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Double Duty

If there’s any benefit to having a
husband who’s unemployed and a new baby at the same time,
it’s that I’ve been able to ease into the job of having
two kids instead of one. Brian’s almost always around and
it’s rare that I’ve been the sole caregiver for both
girls at once; he’s usually there to lend a hand or to play
tag team, with both of us taking one kid. Sure he’s had
interviews and meetings, but in general it’s been a
two-parent baby-raising experience.

Nowhere has this been more helpful than
Maddie’s park time. We’ve been trying to avoid taking
Cora to the park for as long as possible: at the very least, until
she’s had her first set of shots, and at the most until
summer’s over and I don’t have to worry about newborn
sunburns and heatstroke. Brian will stay home with Cora and an
emergency bottle of pumped milk while Maddie and I hit the asphalt.
Not only does this keep Cora safe, but it gives Maddie some time to
run wild and be the only focus of Mommy’s attention for a
while. So this works well for everyone. On the odd days
Brian’s got an interview during park time, Maddie’s
friend Naomi comes over for a play date.

Recently, though, Brian had a few days of interviews in a row and
Maddie was stir-crazy. So staying home wasn’t an option; it
was time to suck it up and join the ranks of Mommies with
Multiples. And yes, I know how lucky I am that Cora’s almost
8 weeks old and this was the first time I had to do it.

The way I saw it, I had two options: I could wear Cora in the Bjorn
and push Maddie in the Maclaren, or I could push and leave Cora in
her car seat stroller while Maddie stood behind on her target="_blank"
Buggy Board. Taking Cora in her stroller would save my
back, but would tie me to the stroller the whole time, which
doesn’t really work. I’m not one of the mommies who
plants herself on a bench for an hour while her kid runs around;
I’m in the thick of it with Maddie, playing, filling water
balloons, and teaching her how to interact with society. So hanging
on the fringes with the stroller wasn’t an option.

Bjorn it is, then.

When I asked Maddie if Cora should go to the park with us, I got a
suspiciously enthusiastic reply. All became clear when Maddie said
she couldn’t wait to ride on Baby Sister’s stroller. My
adrenaline junkie loves standing on that running board and often
begs me to take Cora for a walk around the block just so she can
hitch a ride. So when I explained we’d be traveling by the
usual method, her enthusiasm was a bit dampened but she agreed Cora
could come anyway.

With Cora in the Bjorn safely wrapped in her sunproof Kuddler, we
hit the park. And truthfully, it wasn’t so bad. Sure I stayed
a little further back from the rainbow sprinkler, but I don’t
think my daughter noticed a lack of Mommy involvement. My back held
up well since I was constantly moving, and I found the hardest part
was trying to go in and out of places with Maddie, or bend down and
help her out with something – bending forward with the Bjorn
is always a bit tricky. For her part, Cora (what you could see of
her through the Kuddler and big hat) seemed interested and never
fell into that Bjorn sleep, dang her. At least she never cried.

The worst part of the whole morning was getting back into the
house; lugging a stroller with a toddler up a flight of stairs
while wearing an infant is no fun. But at least I proved that I
could do this by myself.

Though if I don’t have to do it again right away, it’d
be fine by me. When the Bjorn finally came off, I felt like running
through the house shouting, “I’m free! I’m
free!” But then, of course, it was time to make lunch.


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