• My kids are both good sleepers. I suppose I shouldn’t even say that in print or out loud or even think it without immediately pounding my fist bloody on the nearest block of wood, but there it is. Dylan goes down every night at 8 PM like clockwork now, and doesn’t even require the endless rocking/bassinet-jiggling/exhausted humming his brother did. Also, Riley — the world’s most stubborn, willful, obstinate toddler — seems to believe he’s not allowed out of his bed when we’re not in the room, and for some reason OBEYS this mysterious never-communicated (but much appreciated) edict, going so far as to wail piteously if he drops a toy onto the floor because AIIIEEEE, he cannot leave the confines of his mattress. Can I get a high five on that one? Even though we technically had nothing to do with this admirable behavior whatsoever? MAH DICK IS LONG.

• Vomited soy formula, while not exactly something I would dab on my wrists and behind my ears, smells about a thousand times less horrific than the milk variety. Still: baby puke, why is there so much of it again? He gags on his fingers, he randomly horfs for no particular reason, he spews in the dead of night. While all the while smiling, eating, cooing, and generally acting like it’s no big deal, but DUDE: BIG DEAL. Big, gross, disgusting DEAL. We’re off to the pediatrician today to see if there’s anything we can do, other than Scotchgard the entire house.

• I was playing with Riley in the backyard yesterday and I accidentally sent his ball flying over the fence and across the street. While Riley watched his ball sail out of sight, he turned to me and said — with perfect enunciation, mind you — “Oh, shit!”

Is it wrong that my first reaction was one of pride? Yes? Oh, well then I was totally upset. Downright scandalized.

• The weather was gorgeous this weekend, a perfect watermelon-slice of summer, and I’ve got the sunburn to prove it. We had a pretty good time hanging around in our yard with the kids, but I think both JB and I felt the crunch of parenting two small children. We couldn’t really just up and go for a long hike, or drive to the beach without a level of strategic planning not conducive to relaxing sunny afternoons, or even just sit in an Adirondack chair for more than five consecutive minutes without having to tend to someone’s cry-hole, or fetch more juice, or play the brain-numbing “FIND RIWWY” game (where Riley “hides” in plain view and you must act like a blind moron, peering around vaguely and wondering out loud where on earth Riley got off to).

I told JB that I think that the infant/toddler combo has to be one of the hardest stages of parenting we’ll go through, until of course they are both sneaking out at night and getting DWIs and ending up in juvie. I mean, I know we’ve got plenty of challenges ahead, but it seems to me that while Riley’s pain-in-the-butt factor has certainly skyrocketed in some ways, many things are so much easier now that he’s a pint-sized person and not a squirmy (adorable!) helpless grub.

Those of you with experience in such things, what say you? Baby/toddler siblings = harder than when they’re both older? Or, god help me, easier?

Comments

64 Responses to “Parenthood lately, bullet-style”

  1. Penny on May 19th, 2008 11:55 pm

    Having raised 5 children, I promise you the infant/toddler stage is the hardest. Bar none! And now seeing my kids having children in that stage there is a certain amount of pride that shines forth when I hear them exhusted, weary, tired…because then I smile and know the curse worked..perfectly!
    They have children JUST like THEM! Can I get an Amen?

  2. JMH on May 20th, 2008 2:32 am

    I think it gets a bit easier when they are potty trained and they can feed themselves. Then, you can leave the house without a diaper bag, sippy cups, worries about naptime, etc. Now, my youngest (4 yrs) even buckles himself into his car seat! Yea! However, at this age, they do tend to get a bit of an attitude….!

  3. Emerald on May 20th, 2008 9:20 am

    Not having any kids of my own, I can’t comment on the toddler/infant vs. teen/teen combo (though it sounds like a Street Fighters dealio). However, as long as they realize that the correct past tense form of shit is “shat” and not “shitted” I say they’ve got a good enough head on their shoulders that you don’t need to worry.

  4. Claudia on May 20th, 2008 9:26 am

    I have two daughters: 7 and almost 4. I spaced them apart like that ON PURPOSE. I don’t think I could have stood two children in diapers, only two years apart. As it was, those first couple years were hard. Especially in the winter. Especially since the 4 yr old is the “challenging” tomboy who wants to “beat beat beat” us with her fist. She’s the boy I didn’t have.

    That said,it is easier in general the older they get but the challenges are different. It’s so nice to not be physically needed so much (I breastfed both for 18 months). And it’s SO NICE to have two potty trained children – having only one butt to wipe (mine)…I can’t tell you how nice that is. Plus, the older child can fix her own sandwich. Which means I can loll around on the sofa for minutes at a time and read. Until something breaks or a fight breaks out (and, yes, you don’t need boys to have fighting between siblings). The youngest is a hair puller, an eye gouger.

    So better in somes ways, worse in others. Either way, you will be happier by 2010.

  5. Alyson on May 20th, 2008 9:49 am

    Every kid is entirely his own person. #1 was by far my easiest child (fast learner), #2 a bit more challening in some ways, easier in others, #3 Nearly 11 years old and still drives me crazy on a regular basis. But I also know he is the one most attached to me. The boys have their similarities, but I never make the mistake of thinking they are all the same. The minute they do, some weird behavior comes back to bite you on the butt!

  6. Jennifer on May 20th, 2008 12:39 pm

    I have a 14 year old boy and a 13 year old girl. Physically it gets much easier as they get older. Emotionally, in some ways, it’s harder. One, they argue more with each other. Two, they argue with you more, too. Three, for a few years you can reason with them, use logic, but once the teens hit, it’s kinda like having toddlers again. They want what they want and they want it now.
    (And I must say I miss the days when they were enthusiastic about everything. Now they act so blase about everything)

  7. Sheryl on May 20th, 2008 4:36 pm

    My 10 year old daughter, describing a vandalism incident in the boy’s bathroom at school, involving poo, a wall, and some smearing: “Mommy, I don’t know what the fuck they were thinking”.

    “Mommy” and “what the fuck” in the same sentence….niiiiiiiice.

  8. Kris on May 20th, 2008 6:40 pm

    I don’t have kids yet, but I work in a hospital with LOTS of kids and talk with LOTS of parents. Some parents seem to feel that things get easier as they get older…for the reasons you find Riley easier at times (i.e. You can actually talk to him!) But then again, others say its harder as they get older. It depends on the kid and what the parents find easier/harder. How’s that for a non-answer for you!

  9. Danielle-Lee on May 20th, 2008 8:16 pm

    I’m totally giving you an internet High Five on the staying in bed thing. My kid does it too! And I’ve almost said to her ‘Christ, you can get out of bed to get your stuffed animal!’ but I caught myself. Whew.
    Oh, and such pride at wee little lips cussing: I had that pride too. You are not alone. :)

  10. Jessica on May 21st, 2008 11:50 am

    I do not have any children of my own but I must say that it is a good thing that your child stays in their bed when you are not there.it must make life easier for you.

  11. Brooke on May 21st, 2008 12:06 pm

    I know I need to watch my language because my charming 8 year old girl asked me what a shithead was after a rant about my stepson.

  12. Julie on May 23rd, 2008 1:01 pm

    Having not read through all the comments, I’m probably repeated what someone else has already said. But, here goes anyhoo. I wouldn’t say getting out of the baby/toddler stage is easier OR harder, just different. My 5 and 2-year old play really well together…when they want to play together. There are times when all hell breaks loose and I’m at a total loss for what to do. Intervene? Let them work it out? Pretend like there’s a truck outside for a distraction? I will say it is somewhat easier now that they can pretty much get their own snacks. I’m not up and down and in and out of the kitchen all freaking day.
    And kudos on the whold nighttime going to bed routine. I wish I knew the secret to getting my night owls to bed at a decent hour!

  13. Heather on May 28th, 2008 11:22 am

    I can only hope that it gets easier. My three are currently 4, 3 and 20mos…the first two are only 13.5 mos apart, little one is just 21 mos behind.

    I was informed while 8.5 mos pg with the little one, that at one point I will actually have all three in high school at the same time. Scary!

    Did I mention they are all girls?

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