“The transition from one to two kids is so much easier than becoming a parent for the first time,” many of our friends reassured us.
No offense, but: Our friends must be under the influence of some serious hallucinogens.
And who can blame them, what with being the parents of 2+ kids and all — that’s enough to drive anyone into the arms of the local dealer pedaling ‘shrooms to save up for his middle school field trip.
Mr. Candy and I were prepared for our initial entree into parenthood. We had been together for 12 years, partying, working hard, traveling the world and partying some more — and knew we were finally ready to drop the yards of beer and welcome a baby into our lives.* Getting used to one baby was crazy, sure. But manageably so. Juggling two kids, on the other hand — especially two kids under the age of two — is as precarious as juggling a new set of plates, only a whole lot messier when you drop them. (Just kidding! Don’t know that for sure, as I value our plates too much to put them in any kind of danger.) Rarely do we get a moment to ourselves. If one kid’s not crying, the other one is. If one kid doesn’t have a dirty diaper, the other one invariably does. And if both kids are crying and have dirty diapers…? Then we throw up our hands and let the cats handle the chaos.
Which pretty much sums up our life right now: CHAOS.
And this is with the benefit of Mr. Candy being on part-time paternity leave, being blessed with a totally chill newborn and having Miss Skye in daycare. To you moms and dads out there who do it without any kind of help, I say: Wow. Kudos to you! Also: Would you mind sharing the name of your dealer? Because ours decided to mow lawns over the summer instead. LAME.
What I struggle with the most, besides my doctor recommending against ‘shrooms while breastfeeding, is always feeling like I’m shortchanging somebody — the cats, my kids or, most heartbreakingly of all, my computer — with that somebody usually being Skye. I’m not yet pumping milk (moo!) so I am basically tethered to the baby for at least another week, allowing precious little quality time to spend with my firstborn. Mr. Candy and I are forced to employ man-to-man defense, meaning (here’s where I impress you with my super-technical-fancy-schmancy sports knowledge): we each keep our eye on one child at a time. Mr. Candy keeps an eye on Skye to make sure she doesn’t push Drew’s empty swing so hard, it launches right through the window, while I keep an eye on Drew to make sure he doesn’t poop so hard, he launches himself right through the window.
Lord help me if Mr. Candy is in the bathroom. It is during those pee breaks that I find myself in the most, um, peculiar of positions — like leading Skye through a rousing rendition of “Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes” while simultaneously nursing Drew. Head, shoulders, babe on boobs… babe on boobs…! (My apologies to the neighbors; I really should have closed the curtains.)
What about Mr. Candy and I finding time for each other, you ask? To which I can only respond: BWA-HA-HAAAAA! You jokester, you.
Once upon a time my dear husband I wouldn’t go to sleep without first asking: How much do you love me? And the other would reply with something like, More than there are cat hairs on the carpet.[REQUISITE BREAK TO ALLOW GAGGING FROM EXCESSIVE CORNINESS]
But now… oh, now. The last thing Mr. Candy said to me last night (true story):
“I’m looking forward to finally taking a shower tomorrow.”
My reply: Me, too.
Mr. Candy: To me taking a shower or you taking a shower?
My reply: Ummmm…
Because I haven’t had a chance to profess my affection as much as I’d like lately, I just want to take this opportunity to say: I love Mr. Candy more than there are collective poop particles on our hands.
*If that’s not a Hallmark-ready pregnancy announcement, I don’t know what is.