As a result of being a member of the Two Toddler Club, I am in desperate need of a break.
Do you live with two toddlers? Can you even imagine what it’s like to be a member of this not-so-exclusive Two Toddler Club? Although my boys are now 19 months, and almost three years-old, I still consider myself an alumna of the Two Toddler Club. I also have at least 10 things I am glad I didn’t know before having my second child so close after the birth of my first.
I’m scheduled to leave for a girl’s weekend tonight. I’m getting in the car with my best friend, driving to Boston to meet another girlfriend, and then jetting our way to Savannah, GA to meet three more girlfriends for four days, sans children. GASP! This is the first time in 17 months that I have been away from both boys. Today, more than ever, I was reminded that I need a break.
While completing some last minute packing, I heard shrieks coming from the younger member of my toddler duo. I immediately knew, based on pitch, that he was hurt.
I walked in to see individual teeth marks from his brother… on his face!
People are worried that our Pit Bull might bite when really, the only biter in the house is the almost three year-old.
After having two children in rapid succession, I quickly became the go-to friend for other friends when they found out they were pregnant with number two. “How do you do it?” “What are some tips?” “Will I be okay?”
Trust me: I never, under any circumstance, have answered honestly. I’m not one to instill fear and anxiety into a pregnant woman.
I’ve compiled a list of 10 things I would never tell almost members of the Two Toddler Club:
- The stuff. Babies apparently require a lot of accessories and paraphernalia. When you have one kid, the stuff is vaguely overwhelming. When the second child arrives, all of a sudden there is an overwhelming amount of stuff. Start paring it down before baby #2 shows up or your house will begin to look like a wing of Babies R’ Us. Start buying a lot of baskets for different rooms to throw the stuff in when surprise visitors show up.
- #1 doesn’t really understand what’s going on. That sucks. You’ll feel like you’re never going to be able to give each child the one-on-one attention they deserve. It’s okay because you love them both and the new routine with two kids instead of one will soon seem like it’s always been there.
- Child #1 and child #2 might not be best friends. Everyone told me my boys would be best friends. I’d say about 10% of the time they get along. During the other 90% of the time… not so much.
- Head wounds bleed. A lot. I wish I would have been told this much sooner than my first trip to the ER.
- Explaining bite wounds to the pediatrician is easier than it sounds.
- You will lose the ability to sit down unless both children are asleep. Sitting down, only to stand right back up is a waste of energy. Newton must have been raising two under two when he said, “A body in motion stays in motion.”
- Our dog counts as a cleaning, contributing member of the family. Want a clean floor? Get a dog. In my house, the dog does floors.
- The laundry. It. Never. Ends. Never. Ever.
- The diapers. Prepare to use a lot of them. More than you ever expected.
- Babysitters for two under two are not easy to come by as they were for your solitary toddler. The 16 year-old neighbor may not be as equipped to handle two under two as you would like. You’ll get alone time, in say, five years.
The list could go on and on, there are way more than 10 things. Having more than one child, no matter how spaced out they are, always presents challenges. In these challenges, breath deeply, cry, yell, and know that it will get better. I don’t know how long it will take to get better because I’m not there yet. I’m escaping the chaos and flying South.
One thing that expectant mothers can be sure to expect is love.
The kind of love that can move mountains and make the nitty gritty of the day okay. So, if you’re a two under two mother and if you’ve been asked for advice by the soon to become mom of two, maybe just stick to the love thing. Leave the other 10 things for her to experience, but be there to guide and offer advice when asked.