Monday, September 6, 2010

Second Child Syndrome

Everything is different with a second child. We don't take as many pictures, he wears and uses mostly hand-me-downs, and we certainly don't document his every bowel movement like we did with Ada. I recently visited friends with a newborn and laughed out loud when they pulled out the feeding, pooping, eating chart. We wrote everything down for Ada. We made excel charts and tried to predict her schedule. Our goal was to be prepared, knowledgeable parents at each doctor visit. I look back now and just laugh at how clueless we really were. The rhythm is so much easier with a second child. That's why I find it so perplexing that two is so much harder and so much more work. Rick pinpointed it best by saying that we don't have the luxury of down time anymore. With one child, it was two parents versus one kid. Relatively easy. The odds were in our favor. If Ada got to be a handful, we just passed her off for a bit. When it becomes two versus two, we rarely get a break and if we do, we likely use it to catch up on sleep or housework. And when it is one parent versus two kids, well, we're kind of screwed and the house resembles the aftermath of a tornado and the dark circles under our eyes come out in force. At that point, we're just screwed.

Everyone asks, "What's it really like having two?" And we reply, "Really hard." Luckily, we keep hearing that it gets easier soon. We are so hopeful that "soon" is tomorrow. And at least we can be thankful that we aren't spending our "downtime" on excel charts recording Iain's bowel movements.

Moral of the story: The first kid breaks you in, the second one occupies all of your free time.

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