Saturday, October 2, 2010

Two to the Tenth Power

I finally accepted the fact that I'm going to have to hire more help to handle having two kids. With Ada, we passed her off to a friend here or there and it wasn't that big of a deal. Most people could handle one kid. Even if they had a child of their own, they could still handle two kids fairly easily. Now with Ada and Iain, it doesn't work that way. I can't easily ask my friends with two kids to watch my two kids. It just isn't that easy when one of them is an infant. Once their kids and my kids are all a little older, then it will just be a wild toddler playdate. Until then, it is a struggle to decide which screaming child you tend to first if you are watching two infants. Yours? Or theirs? If you settle your own child first, then you might be seen as favoring him and neglecting the other child. If you pick their child first, you then neglect your own and it might take longer to troubleshoot their child's needs when you likely already know what your child wants and how to deal with him more quickly so you can then completely focus on their child. Either way, someone gets neglected, even if just for a little while. Unless you are a super-duper baby whisperer, which I am not.

Since having Iain, I keep hearing, and repeating, "I expected the second child to be twice as hard, but having two is exponentially more difficult." We have accepted that as truth and understand that we have very little alone time these days. Right now, for instance, both kids are napping, I'm writing and my husband is supposed to be studying for his Architecture exams. I can only hope that he'll get to study for half-an-hour before Ada wakes up, and then Iain will follow her shortly after that. Either way, I'm thankful that our children occasionally nap at the same time to give us much needed breaks.

Moral of the story: Having a second child is like going from juggling two eggs in the air to juggling three. It changes everything; timing, concentration, planning, strategy, and technique. Just try not to let any of them hit the floor and hope that you don't have to eat or go to the bathroom.

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