Monday, September 1, 2008

One is like One, Two is like Ten

I've heard it before - one is like one, two is like four.

Since I went from one to three rather quickly when I met and married my husband, I don't think I fully grasped what it was like to have more children. When we had number 4 (my second child by birth) my son was 6 years old, not toddler material. Having a new baby, a 6 year old, a 10 year old, and a 13 year old was really no big deal. The "big" kids were perfectly happy keeping themselves content and even the 6 year old could do many things independently, such as take a bath or shower, brush his teeth, and get himself a snack.

Now that I am the proud Mama of a 2 year old AND a newborn I Get It. One is like one. Two is like a million. Two under the age of 3, that is.

I smell. My clothes smell. My breath smells. My armpits - well let's just say I can clear a room out rather quickly. I don't know what it's like to talk to adults. I don't remember what soap feels like. I don't know which breast was last used to feed my baby. I can't remember how many times I've actually brushed my teeth in the last two weeks but it can't be more than twice.

My toddler is hungry. She can't get herself anything to eat and she certainly doesn't want to wait for me to get her anything. My poor 8 year old gets ordered around more than he should be, constantly being asked to bring me this and bring me that. My baby doesn't cry much, but he needs to eat a lot and that takes up both of my hands and cements me either in the chair, the bed, or on the couch leaving me feeling completely helpless when it comes to the needs of the other two I am responsible for.

Napping never happens concurrently. By the time I finally get my 2 year old down, the newborn is ready to be up and awake, probably because he knows it's the only time he can get my full attention. Try to get both of them to sleep at night with only two hands, one lap, one voice, and one bed for all 3 of us (by choice, of course, is the last part) has brought me almost to tears the last couple of nights.

Do I sound ungrateful for the blessing bestowed upon my marriage and family? I sure hope not. I only mean to sound as though I get it. I get that it is not easy being the mom of two very young children. Not that I never had any idea before what it was like or never had any sympathy for those mamas that did have more than one very young child (my best friend in fact had 4 under the age of 6 at one point, and she deserves a medal) - just that I really get it now.

A shower, by myself, without a crying baby in the background, would be great. Toothpaste. I would love to taste toothpaste again. I would like to not smell as though I just ran the New York Marathon. It seems the only thing I have time to wash lately is diapers.

Never ending. This too will pass. And I will remember it fondly, wishing I could experience this time in their lives over and over again.

1 comment:

laurazim said...

Ask. For. Help. It will save your sanity!

My humble suggestion is to post meekly on the SHH board (or e-mail MLF, and she'll likely post on your behalf!) and make your needs known--there are some Mamas out there who would be happy to lend a hand!! :)

Know that I've been in your shoes, and I know precicely what you're coping with...and no, you don't sound ungrateful, you sound HUMAN!! My help, of course, will be in the form of prayers (though I wish I could do scads more!). We've been joining Mother Angelica and her sisters each night at 8:30 for their Rosary--very soothing, very calming, even for a fractious two-year-old!