Before Bode was born, I often wondered how people survived with more than one kid. In a fleeting moment of self-reflection, I realized I could barely get myself out of the house when it was just Riley and I. And when I did, I usually hadn’t showered, had spit-up on my shirt, and goldfish stuck in my unwashed hair. Classy, I know.
How the hell did these well-put-together parents manage to make handling two, three… (gasp) five, kids look easy? A lot of coffee, alcohol, and other legal drugs I assumed.
That, or maybe appearances aren’t what they seemed. Maybe their cars, like mine, were actually filled with discarded Go-Go SqueeZ apple sauce pouches, car seats covered in ice cream, and soiled diapers (gross I know, I’m not proud of it) from giving the baby a “freshie,” while trying to wrangle Riley from “driving.” Maybe parenthood is an illusion and we are all just doing anything and everything we can to survive.
My children bring so much joy to my life. More than words could ever express. That being said, there are definitely times when I want to hide in a dark closet with a jug bottle of wine in absolute silence.
These three moments top the list.
- Potty Training and Diaper Changing fun
Double the kids, double the diapers, double the fun. I use the word fun loosely; no pun intended.
Riley loves everything about the “potty,” except actually going potty. We read books about the potty, sit on the potty, pretend to wipe on the potty, and of course flush the potty, but she will not actually do her business on the potty.
I knew potty-training would be tough. Trust me, everyone and their mother’s best friend’s sister told me so, but potty training with an infant in tow is like Hunger Games for adults. May the odds be ever in your favor.
A little tidbit for expecting parents, little people have big people poop. And, no matter how much they try to convince you that it is “gas” or “a little one,” they are lying to you. Take a deep breath and prepare yourself. Most likely it will be the biggest poop you have ever seen and the smell will stick in your nostrils for days. I’m serious. Days.
Your toddler’s bowl movements will have you wishing and hoping for an up-the-back, orange, poop explosion, from your 3-month old any day of the week.
Shit happens. The dark closet will look really good when you are dealing with a “blow-out” at dinner and your two-year old is standing in her high-chair yelling “I pooping” at the top of her lungs. Now that is a good time. Another beer? Yes. And the check? Yes, please.
- Grocery shopping.
After having children, grocery shopping alone is a treat. A real treat. One that is too few and far between.
Grocery shopping with one kid in tow, is a challenge, but do-able. Yes, your cart space is limited. Yes, you have to worry about the baby sucking on the germ-infested cart handle. Yes, you may have to stop by the florist section and ask for a balloon to get through your entire list, but you can manage it. And, you can usually do so without leaving the store empty-handed and crying.
Grocery shopping with a toddler and an infant — not recommended for the faint of heart. Riley usually sits up top while I surround Bo’s car seat with $150 worth of groceries. It’s crowded to say the least. Add in a good tantrum about un-purchased cookies or the fact that you will not let your toddler throw tomatoes on the floor and I promise you it is a recipe for a grande ole time.
And, if you are really lucky, your infant will scream the entire time, because he hasn’t been fed in the last 45 minutes, and he is Starving. And I mean so hungry that he is seconds away from eating Sophie, STARVING.
If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself wandering aimlessly for 20 minutes with only bottles of wine and diapers in your cart. Sometimes all you can manage are the essentials and that is OK.
- Bedtime: Sleep or lack there of
Chronic sleep deprivation feels like a constant hangover without enjoying any delicious booze the night before. It is tough. Don’t be surprised if your co-workers find you face down on your desk, breast pump still attached, and half-chewed sandwich falling out of your mouth. Life happens. Babies happen. What doesn’t happen is sleep after baby number two makes their debut.
With baby number one, the advice of “sleep when baby sleeps” makes total sense. Napping during the day and forgetting about the mountains of laundry, dirty dishes and overflowing diaper genies is easy. Forgetting about your two-year old who is ready to play as soon as the baby goes down for their nap is child abuse. Don’t do it.
You’ll get sleep eventually, and in the meantime, most people will let it slide when you can’t form sentences to save your life, put the dirty dishes in the garbage instead of the sink, and the milk in the pantry instead of the fridge. It will happen, I promise.
I know I’ll survive this period in my life and look back on these days of chaos and wish time hadn’t gone by so fast. I already am. But for now, if you can’t find me, I’ll be in the closet with a giant bottle of Pinot Grigio and a “mommy’s in time out” sign on the door.