Monday, July 29, 2013

Life With Two: Part 1

It's been a while since I sat down and composed a nice wordy post, but I felt like this was kind of an overdue update. Anyone with more than one child already knows what I'm going to say, but I'm putting it out there anyway as fair warning to young couples and parents of only children.

Back when Carsen was born, I did a little series of posts about transitioning to becoming a mom and all the ways life changes and how your whole perspective on the world changes. Consider this my post about the transition to parenting two. Simply put, it is simultaneously amazing and hair-raising.

Let's start with the hair-raising part.

One of the most basic differences in having two is that someone is almost always screaming for something. If I need to do something with one, the other immediately needs me. I won't say they do it knowingly, but sometimes it seems that way. You're only one person and yet two people need you to do two different things at the same time. And there is nothing more grating than trying to do anything while an infant screams... except trying to get a toddler to do something anything while an infant screams. Oh my. Molasses is the only way I can describe Carsen's actions when Reagan is crying. Half of it is probably my own anxiousness about speeding up the process so I can help Reagan, but Carsen just does not have that sense of urgency. When I only had one baby I was able to address her needs immediately, but a second baby just has to wait sometimes. And that first baby who is so used to being helped right away also has to wait sometimes. My favorite is when I'm 3 minutes into feeding Reagan and Carsen needs to use the potty which she can not do entirely on her own. If you want to know how to tick off a baby, interrupt their eating and walk away from them.

It's also more complicated to go anywhere. The toddler has to be trusted to stand on the sidewalk and not run into the street while you put the infant in the car, or you have to leave the helpless infant sitting on the ground in their car seat while you stand half-way in the car buckling a toddler. Both of those situations stress me out. Now, add rain to that scenario. Whoever waits while the other one gets buckled is out in the rain, and you the parent are in the rain the whole time. I don't even bother going anywhere if it's raining. Then when you reach your destination you have to be able to contain both children in some fashion. One in the Ergo, one in the shopping cart? One in the car seat in the shopping cart, one in the actual basket of the cart, no groceries? One in the shopping cart, one walking (refer back to molasses analogy in previous paragraph)? It's always different depending on where you're going and what you need to do there. I'm often asked by the cashiers in Wegman's if I'll need help when I get to my car. I actually have a pretty good system for the grocery store. Reagan's in the Ergo, Carsen is in the seat of the cart. Reagan goes in the car first, then Carsen, then groceries go in the trunk. It looks worse than it is. I'm in awe of people who shop with more than 2 children (ahem -- Laura ;), but I suppose with experience you get your system down.

Ready for the amazing part?

First of all, you did it again. We have yet to stop marveling at Carsen. I'm pretty amazed by her every single day and the fact that this incredible little person is my child. I'm fairly certain this will be the case forever. Now there's another one. We did it again. And she's no less incredible than her big sister. Pretty amazing, I think. People talk about wondering how they'll love a second child as much as they love their first. It's easy. You see them, hear them, smell them, you're in love. There's no one else that will ever happen with as it does with your child. It's amazing. There's just no other experience this life has to offer that could compare to being a parent.

So while they are each so wonderful on their own, seeing them together melts my heart like I never thought possible. They simply light up at the sight of each other. Reagan smiles and laughs at Carsen more easily than anyone else. Carsen says things like, "Mom, I LOVE my baby sister. She is the BEST sister in the whole world!" or "I love Reagan. She's my BEST friend!" Of course, she's three so she doesn't necessarily grasp what it means to be the best anything in the whole world, but she clearly understands the sentiment. I love that they are sisters. I love that they will share such a special and unique bond. I love that they'll have all of the fun sister experiences I had with my sister when we were little and have now as adults. I love that they love each other in the truest and simplest way - just because of the fact that they're sisters - and so look forward to cultivating that as they grow.

There ya go. Hair-raising, and yet amazing. Totally wild and crazy and wonderful all at once. And so very worth it :)

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