You can prepare all you want for the second kid. You think you know what you’re doing, you remember how taxing it is on your physical being… But you really don’t. At least, I didn’t. Neither did my husband.
I remembered the late-night feedings with Zoe, but I didn’t really REMEMBER them. I didn’t remember the zombie-like drunken feeling you get at 2am, woken up by frantic baby cries for food or a new diaper. I’ve already walked into the footboard of my bed four or five times, the wall at least twice, and the ajar door more than a couple of times. Sometimes I walk into the door as I’m opening it. Yes, I’m that talented.
Then you actually have to feed the baby, burp the baby, get the baby back to sleep. For the first few weeks this was almost brutal because of Ciaran’s (pronounce K-ear-an) colicky nature. Things seem to be getting better on that front, but he’s not opposed to a spontaneous crying fit now and again.
I forgot how to prepare bottles. And how heavy a baby in a car seat is! And this little guy is not so little. Born at 8lbs 2oz and 20.5” long (5 days late), I thought my daughter, Zoe, was big. Well, Ciaran was 8lbs 14oz, 21.25”, and he was 8 days early! I’m not a big person – 5’1” – imagine if he’d come 5 days late like his big sister!!
Things you learn from having a second child:
1) balancing your time between two kids and somehow bathing yourself
2) your first child may be jealous and act up, but when they think you’re not looking, they show that baby as much love as you could hope for
3) it’s a lot harder getting around while holding a toddler’s hand in your left, and carrying an infant car seat in your right
4) you’ll probably need a bigger vehicle if you’re driving a mid-sized sedan like we were
5) somehow, you make more room in your heart for the new baby, even though it already seemed full
6) no ‘tired’ feels like the kind of tiredness you experience when you’re up 4 or 5 times feeding one child and the other child is getting up to pee twice (yes, Zoe is finally potty-trained at 2.5 yrs! woo!!!)… until your hubby goes back to work and you’re doing it all and running the household yourself all day…
7) you thought you had some form of organization mastered by now (whilst a 2.5 yr old is running around causing destruction at every turn), and then you add all the baby crap. What’s organized again?
8) what works for the first kid doesn’t always work with the second. Zoe was such an easy baby – we were spoiled with her. Ciaran’s a little fussier, a little higher maintenance, so we’re still learning what works and what doesn’t
9) somehow, even though you’ve only added one wee baby to the mix, dirty laundry has tripled…
I’m sure there’re a TON of other things I’ll learn about having two children, but one I do love is this: when you’re a new parent, you finally feel like you’re a part of ‘the club’… Yet when you have two kids, suddenly you feel like you’re not only in the club, but you’re on the committee. You look at those with one child like they’re they’re the initiates. The initiation process? Pound as much fear and advice into the new parents’ brains as they can handle. I promise to try not to do that. I know how annoying it is to be on the receiving end of unsolicited advice.
Since I’ve had to not only give Zoe a bath, but also comfort Ciaran about 5 or 6 times as well as changed his diaper twice while writing this post, I’m not sure how great or focused my next few flash fiction short stories will be. It’ll be some work getting back into the swing of things, but I’m going to try! I’m also going to try to clean my house at some point. And pick up my guitars. And maybe even attempt a sketch here or there (www.lmawson.com/graphiteportraits).
But so far, I love being a mother of two sweet kids!