Saturday, September 18, 2010

thus far

I celebrated my due date yesterday by nursing a very hungry baby boy, saying thank you thank you thank you for already being here.

On Thursday evening we headed to Fahaheel to walk around and pick up a few groceries. It was the first family outing, all four of us. We ate a small dinner at Paul, the French cafe we usually visit for fruit salad and croissants. The wait staff were happy to see Grant. Later in the evening we saw a woman who works at a Caribou Coffee near us - she knows me as "milk chocolate iced mocha" - and she was excited to meet Grant too.

So before Grant was born, I asked other moms with two what it was like. Kind of like I'd ask what Toronto was like, very casual: So, what's it like to have two little ones? And then, nearer the end of pregnancy, I began sounding a bit more desperate. More like: what is Toronto like when you arrive with only a toothbrush and five thousand pesos? Another mom at a play group Claire and I attended is due with her second one in December; we both wondered why you can find loads of parenting books for babies and toddlers and teenagers, but so little is written about managing two little ones at once. Maybe a chapter here or there, but not a definitive volume that says: This is how you do it. (And not go nuts).

That would sell.

What moms of two told me was (bear with the paraphrase, mashed from a few mouths): It is difficult for (two weeks to three months), but you figure it out.

Thanks. I neared the end of my pregnancy feeling very prepared to just keep both Claire and Grant alive until three months out when (hopefully), we'd all be sleeping through the night again. A few days after Grant arrived, I began thinking that it'd be at least three years before the volume of parenting (read: diapers, nursing, diapers, messes, food throwing, diapers, laundry, potty training, laundry, diapers, potty training) eased enough to think a third baby might be nice to have around.

But it is true, what these moms said, and I am starting to figure it out. Right now I need to not make my list of Onces: once my body is fully healed, once Grant is sleeping through the night, once I am able to get my usual runs in the morning, once I fit into my pants again, once I have time and energy to commit to potty training Claire. All those onces deprive me of my here and now. And the here and now isn't so wildly difficult as I'd imagined. I have energy reserves I dredge up from somewhere. And when I don't have the energy, a good cry settles me. I nurse my baby. I read books with my toddler. I understand that this is a short time in my life and that soon my two kids will be pouring their own milk on their cereal and whispering secrets or bickering at the breakfast table.

And that leads to a bit of advice from a mom of two that I am trying to heed: Be nice to yourself, she said. Be patient with yourself. Especially right now, I gather, while I am figuring it out.


Anonymous said...

You are so smart! I laughed out loud at your Toronto analogy. Hugs to you, Sweet-girl. Mom

Joanna Goodman said...

i love you, Sarah! It's already crossed my mind... how do you do two!? And I imagine my question will get more desperate when I get pregnant and then when I'm almost ready to have two myself. But I loved how you said everything. I'm sure you're doing a good job of figuring it out, and glad you're enjoying right now, too :)

you should write that book, Sarah. It would sell :) you're style is so readable and likable!

The Salty One said...

I've found the general curve is up and up with the occasional anomalous bad day thrown in there. My #2 is a super easy baby, which helps and I had a good routine with peanut which helped. And I have a double BOB which helps tremendously!

The other thing is to get rid of expectations. If I have expectations about what should happen on any given day then that day pretty much sucks. But if I wake up, take a deep breath and maintain somewhat of an open mind and go with the flow, life is good.

And third baby?! Yikes. Can't even think about another one right now and I always wanted 3!

Congrats again!

Angela and David said...

Sounds like you are adoing great! And everyone tells me second babies are always easier. I hope that holds true for you (and me one day).

If you are already thinking about a third baby you must all be doing pretty well!

N.D. said...

I agree - you figure it out.I'm still trying to find balance 2.5 mos later.

jessica said...

I am way behind on internet goings-on, so a very belated congrats!

I love having two, it just fits me better than one and you're absolutely right about embracing the flow. That said, prodding them toward a synchronized nap/quiet time (for us it's early afternoon) is my sanity-preserver.