyjamas with a tutu to Walmart? FINE. And here’s a lollipop. Maybe that will put a cork on your incessant questions for 6 minutes”
You know what else wears you the fuck down? Newborns.
Yes, they are sweet and snuggly and they smell like heaven cometh, but they also have no way of communicating other than crying. Different cries tell the story of different needs… but all cries are like little ticking time bombs…
You have 3 minutes to figure out what I want… now 2… now 1… YOU HAVE FAILED!
Cue bright-red, angry newborn screaming at the top of it’s lungs directly into your ear. Probably right at the same time that your toddler is begging you for a freezie at 10am.
Just as you’ve figured out that the baby was requesting a diaper change all along (because he’s taken his 4th massive shit of the day before you’ve even finished a cup of coffee) you’ve now said “No” to the toddler enough times to officially send him into a tantrum tailspin.
And so goes the rest of the day. Sort one out, the other cries. Calm the crying one down, the other now needs something. Put one to sleep, the other wakes up. Over and over again until it’s 3pm and you legitimately stop to ponder whether or not you’ve brushed your teeth today.
Of course it’s better if you can get to the park where you can seriously tire out the toddler, get some fresh air on the newborn and pray for long naps to follow… but leaving the house comes with a whole other host of possible road blocks including the fact that you never know when the newborn will have an up-the-back poo explosion or randomly decide to cluster feed just as you get to your destination (thank God I no longer give a rat’s ass if a stranger catches a glimpse of my nipple) – nor do you know when an “INCIDENT” is imminent.
Piggyback onto all of that the feelings of guilt you encounter when you’re forced to constantly juggle the needs of the 2 people you love most in the world (not to mention the additional guilt inflicted by the dog’s “how could you do this to me” eyes), and you’ve got yourself a recipe for friggin’ disaster.
Two sets of hands is key. 2 kids, 2 adults – it’s great. Everybody has a job, everybody gets the attention they need, everybody can “go uppies” at the same time. Meltdowns can be easily diffused, infants can be rocked quietly, Play-Doh shapes can be made and everybody is happy.
But 2 on 1 makes for an unfair game. Odds are stacked against you. Can you still win the game? Sure. Is it really fun to play? Not so much.
And yes, of course there are happy times thrown into the mix – times when everybody is quietly enjoying the same book, times when Mickey Mouse Club House acts as enough of a distraction that the baby can get a solid nap in without the noise of building blocks being dumped out on the floor waking him up, times when the toddler is legitimately helpful during an infant diaper change… But I think it’s important to be able to talk frankly about the tough times too.
Sometimes having kids doesn’t need to be romanticized. Sometimes when someone asks you, “what’s it like having 2 kids?”, you have the right – maybe even the responsibility – to answer, “It’s shit,” because sometimes, IT IS SHIT. And that’s ok because that’s life.
I’m a believer that when things get hard, you have to push through and get to the other side. I know that what’s happening in my house right now is just toughening me up so I’ll be able to handle the gong show that’s coming my way over the next 2 decades like an old pro.
I know that soon my kids will play with each other and it will warm my heart to the point that love will shoot from my eyeballs like laser beams. I know that I’ll miss them when I’m an empty nester and I’ll stand in their old room (which I will have likely turned into a massive walk-in-closet) and remark upon how fast the time has gone by and I’ll miss the days of being covered in spit up and being pulled in 10 different directions because everybody NEEDED me.
I know all that; I really do. And I absolutely adore my children… just please don’t leave me alone with them.
This post was written 2 weeks before it’s publishing date. Yesterday, the day before it was scheduled to come out, I had the most chill day with the 2 kids ever. Like, actually. It was borderline serene. The takeaway? I understand how people keep procreating now. They get you right in your soft spot anytime you’re just about ready to lose your shit. Cunning little buggars, aren’t they? 😉