Two Under Two

It's been two and a half weeks since Brantley turned the big T-W-O, which means I can no longer use the excuse of having "two under two".  I had planned to do a blog post before his big day to reflect on my experience, but time got the best of me and I didn't get to it.  So, here I am.  Two and a half weeks later.  Finally sitting down to blog about the two and a half months of having two under two

I'm not going to lie.  Having two kids under the age of two can be a real challenge.  Some days, I couldn't get my cup of coffee (or five) quick enough.  Others, I would change four poopy diapers (no joke, my kids poop a lot) before finally making my way to the Keurig.  Mornings were rough.  Holden needed to eat (breastfeed, then a bottle, which took extra time), Brantley needed breakfast, both needed diaper and clothes changes, I needed to brush my teeth, wash my face, and put in my contacts (at the very least), I wanted breakfast, and I needed to pump.  I would often try to wash and prepare bottles before bed so mornings were a little smoother.  But they were still hectic.  Mondays were rough, as well.  They were quite a kick in the face after having help from the hubs for the two days prior.  Not to mention, they were grocery store and laundry days.  Tuesdays and Thursdays were my saving grace.  Those were the days Brantley went to daycare.  It's funny - on Mondays and Wednesdays, I couldn't wait for the next day.  But come Tuesday and/or Thursday, I missed the big kid and couldn't wait to have him back home.

On one hand, I enjoyed running my errands when I didn't have Brantley.  It was one less kid to get in and out of the car.  One less kid to worry about in public.  On the other hand, I didn't want to waste all that time I had without Brantley on things I could do when I did have him.  I loved using Tuesdays and Thursdays to snap monthly photos of Holden, take care of household business, compose blog posts, and catch up on the blogs I follow--things that are harder to do with Brantley around.  Having errands to run with Brantley also got us out of the house and was a good way to waste time while we waited for Daddy to come home.

However, trying to leave the house was always a challenge.  It took a good fifteen minutes of rounding up everything we needed.  And usually in that fifteen minutes, I'd have to put Brantley's shoes back on a minimum of two times.  Only to find a barefoot kid once we arrived at our destination.  From our house to Target (the whole five blocks) - barefoot.  Target to the post office - barefoot.  Post office back home - barefoot.  Every.single.time. Drives me absolutely crazy.  That kid cannot leave a pair of shoes on to save his life.  Is it a huge deal?  No.  But when I already have a purse and a diaper bag and a kid in an infant carrier and it's 90 degrees outside, the last thing I want to do is spend an extra 30 seconds putting shoes back on.

I was lucky in that Brantley could at least climb into his carseat alone.  I would open the car door for him to climb in, go put Holden in the car, and come back to buckle Brantley in.  Props to those moms that have two under two where the oldest is even less independent than Brantley.  Oh man, I don't know how you do it!

As if having two under two wasn't enough, Murphy's Law proved its existence more than once.

Like the time...

Brantley got car sick and threw up while I was driving 70 mph down 69 highway.  Needless to say, we didn't make it to our coffee date with friends or the Farmer's Market.

Or the time...

Exactly one week later when we made it to coffee, only to have Brantley puke again.  At our table.  With no forewarning.  My sweet friends cleaned it up while I cleaned Brantley in the bathroom.  (Chalked it up to car sickness again.)

Or the time...

We were in a hurry to leave the house for some reason.  I made a quick, 30-second trip upstairs to get one last thing and didn't shut the baby gate.  Of course, Brantley had to follow me and proceeded to fall down the bottom three or four stairs.  Thank goodness he was okay.  Scared and shaking (both of us), but okay.

Or the time...

I was washing bottles and had the cabinet door under the sink open.  Brantley grabbed the bottle of Windex and gave it a nice spray.

Or the time...

I was pumping and had limited mobility.  Brantley started putting clean diapers in the Diaper Genie full of smelly, disgusting diapers.

Or the time...

Brantley told me he ate dog poop.  No joke.  That's what he said.  Though we were inside and it couldn't have been true.  Dog food - maybe.  Dog poop - no.

Or the time...

I was pushing the mini van of shopping carts at Target (the bigger ones with the additional seats for kids) and ran smack into one of the big red balls outside.  Oops.

Or the time...

I went onto our deck to grab something and Brantley locked me out. (Technically this was after he turned two.)  Try explaining to a two-year-old through a sliding glass door how to unlock said door.  I finally gave up and went around to our garage.

Funny memories indeed.  I'm sure there are more.  These are just the ones I started noting in my phone for a future {this} blog post. :)

I think it goes without saying that caring for two youngsters can be wearing on anyone.  I consider myself lucky in that I have a great-sleeper and overall fairly happy baby.  And a pretty good two-year-old for that matter.  And quite honestly, it's probably been easier than I expected.  (Remember how terrified I was?)  But, it's no walk in the park.

I've definitely lost my patience once or twice.  And wanted to yell.  Or cry.  Or both.  Usually when one kid is whaling loudly and the other is sleeping.  Or when Brantley messes with Holden while he is sleeping.  Or when they both need my immediate attention.  Which happens more often than not.

I would always try to ensure that both napped at the same time.  Because let's be honest, naptime = mama time.  But much to my dismay, Brantley would finally fall asleep (after fighting it and crying long enough to make me feel like losing my mind), and then Holden would want nothing but to be held for the entire two hours that Brantley napped.

I've learned that babies cry.  Toddlers cry.  And often, they cry at the same time.  But you know what?  A crying kid never hurt anyone.  When you have two under two, you have to do the best you can and if that means a screaming kid while you tend to the other, so be it.

I look forward to the day when Brantley is more independent than he is now.  When he can dress himself and feed himself and when doesn't need diaper changes.  And better yet, I really look forward to the day when the two boys can play together.  Oh, how much easier life will be.  But then, we'll have new challenges.  And quite possibly, another kid. 

For now, I'm going to appreciate my life with these two young kiddos.  The two and a half months that I had two under two, and now.  (Because let's be honest, nothing really changed once Brantley turned two.) 

Because truth be told, this is exactly what I wanted.  Two kids close in age.  And for that, I am incredibly blessed.  It's a challenge for sure, but so worth every minute.  And I wouldn't change it for the world.  Frustrations, exhaustion, and all. 

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