The Monster's back... As in the Baby Monster, as it's known in our house. I know I've protested rather loudly lately that I'm nowhere near ready for another baby, and for the most part that's still the case, but it has been divine sharing my days with my two favourite people under the age of three, instead of just one. There is so much to love about having two kids, and I can't help thinking about how lovely another one would be. Arghhhh, not yet, not yet!
I never understood how people could have their babies close together; I thought it was way more work than anyone should ever wish to take on, but I do see the logic now. I've missed that particular window of opportunity but if were to be mad enough to consider a third child one day, it could very well be hot on the heels of the second, so to speak. J and my niece A are 13 months apart in age and they have had a great time together this week, playing in the pool, chasing each other around the apartment and indulging in their mutual love for Justine Clarke and the Wiggles. Two kids may be ten times the work but they are oodles of fun, and I love getting double doses of kisses and cuddles every day.
On the downside (and I really need to focus on the downside!), neither of them are great at sharing, and they want to do everything that the other is doing. That's ok at mealtimes and bathtime, but once we even had them doing tandem poo poo's! And they definitely feed off each other when they're in simultaneous bad moods. A sensed that J was having a bad day with his teething, earlier in the week, and she was particularly difficult at dinnertime; spitting out her pasta just because he was. Outings can be a challenge, especially when one or the other, or both of them want to walk; you really need an extra pair of hands, to wrangle recalcitrant toddlers back into line. Luckily I have two helpers, so I don't have to worry about anything other than the two beautiful people I'm lucky to be spending my days with. And there's no shortage of things to occupy them here; Gymboree, a massive garden, several pools and plenty of loving arms everywhere we go.
Even with all the help I'm exhausted and I have a whole lot of respect for mums who do it all, every day, all on their own. I might be naive but I'm hoping that taking care of someone else's child as well as my own, and trying to respect their way of parenting, is somewhat more challenging than if they were both mine. Either way it's a good kind of exhausted and I like the way two kids fill my day, and my heart, and constantly surprise and amuse me. It hasn't all been easy; I've had a lot of moments where I've questioned whether or not I've been doing the right thing. I can't in any way be a substitute for A's mummy, but I can make sure she eats and sleeps and has a bath, and is as happy as she can be under the circumstances. I had a nap yesterday afternoon and when I woke up I realised that one of the kids' daddies was alone with both of them. I wondered to myself what he would do with them if I left them alone; would he be able to occupy them the way that I had all week? I laughed out loud at the thought. I was so pleased when I came out and found our helper playing with them while daddy was on the computer. The fact that it hadn't even occurred to him to try and take them out was the validation I needed that I am definitely the one for this particular job. My mummying skills, still so new, have really been put to the test, and I think I've done a pretty good job. They both still love me at the end of the week, which is all I can really ask for.