• 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?

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Naomi the Strange
15 years ago

Haha… My sister has a 3 year old and is going to have a new baby at the end of June. So this is what she has to look forward to. At least there are five aunties to help out…

Victoria
15 years ago

Easier.

But, alas, the ones I speak of are not mine.

But, I’ve been told. Many times.

Except now that the youngest is peeing on everything.

On purpose!

Heh

Swistle
15 years ago

Baby/toddler is the worst. Well, I guess I’m only up to first-grader/third-grader now, so I don’t have LONG TERM projections.

mandy
15 years ago

I keep telling my husband, it will get easier when they are like, 3 and 4. As opposed to our house-bound lifestyle with 1 and 2 year olds. I am only hoping I am right, if not, DON’T TELL ME!

melissa
melissa
15 years ago

Baby/Toddler is the worst and I have 4 teenagers and an elemenary schooler. I still have nightmares about those early days.

Oh, and they can get up in the middle of the night, puke and go right back to sleep and may remember to tell you in the morning that it happened while you slept so blissfully unaware.

Paula
Paula
15 years ago

I have a 19- and a 16-year old. ENJOY the infant/toddler combo. The teen/teen combo trumps all else!!

Jamie
15 years ago

I can vividly remember the first time I heard my niece swear (a powerful, guttural DAMMIT, if you must know) and I laughed so hard, I almost popped a sphincter.

Not having any children of my own, I didn’t know that was apparently the absolute worst reaction I could have had, and she went on saying DAMMIT! repeatedly because my laughter had condoned her obscenity. My sister definitely didn’t appreciate it.

That said, it still ranks up on my top 5 list of funniest moments ever.

Paula
Paula
15 years ago

I have a 19- and a 17-year old. ENJOY the infant/toddler combo. The teen/teen combo trumps all else!!

Paula
Paula
15 years ago

What the hell happened there. I corrected a typo and suddenly I’m a blithering repetitive idiot? SEE? That’s because I have TWO TEENAGERS.

Sarah
15 years ago

Hey, I giggle with delight when my two year old and 3 year old respond to every crisis (in front of my judgmental mother, no less) with a “dammit!” *giggle*

Queen of Shake Shake
15 years ago

My boys are 27 months apart. I’m still waiting for it to get easier. They are 5 and 7 now. The challenges never go away, only morph into something else.

Wait? Did I just give you the answer you don’t want to hear?

OF COURSE it gets easier. In two years you’ll be walking on easy street wondering how you ever thought parenting was hard.

Was that better?

All Adither
15 years ago

Yes. Infant + Toddler = extremely difficult. Especially when you want to be driving around with the top down with your husband and then, you know, parking. Wink.

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

Mine are 16 months apart and that first year with the both of them–oh, shit. Pretty bad. Now they are 4 and 5 and it is much MUCH easier. It’s actually been pretty great for a few years but this year is the best so far. OF course I am dreading the teenage years, as Paula reminded me, but that’s a long way off. I’m just going to stick my head in the sand and enjoy what I’ve got now!

Christina
15 years ago

No comment on the toddler/baby thing – not there yet but my toddler will be mostly a preschooler/kindergarten kid by the time this baby is born so I am hoping… ah who the hell am I kidding… YIKES!

The baby barf thing is amazing. Three years later I am amazed at my kid’s ability to throw up the entire contents of his stomach soaking everything and one in his way and still giggle, kick his feet and look innocently about like NOTHING happened, wha!!??!?

“Oh shit”… I would not have been able to keep a straight face. My son does this thing when his father is mad and punishing him, he will look at me and make a face and I can hardly control myself… I burst out laughing which does not help the situation. Do these kids have our numbers or what??!?!

warcrygirl
15 years ago

It’s harder because you have to do so much for both of them that you find yourself wishing that they both could walk, talk, feed themselves, not shit in their pants, etc. Then that day comes and you find yourself presented with a whole new set of challenges: not peeing in the front yard in full view of the neighbors (or my personal fave, not peeing on the trees on the playground DURING RECESS), scrubbing various stains off the walls (Food? Marker? Generic bodily fluid?). The next stage (at least for me and my two hellions) was when they learned to beat the living crap out of each other. Nothing says “Sweet Jesus!” like having your kids have a Holy Spirit Smackdown in the middle of a sermon (or any other public place where it’s nice and quiet right when The Captain tells Jr he can “stuff it up his buttcrack”).

Rachel
15 years ago

Oh my gosh, kids are SO MUCH EASIER when they’re out of the preschool/toddler/infant stage. I think the golden era is from about 5 to 12ish, when they’re old enough that you don’t have to be hopping up and down after them every three seconds and yet they haven’t fully engaged the hormonal angry eye-rolling. Seriously, I have forgotten what it was even like to have to go hide out in the laundry room to be able to have five minutes to myself. (Mine are 8 and 12.)

I mean, enjoy the preschool stage while it lasts and all, because frankly, they’re never that cute again once they’re past 6 or so, but then they’re much more livable (and knowable as human beings, which is awesome) to make up for it.

E
E
15 years ago

Mine are 17 months apart, and I barely remember the infant/toddler years. It was all such a blur of puke, poop, and exhaustion. Now that they’re 7 and 8, we’re on easy street.

And I guess I need to rest up for the teen years – GOD HELP ME.

H
H
15 years ago

It does not get easier – the problems are just different. Every stage seems important so you never really feel like the challenges-at-the-moment are inconsequential. I have a near 20 year old and a near 17 year old and I still don’t feel “done” with parenting. Sometimes I wish for the good old days when my child’s lapse in judgment didn’t have the potential of, say, incarceration. But then I remember that during those younger years, you feel like you’re “forming” them so I guess in my opinion, it never gets easier.

Anji
15 years ago

Riley … 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

Oh my goodness, I thought Orion was the only one! :D

brenna
brenna
15 years ago

So, so hard. So hard that I waited almost six years to have my third, because I refused to do baby/toddler at the same time again.

beach
beach
15 years ago

teen years….yikes……nothing prepares you for it!!!

Jeanette
15 years ago

Lets see..harder because of the pain in the ass factor of never being able to go anywhere with them without bringing the entire house with you and then….easier because when they are older the sibling fighting gives parenting a whole new dimension! You’ll see.

Stacy
Stacy
15 years ago

I can’t say whether it gets easier (I have a 4 year old and a 1 year old) but from observation, it seems like the early years are PHYSICALLY exhausting for parents and as the children get older, parenting becomes more MENTALLY exhausting. So, it gets easier in one way but harder in another. I’m a bit older so the physical part really kicks my butt. Sometimes I wish I had had kids earlier but then I think of the person I was in my mid-20’s and that would be been a scary prospect!!

Andrea
15 years ago

Can’t answer your question since I’m in your shoes right about now, though my oldest is a little older than Riley. But believe me, I’ll be taking notes.

My son’s first cussing incident was when he was two, and he couldn’t get an interlocking train to click together. He muttered, “Well, goddammit!” Yeah. Short of the F Bomb, I don’t know what worse word he could have said. Shamefully, I laughed until I cried, and then told him not to do it again.

Now, I still curse like a sailor, especially while driving, and HE’S the one telling ME not to swear. Though if I get creative, he’s more likely to ask, “Mama, what’s a dick miner?” instead of saying, “Stop saying that, Mama. That’s not nice!”

Ashley
15 years ago

Not there yet, but practically all my cousins have been there and the ones with boys say easier the older they get, girls opposite. Glad I have boys.

And on the sleep thing…SO.NOT.FUCKING.FAIR.

Pam
Pam
15 years ago

Not always easier and not always harder, just different issues at different ages. I have a 21 y/o, 14 y/o and a 6.5 y/o (boys) and each age presents it’s own set of problems and you know the big fat lie people try and tell you, the one that goes: oh but when they’re not babies anymore at least you can reason with them? total bullshit, you cannot reason with a 14 year old. But you can achieve a level of self sufficiency, at least there’s that.

pam
pam
15 years ago

i have infant triplets and while i’m terrified of their impending toddlerhood, i can’t help but think this stage is much easier for me than for those with an infant and a toddler. at least mine aren’t mobile!

Holly
15 years ago

Swearing might not be cool but hey, at least he used the word APPROPRIATELY :) I think that merits some sort of pride.

Sara
Sara
15 years ago

I don’t think it ever gets easier, it just gets different.

I’m all sentimental and shit, but there’s a song by Trace Adkins not that you actually listen to country that says: Youre gonna miss this, your gonna want this back your gonna wish these days hadn’t gone by so fast, these were some good times, so take a good look around, you may not know it now, but your gonna miss this.

Right now things sucks with a 3 and 5 year old, but they sucked with an 8 month old and a 3 year old, like they sucked with a 2 year old and a newborn. I only know this because I wrote about the suckiness…looking back I keep thinking, “oh but Dylan was such an easy baby, and Alex loved his brother then.” Yeah, I miss it.

victoria
victoria
15 years ago

Oh, please try to avoid sunburns! Fair-skinned rosacea-prone folks can get nasty sun damage. I just had a “photofacial” last week to reverse some of the effects of accumulated sun damage on my face (broken capillaries, uneven pigmentation) and Oh My God, that thing was painful. Kind of like being tasered on your face. I now wish I’d spent my entire life slathered in SPF 1,000,000 from head to toe. Rickets is a small price to pay for lovely skin.

Sunshyn
15 years ago

Um, Scotchguard? Some nasty chemicals in that stuff.

Stacy
15 years ago

I don’t comment much but I had to chime in on this one. I enjoy reading your no-nonsense writing and attitude style, by the way!

Anyhoo, my first was 17 months when the 2nd one was born; both boys. The one is 3 years now and the younger is 20 months. The first year was the roughest, for sure, so far. Of course we are just out of those woods and I’m sure there’s another forest to hike, but ’til then I’m enjoying my two, stubborn, yet adorable toddlers. They are starting to really play together, which actually takes the heat off me to entertain non-stop. Hopefully the playing together part just gets better. ;)

Good luck with all and God bless!
-Stacy

Jennifer
Jennifer
15 years ago

I love that you said “juvie.” I’ve used that expression (“his kids are going to end up in juvie pretty soon”) and people usually don’t know what I’m talking about.

I don’t think yours will end up there. Maybe in the principal’s office now and then (but didn’t we all).

Kathy
Kathy
15 years ago

I have a 13 year old girl and a 16 year old boy. The only thing easier about the teenage years is that they can dress and feed themselves and you can leave them home alone. Oh, you can also tell them to get the hell out of your face and they do. Not that I have ever done that…

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

Easier in many ways, but the full contact fighting because, “He looked at me!” gets on my friggin’ nerves. Two boys, 2 1/2 years apart, but it is absolutely easier. They fight, but they also play together and the older one likes to help out if #2 needs something (or entice him into doing something he knows they’re not supposed to be doing so he can say, “Nicky did it!”)

And by the way….love the pride in Riley’s comment. Ian’s first word was shit (thanks grandma for calling him “little shit” all the time), but it was even better when he started using it correctly!

amber
15 years ago

Hee! My first reaction was pride, too, and the kid isn’t even mine. I don’t even KNOW him. Go Riwwy!

pippa
15 years ago

Ha.

Hahaha.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Sorry. Really. Hee. I am. But you haven’t even experienced FIGHTING yet. And they are boys, which means it’s far less hair-pulling and far more “Hey, let’s punch you til you bleed (yes, my boys are 4.5 and 6).” And you also have “Hey, let’s try to peel this orange at 5 AM with a KNIFE rather than waking up a parent” and “Hey, let’s jump off the dresser/bunk bed/front porch.”

You will look back on the days when one toddler stayed in his bed and one child stayed where put with great fondness and longing. BELIEVE ME!

Also, hee, thought the same first time a kid cussed. Of course, so much LESS funny when you are getting calls from kindergarten teacher because of said vocabulary. Oy vey.

Emily
15 years ago

“MAH DICK IS LONG.” = Love!

Robyn
Robyn
15 years ago

I have two boys…exactly 2 years apart. They were AWESOME as toddler/baby. They’ve been actually quite awesome all the way up til now, when they finally realized they can QUESTION YOU!! Question your authority, and the two of them gang up on you!! heh

Other than that, they are still enjoyable, so I’m with you, still fearing the teenage years, cuz ya know, the ball has to drop at some point!!

Your kids are adorable, and I think you probably have a way with them (because of yours and JB’s humor) that will make them really great kids to come!

Josh
15 years ago

Well, uh, maybe your kids won’t be anything like you or JB, and will be nice well mannered children and everything will be easy from here on out.

Or maybe shit was only the beginning, and next thing you know they’ll be saying things like “Lookit my head, it’s lopsided BITCH! Suck a dick!”

Kym
Kym
15 years ago

This is off topic, but Linda you should totally post that picture of Dylan on Parent Dish, those women would lose their shit!! LOL I totally give you an A for creativity:)

JAB
JAB
15 years ago

My boys are 25 months apart and are now 5 and 3. It’s a great age because I can tell them to go play together while mommy is working or cooking dinner or whatever…and they do! They also occupy themselves in the bath (with me not too far away, of course) and that is so wonderful. What was I thinking getting pregnant now and messing up this great routine I have going?!

g~
g~
15 years ago

Harder in that the other one MOVES! ACK!
Easier in that they entertain each other–even if it is loud, raucous, borderline fighting entertainment but it doesn’t involve YOU! Dylan can be the one finding Riley instead of you!
Harder in that one can’t strap one into a little seat and deal with the other one.
Easier in that both of them can talk to you and tell you what they want/what’s wrong/etc. (that can also be a bad thing…)
Of course, I am not that far ahead of you. Mine are roughly 5 (boy) and 3 (girl). Crap. What have I gotten myself into?
g~

M.A.
15 years ago

Honey, you’re good parents (sleeping through the night/not leaving bed). Somewhere you instilled the discipline and the proof is in the pudding. Or the bedding. Ha. I was also, in spite of “OH, The Scandal of It All,” quite amused by Riley’s response to the AWOL ball — the first words my French girls learned was “Shit”. I was bursting with pride. Yeah, you want me as a nanny — I KNOW you do. Hang in there — I don’t think you’ll have to worry about dual bail bonds or anything near it — good people beget good kids. Enjoy the ride.

Eric's Mommy
Eric's Mommy
15 years ago

MAH DICK IS LONG! I love how you threw that in there.

Mary
15 years ago

I am extra lucky, but I think the teenagers are the best years yet. They are real people with senses of humor and so much fun.

Karen
Karen
15 years ago

I’m with Stacy. The infant/toddler years definitely sap your strength… they need so much care that you feel like you never sit down, etc. BUT – elementary years, and teen years, also hard. Emotional drama, driving all over, at all hours, sibling rivalry, etc. OH yes, it’s all there waiting for you! We are, however, very much looking forward to your witty, acerbic, fun journaling of your experiences. Riley and Dylan as teens…. can’t you just imagine what they’ll get up to! I think it would be fair to say that it gets even more rewarding. As they get closer and closer to being civilized humans that you would choose to hang out with. e.g., took my 12 year old out on a “date” last night to see Narnia, and he and I had a great evening with great conversation. Enjoy!
K

allison
15 years ago

infant-toddler has NOTHING on older toddler – younger toddler. This shit is for the birds… infant-toddler was a walk in the damn park.

It does get easier… in some ways.

Pete
Pete
15 years ago

Having gone through it twice I can say that right now you are in the hardest phase. When they are both older than five is when the fun years begin and they last until 14, then you just shoot them. A jury of your peers would not convict you.

Misguided mommy
15 years ago

My sons first words were Oh Shit. Because it was so cute when he was one we laughed. Because we laughed he still says it two years later. However thats the least of our problems since my mom just taught him to say Fucking. Fucking ball, fucking cup, fucking bug.

Fucking eh, huh?

Also, my first one puked and puked and puked, turned out to be acid reflux and they put him on previced finally when he was two and a half. never puked since. if either of you maybe has acid reflux he might too. I’m just saying, it’s a great suggestion, since cleaning baby vomit is one thing, but cleaning toddler vomit daily is a whole other thing. Seriously, macaroni vomit with koolaid, sooo not fun!

Also your grass is to green, no fair!