Sometimes I think being the parent of a toddler and an infant is not unlike dealing with a mixture of glycerol and nitric acid, which is to say: DEADLY. Someone is always crying, someone is always pooping, and the combined force of their whining has the power to detonate an adult’s temporal lobe at fifty paces.

Other times I see it from a different angle, and instead of all the wrong notes being struck at once I get this sense of a phenomenally rich chord humming away, pitches and durations that pour into every last corner and crack. The little boy often squirms away from my hugs but the baby accepts them with openmouthed wriggling joy. The baby can’t talk to me but the little boy carries out lengthy conversations and surprises me every day with what he knows. The little boy gets mysterious and has Moods, the baby is a wide-open storm of emotions, no subterfuge yet on his horizon. The baby must be eased carefully into sleep, the little boy wants the light left on so he can page through books while curled in his bed. The little boy leans against my leg and tells me he loves me, the baby claps and squeals and burrows his face into the crook of my neck.

If it sometimes feels as though one and one does not equal two, and that I am flailing under the weight of responsibilities and inconveniences and various pains in my ass, it is also — and more often — true that the joy and amazement brought into our lives by having one child has more than doubled. There are so many good things, so much of the time, and it is multifarious, an impossibly, deliciously-balanced landscape.

3069432449_ebf72f8df4.jpg

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
54 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

That brought a tear to my eye. Sadly I would love to give my son a sibling, my husband doesn’t want any more children.

Krissa
Krissa
13 years ago

Aw – the Brothers Plaid.

Very sweet.

g~
g~
13 years ago

I would very much like to steal this and put it on my site as my own. Because it’s like that here, too.

Christina
Christina
13 years ago

That picture brought a tear to my eye as well.

We took my 2-year old to a brunch with Santa last weekend. Every kid was given paper to write a letter to Santa (which I of course helped with). When I asked him what he wanted Santa to bring him, he replied “a baby”. I said “what kind of baby?” and his response: “a baby brother”

Precious, priceless, and so touchingly sweet…from someone who has more than tested my patience lately with his Terrible Two’s.

biscuit
13 years ago

I’ve been trying to teach Hot Pocket how to clap because having since seen Dylan do it on your video, I’m insanely jealous of the cuteness.

kristylynne
kristylynne
13 years ago

Thanks for that. We are about to pursue medical help for baby No. 2, and things like this help remind me that it will all be worth it in the end.

Rebecca (Bearca)
13 years ago

Yes. Exactly. What you said.

Christina
13 years ago

SO awesome (must remember this since the 3 yr keeps telling everyone that he wants Mommy to put his four month old baby sister back in her belly… sigh.)

Maria
13 years ago

My big boy is 33 months old and my little boy is three weeks old. I can already completely understand. Thank you for putting it into words so nicely.

samantha jo campen
13 years ago

Great post. And hey, I didn’t get an update in my inbox that you posted. Am I still subscribed huh huh huh? Don’t wanna miss out!!!

Emma
13 years ago

Perfect. Exactly.

Korinna
13 years ago

Ohhh. Look at their little blond swirls of hair.

So cute.

Kay
Kay
13 years ago

You have such precious precious boys!

Ashley
13 years ago

Aaaaand you’re not writing a book becaaaause?

Cat
Cat
13 years ago

Found you on Casey’s site (halfasgoodasyou). Beautiful post!

Kelly
Kelly
13 years ago

I’m with g~… it’s like that here too. You said, very poetically, what I’ve thought many a time.

Peggasus
Peggasus
13 years ago

You do have the way with the words, you know.

I also love the way my boys interact together in ways that have nothing whatsoever to do with me, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This time many years ago, I was taking our Christmas picture of the older holding his two week-old brother! (Now they are 22 and 17!)

SART
13 years ago

Wow. I am SO glad you wrote this post. Being newly knocked up with #2, I’m scared about the coming changes to our lives. My boy is almost 4, he is so independent, and I’m reluctant about getting back into the needy world of an infant. I’m worried about how they will relate to each other being 4 years apart.

Thank you for reminding me that all the hell of pregnancy will be worth it and that having 2 will be even more fun/insane/wonderful.

Kelsey
13 years ago

Exactly.

LOVE the picture.

Also, a random head’s up, some of your readers here or on your other sites might be interested in the fact that 30 Day Shred is on sale at Amazon for $7.49! I have had it sitting on my wish list, but now I am finally going to buy it.

ikate
13 years ago

This is beautiful and makes me want to have a second baby o-so-badly!

Pete
Pete
13 years ago

Hey Eric’s Mommy, do what my wife did – bribe me. I got a new scanner, 21″ monitor and color printer to have another child. I figured I was going to lose anyway so I might as well get some new hardware out of it. ;-)

Eric's Mommy
13 years ago

haha Pete, good idea, maybe I’ll try that :)

Jessamyn
13 years ago

It’s so nice to read this during a week when I’ve been feeling like the combo is much more of the DEADLY variety; so nice to remember that so much of what’s not deadly is wonderful beyond measure. It’s like that here, too.

Tricia
Tricia
13 years ago

I’m a new reader, and also the mom of a 2.5-year-old and a 5-month-old…so thank you so much for this post. You really captured how I feel, both the good and the bad.

I love your blog, and your boys are precious.

jodi
jodi
13 years ago

Wow. I needed that! With a 29 month old and 15 month old I sometimes forget to sit back and enjoy the GOOD moments. As usually, you expressed your feelings much more eloquently than I could have! Thanks for reminding me how awesome it is to have to little boys! :)

Sarah
Sarah
13 years ago

So true. The best of both ages( and the worst ERR) Thanks, This helps me think hopeful thoughts looking forward to March and Boy number 2.

susie
13 years ago

I am in the final weeks of pregnancy with son #2, and I am glad I read this post today. Thank you.

AmyQ
13 years ago

very beautiful post. I am one step closer to being ready for number 2 thanks to you. My husband will be happy to hear it!

deannagabriel
13 years ago

my ovaries are aching from [1] the CUTENESS of that picture [2] the BEAUTIFUL sentiments and [3] your AMAZING way with words.

im a 27 year old single gal living the city life, working on a masters degree (and thinking about a phd, i must be nuts) without a marriage or kids anywhere in my near future. for a while i thought i didnt want any of that, but reading your words makes me think that just maybe im starting to change my mind, and for all the right reasons.

you are blessed beyond words to have such a beautiful and loving family and im glad you choose to share some of these thoughts and moments with us!

the goddess anna
13 years ago

They have beautiful hair – I mean that. Such a vibrant color.

And I’m totally there… some days, my 5-going-on-14 daughter and the troublesome 3yo twins drive me to the brink of insanity, and then all of a sudden they cry out “Get Mommy” and pile on for a huge hug with smothering kisses. Ups and downs, I love them all.

Leslie
13 years ago

So very beautifully put. My two guys – one 4 the other 20 mos are now at that stage where they play together and actually enjoy it – well, not all of the time, but most of the time. Last night I came around the corner and stopped in my tracks because there they were sitting side by side playing with dinosaurs -each making thier own dinosaur noises. I love moments like that!

beach
beach
13 years ago

ok …..lump in my throat beautiful, girl you have a knack ……enjoy those boys….as a mom of 2 teens you always bring me back to those simple wonderful days….

Hotch Potchery
13 years ago

One of my favorite things about being a mom is watching how my kids have grown into such good friends. They are even going to be roommates at college next year!

Lori
13 years ago

Okay, you’ve got me thinking that another baby might be do-able.

But please keep the syllables under 3 until I’ve had my chocolate. Multifarious?!

Michelle
13 years ago

Beautiful post! My first time reading, but I’ll definitely be back. :)

Melissa
Melissa
13 years ago

I know I’m just echoing other comments but that is exactly how I feel about my kids. My daughter is almost 3 and my son is 7 mos. It’s a crazy and yet extraordinary time. Thank you for putting into words so beautifully!

Lesley
Lesley
13 years ago

That photo is priceless.

Adventures in Mother Venture (Julie)

Well said. Had you not captured the mood with your words, I would have just thought they were unraveling the carpet. Great blog…I read it every once and a while to get a sanity check.

Elizabeth
13 years ago

Your post and picture brought tears to my eyes. You have a gift with words and the camera.

willikat
13 years ago

Aw, that photo just tugs at my heart. And my uterus, a little.

wm
wm
13 years ago

Beautiful post!

Karen
Karen
13 years ago

Most. Excellent. Photo.

Clover
Clover
13 years ago

Ahh, I love reading this. I, too, live in the seattle area and had my (first) baby in February. I do have a stepdaughter, but have cautiously been approaching the idea of having another child. But the thought of starting again – UGH!! I won’t have the luxury of spending the last 2 months of pregnancy watching back episodes of LOST in my bed again! It’s worth it though… right? ;)

Amy
Amy
13 years ago

Oh man, did I need to read that tonight. I have kids about the same age as yours and tonight was a screamfest with the baby and my husband decided it was time to finally let him cry it out. And it made me cry too. And now I feel a little better because I read your post and I was reminded how great it is to have two kids. As long as I can forget about lame sleep habits!

A Free Man
13 years ago

I’m just coming to terms with one, my admiration for managing with two and retaining the gratitude.

They’re fantastic, though, little boys. Mine just gives me a joy I never thought possible.

Great looking site, came your way from Pardon The Egg Salad.

Amanda
13 years ago

So So beautiful! I especially enjoy that you can write the part of Mommydom that many don’t speak of – the royal “pain in the ass” that is our children – and still make it completely clear how wonderful it is!

Thank you!

Kristin
Kristin
13 years ago

I LOVE how you just “get” it….and then can express it so well!!!

Erin
13 years ago

That picture is beautiful.

And I really want to smooch on Dylan’s neck. In an entirely non-stalker-ish way. I love baby necks and that looks like an especially sweet specimen. :)

Lori O
13 years ago

That picture is so sweet!

Must Be Motherhood
13 years ago

Oh yes.