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Life With Two Kids

I’ve just realized that a few weeks
ago I promised you a third installment on what to expect when your
second child arrives, so here (belatedly) it is. This installment
is the truth behind the reality of life with two kids.

First off, your memory is gone. G-O-N-E, gone. As in, I was
supposed to write this third installment two weeks ago. Seriously,
I know mommies are supposed to be pros at the whole multitasking
thing, but it gets too much even for us. You forget which one just
got changed, you forget if your child already watched a video, you
forget all your crap all over the city. One good friend of mine
(admittedly, a dad, but still) has lost all of the following since
having a second child: a diaper bag, the family camera, and the
stroller. Yes, the stroller. As in, I pulled up to the minivan,
unloaded the kids from the stroller into the car, and drove off.
Without the stroller. Which was not, of course, still there five
minutes later when I went back to look for it.

I love that story. Makes me feel a positively mnemonic genius in

Second, get ready for a few changes in
your life. Aside from the obvious ones, how about this:

You will never ever pee again by yourself. Ok, maybe when they turn
teenagers. But if your toddler’s not in there watching how
Mommy wipes with great interest, then you’ll have the infant
strapped to you in a Bjorn. Truly, no more private time in the
toilet. The most you can hope for is to have the actual room to
yourself while your toddler stands on the other side listening and
asking an endless list of questions, either of you or your spouse
if he’s around: “What’s mommy doing? Why is she
in the bathroom? What does she have inside her – pee or
poopy? Will it go down the drain? What takes so long?”

You will never again make a meal at one time. You’ll find
yourself prepping the chicken breasts while the baby’s still
asleep and the toddler’s strapped into her chair for
breakfast; then surreptitiously dicing a few vegetables during
lunch time preparations; then racing like a (silent!) madwoman
during nap time to handle all the messy stuff; then throwing it
together half an hour before dinner while your toddler tries to
take everything off the counter and the baby either cries in the
Bjorn or in the bouncy seat. The one exception to this rule: about
once a month you’ll make dinner in one fell swoop, when you
reach into your emergency fund and call the pizza guy because you
Simply Can’t Cope.

And along those same lines, you’ll never again eat a meal in
one sitting. Not only will you and your spouse never enjoy a meal
together from start to finish, but you won’t clean your plate
without getting up at least twice. Someone will always be getting
something for the toddler, or getting the baby up from a nap, or
putting the baby down for a nap, or getting up to bounce a fussy
baby, or change a diaper, or nurse the baby – the variations
are endless, but they all boil down to the fact that your meal time
is not your own. I usually pour milk on my cereal just before Cora
wakes up and starts screaming for her breakfast. I’ve learned
to just pour the milk in a glass and put the dry cereal in a
Tupperware bowl to eat with my hands. Good times.

You will never sleep through the night again. Ever. If your baby
does by some miracle start sleeping through the night at three
months and doesn’t need to be sleep-trained, don’t
think it ends there. They tag-team you. Just as Cora settles down,
Maddie has a nightmare. Or Cora is hot and wakes up, and Maddie
starts whimpering in her sleep. Or Maddie cries for me to come find
her Silky, which she’s dropped over the edge of the bed, and
then Cora is hungry. Their timing is perfect. And a friend of mine,
a grandmother whose daughter is in her forties, said it never
changes; she still rarely sleeps for worrying about her daughter
all night.

You will never go unnoticed in a crowd again. One of your children
will draw attention to you, guaranteed. Whether it’s letting
a ripe one rip right in the middle of the sermon or having a
meltdown in the midst of a posh department store (naïve mommy
for even going there in the first place!), your children are
guaranteed to keep the spotlight on you on a daily basis. Which is
great, since you haven’t had highlights since you found out
you were pregnant the second time, you still are carrying around
those last 10 (ok, 20) pounds of baby weight, and your unibrow is
channeling Frida Kahlo. Thanks, kids.

You will never be bored again. Remember all those Saturday mornings
pre-kids when the conversation went like this: “What do you
want to do today?” “I dunno, what do you want to
do?” Do you know how you look back at your childless days and
think, “What did I do with all that free time?” Well,
after the birth of your second child, and you and your spouse
finally get in a two-kid groove, you’ll look back and think,
“What did I do with all that free time with just one

So there it is. Unfinished meals, interrupted sleep, no anonymity,
no memory, no private time in the bathroom: this is what you have
to look forward to. Oh, and there’s one more thing:

You will never regret it.


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