Sunday, February 23, 2014

1+1 does NOT equal 2!

So I've been really bad about blogging over the last several months, and I'm going to try to change that. It's not from a lack of ideas. No, I've had plenty of ideas, just no time/drive to actually sit down and write.

The thing I've realized since my daughter E was born, is that when it comes to kids, going from one child to two doesn't simply mean twice the work. For any math folk out there, it's not a linear equation (Math is fun! -- right Mom?). And, while I did write a couple of blog posts after E was born (mostly about my son J though), once she started having a real personality of her own, things changed.

The reality is that somethings are easier the second time around and others are much more difficult --

Leaving the house -- With J, it was such a struggle to leave the house. We were late to just about everything after he was born and we were always concerned that we didn't have enough stuff for whatever it is we were doing. (I think we were a good 40 minutes late to his first doctor's appointment). When I took care of J during February vacation when he was 7 months, the first day I didn't leave the house at all, and the second day when I simply put him in a stroller and walked around the block, I chalked that up as a major win and didn't do anything the rest of the week. Now with E, not only do I have no problem taking her out of the house and doing things, I think we are actually doing more out of the house family things than before she was born. A few weeks ago, we actually went out to dinner as a family TWICE in one weekend. I know. AMAZING!

Minor multitasking -- When J was little, the idea of doing more than one thing with him was insane. "No honey, I can't bring your cup over, I am holding our son!" Now, multitasking is kind of our default position. It has to be with two kids. J wants a story read while E is trying to take a bottle? Easy, just have J turn the pages (he already knows about books that have cds that go along with them, all I have to do is read a page and then say "DING!"). What was that? My wife is going to be home a bit later? No problem! I'll pick up the kids, and start cooking dinner (Ok, this one I can only really manage well if E is sleeping by the time we get home and I plunk J in front of Fireman Sam, but still...)

Routines -- They are simply mandatory now. There is no choice. And they make life generally a bit easier too, so double bonus!

Picture taking -- I totally get now why there are always so many fewer pictures of second children than first (that's not to say that I totally forgive my parents for that one, but I understand it a bit more :)). It's not just a matter of time, although that's part of it, but also logistics. Getting both of the kids in a picture is damn-near impossible. Plus, with a 3.5 year old who doesn't stop wiggling and moving, and a baby who sees us get out our phones to take a picture and instantly starts moving closer in (she's such a ham), the vast majority of our pictures are blurs.
Even touching moments are blurry
Mealtime -- This is surprisingly harder, especially now that E is starting to eat real foods. The issue here really is one of distraction. It's hard to tell which child is more easily distracted, but especially when they are eating, J will do something that E will then laugh at and then J will keep doing it. Or, conversely, when my wife needs to spoon-feed E her food, J wants her to do the same thing (more on him copying her later). Before E was born, J was great at sitting and eating. And eating and eating. Now, he wiggles, gets down from his seat and his generally distracted during the entire process making it much more difficult.

Time management -- This is the big one. I know my wife and I both feel it, but having enough time for both kids, each other, our jobs, and side things that we want to do (for my wife it's running, for me it's writing) is simply not happening. And of course I always have great ideas and intentions. "After the two kids go to sleep, we'll spend quality time together/do work/work out/solve the problems of the world."And then 8:30 comes around and I sit on the couch, turn on reruns of Big Bang Theory, and the best that I can manage to do most nights is to get up and get some dessert to eat on said couch. That's it. It's just plain exhaustion really. I don't think it's being tired so much (I've  been tired since J was born, and sleep hasn't been any worse since E came), but really just a general feeling of ugh. I know this will get better, but for now... ugh.

So all of this (particularly the last paragraph) is an excuse -- a sucky one, but an excuse nonetheless for why I haven't been writing much. I'm going to try to do better though. At least, I say that now. By next week, who knows?

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