When we were expecting baby number two, not one person spoke up to let us know “Hey guys, congratulations! Also, going from one child to two is way, way harder than going from zero children to one.”
I understand why no one spoke up, it would be a tremendous buzzkill to drop on newly expecting parents. And who knows? Maybe we would be lucky and it would all be a breeze. Why rock the boat before the potential storm rolled in?
It hasn’t been a breeze. I love these two more than anything else in the world and would not wish this time away, but for sure, two kids gets cray-cray super fast, and as my wife very eloquently put, we didn’t become good at parenting two kids, we merely outlasted the super crazy early phase that occasionally felt very overwhelming.
So what happened? We still have one laid back dude in no huge rush to do things, a homebody like his dad. We still have one viking daughter intent on doing All. Of. The. Things. And growing as fast as humanly possible on her way towards total world domination. We’re basically raising Brienne of Tarth with fantastically unfortunate hair growth (sorry Stella, you can thank your mom for that. I’m told your mom didn’t have much of any hair until she was three so at least you’re doing better than that, right?).
Recently without any warning, our viking daughter became unbelievably sweet and affectionate. Occasionally even super-snuggly, something she wasn’t thrilled to do in her first 20 months or so. She speaks a ton, loves to draw even more than I do (I have a picture of her loopy handiwork as my new Facebook and Twitter cover pics) and is so, so affectionate now. She smothers us in booger-filled kisses and tells us that she loves us. She’s found a renewed love of snuggling and loves to do every single thing we do (or the baby equivalent).
If this comes across as me putting the responsibility for the chaos of the household on it’s littlest member, that is not my intention. Cole will be turning 5 in a couple of months, which means he has been very stereotypically 4 years old all year, with all the hilarious-until-hair-pulling curiosity that comes along with that. With one child wanting to know everything we can tell him, and his sister wanting to do all of the things, my ADHD has been on fire, rendering me a stressy mess much of the time.
But now we are in the sweet spot, where Cole is just a little less curious and Stella is much more affectionate and life feels like it can calm down and we can probably enjoy each other more than we ever have before. As the family worrier, of course I am concerned that this will trick us into lowering our guard and fast-tracking child number 3.
“Oh my god it’s so great, let’s make another one and keep this sweetness gravy train going!”
It’s not that we are stopping with just these two, in fact we typically talk about having four in total. The tricky thing is just to not get to the baby making NOW.
THIS IS NOT AS EASY AS IT SOUNDS. Guys, it’s not that we can’t keep our hands to ourselves, it’s just… it’s so nice now! These kids are outstanding, even as Cole jumps on my shoulders and tries to claw my eyes out in an attempt to wrestle with me as I type this (we’re going to have to have a talk about the eye gouging thing. I don’t know where he learned that technique). It’s so easy to consider having more kids now, because it’s so easy to be grateful for what we have right now.
Is this how everyone ends up with more kids? They just forget that there was a big pain in the ass period?