We have two boys! Two. Bert and I look at each other in disbelief sometimes that we have kids, as in plural, as in more than one child. I can officially say I’m Married with Children, although thankfully Bert’s not Al Bundy (sorry, Al), and it’s weird and great all at the same time.
We’re about five weeks in, and because I know you all are waiting to hear how it’s been going (no? Oh) I’m going to share with you some nuggets of wisdom that I have learned:
If your room and your toddler’s room share a wall, get two sound machines. That way you will avoid the fun merry-go-round that was our Friday night involving one kid waking up, settling back down, and then the other kid waking up and then waking the other up , and then both waking up again because they’re so restless and making too much noise, and then you waking up (read: not waking up because you we already awake) and deciding that hell, Starbucks is only 17 minutes away so everyone get in the car but wait one second while I Amazon Prime this new sound machine.
Diapers. I don’t mind changing diapers, but it gets comical when you have a contest about who changed the most poopy ones in one day, or when you have both boys laying down to get diaper changes at the same time and the smell is overpowering and hilarious.
Wacey looks enormous.
Buster looks squishy and floppy.
Being exhausted and having a screaming toddler is a new kind of hell, but one that I’ve thankfully not visited much since apparently we can function much better on much less sleep than we used to. I guess that’s good?
“Gentle touch please” only goes so far, and then your toddler on purpose steps on his brother’s face.
Buy the big diaper bag.
Get prepared for your always-adorable, usually-the-center-of-attention toddler to really up his game at the grocery store since everyone immediately wants to coo over the baby. Be prepared to have conflicting feelings about this. Is it adorable, or mostly adorable with a side of slightly weird? Also be ready for that toddler to turn into a demon sometimes. Can you blame him though?
That same toddler will be amazingly tender and sweet to his brother, giving him kisses and begging to hold him, staring at his face and holding his little hands, and then do a complete 180 wherein you’d better move fast, lady, or your kid’s about to put an Crayola-colored, frustration-induced Uruk-hai handprint on his little brother’s face. Or step on it, as mentioned above. That’s only happened once, as I now know the warning signs.
Going out with only one kid is like a vacation. Going out with just the baby means you might forget he’s there. Not literally, though. Just figuratively? Going out with two kids requires planning and snacks, and not being in a hurry, but I highly recommend it.
Fed is best, fed is best, fed is best. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, and if you’re the person doing the telling, stop it before I slap you upside the head.
When you go visit a friend and you’re early, driving around with sleeping baby in the backseat listening to podcasts (S-Town did NOT disappoint, someone please tell me they’ve finished it because I want to know their opinion re: mercury poisoning) is glorious. Add a smoothie onto that and man oh man, you’re living large.
Wearing the same sweatpants every day for a week is somehow more acceptable when you have two kids. I’m okay with this, because I have been. Week=three months, ps.
You’ll get a lot of questions about who looks more like who, and if you think the babies look alike. I think all newborns look like potatoes, but Buster looks like a potato that could be Wacey’s brother, so the answer to all those questions is yes.
Pumping becomes a whole new adventure once you get a car adapter, and your toddler yells “PUMP!” every two seconds while it’s on. I have to make sure I’m off the ranch before I get ‘er started, though, because I would rather be the Weird Anonymous Lady Pumping While Driving than Weird Anonymous Lady Pumping—Wait, That’s Cassidy, What’s Going on There?, while praying the blanket staying intact over the general frontal region of myself. I have no problem talking about pumping/nursing/breastfeeding/etc., and no shame, but you have to admit that a Human Milking Machine is a little weird, much less a mobile one.
It’s easier the second time around. I know it might not be the same way for everyone, but for me, it’s been vastly, extremely, outlandishly, scarily easier this time around. So much so that I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. My recovery was much faster, and I somehow avoided becoming a completely psychotic hormonal mess. I don’t mean to say it’s been easy, though. Just easier. I know a little more what to expect, what to do, what’s normal. Buster only woke up once last night, though, and gosh that was a fluke but it was a glorious fluke that made me long for real sleep soon.
On that note, if you have a fitbit, don’t look at the sleep tracking part.
While we’re on sleep: you forget HOW LOUD NEWBORNS ARE AT NIGHT. THEY TURN INTO GREMLINS. Between the snarfing, heavy breathing, gagging, snorting, wiggling and the geriatric goat noise that is apparently the trademark of my Johnston Boys, it’s amazing those little babes get any sleep at all.
Your heart will get very, very full. Even when you’re exhausted and begging the baby to sleep, your heart will be so full. You may not know it, at that moment, but it is.
When both kids are crying, you and your husband will look at each other and try not to laugh at the zoo that is now your life.
You need Jesus. Lean in.
Your house that you kept reasonably clean with one baby will now resemble a barnyard that had a visit with a tornado that just went though a toy store. Go with it. Your kid’s eating off that dirty floor? You see that, I see immunities.
Good books are clutch for late-night feeding/pumping/nursing/holding baby sessions, points for being able to immediately download them on devices with dimmable screens. I’ve legit read 20+ books this month, let me know if you need recommendations. I got you.
Buying an outfit that makes you feel like a million dollars in your in-between body stage is worth it. Do it. Especially if you have a social engagement or any event that you’re nervous to attend! Here’s mine.
It’s harder with two to slow down and enjoy your babies, especially on their own. But try, it’s so worth it. Also, get those two babies in your bed in the morning, because there’s nothing sweeter than brother snuggles. Until the hangry sets in and it’s breakfast all around, but for five minutes it’s so great.
We keep finding ourselves looking at Wacey’s pictures when he’s Buster’s age and just a little older, feeling nostalgic and excited for what’s next all at once.
Mostly, life with two means get ready for all the feels.