Since I haven’t written a new post in approximately 100 months, you are likely all thinking that after I had a second child, I realized I just wasn’t cut out for motherhood and had to shut down all essential operations that weren’t directly related to feeding, bathing, napping, and wiping my little ones. Well, you would be 87 percent correct. (The one category you missed, which comprises the other 13 percent of my time: fielding unreasonable requests and answering exasperating questions. I have gone from being a normal person to being a 24-7 customer call service/live chat operator FOR CHILDREN who fetches milk — all the way to the top, mind you — and explains why mommy made a mistake, got lost and drove the wrong way, or packed my son’s hummus wrap in a blue container instead of a green ALL THE BLIPPING TIME).
But I digress. It’s really too bad that I’ve been so busy playing BOOP with my 7-month-old and unceremoniously changing the barnyard animal on Old MacDonald’s farm from frog to chicken, because I’ve had so many kickety-ass ideas for blog posts these last few months. I cannot remember what a single one of them was about, which sucks because they were award-winning and definitely equally as funny as or perhaps even funnier than that Honest Toddler, but at least, in the words of my preschooler, if you don’t get to read them, no one gets to read them.
Anyway. Raising two small children has for sure proved challenging, stressful, and not at all favorable to body or mind (yes, a third pair of perfectly skinny skinny jeans ripped yesterday in the one area that renders them completely useless to me now unless I want to flash everyone at Whole Foods, i.e. not the knee GODDAMMIT. Why can’t it ever be the knee?!). And yes, I sometimes wake up in a cold sweat not remembering exactly how many children I have, where they are sleeping, or who exactly is capable of climbing out of a crib or eating a lamp. But, in spite of all this, or I suppose, because of it, something quite unexpected has happened to me over the last few months. Something that now, seven moons into this two-kid gig, I recently identified with utter surprise at a stoplight on the way to preschool drop-off, before nearly smacking into the Tesla in front of me: two kids might actually be as much or MORE fun than one.
Yes, it’s more work. Yes, it’s more infuriating. Yes, it’s given me carpal tunnel syndrome and an impending sense of doom every time I am asked to “make play doh.” But it’s also freakishly — dare I say it? — enjoyable. It’s less lonely, too. More… dance troupe-y. My kids aren’t even really able to play together yet, and still, they do! I don’t mean that they’re putting on any shows or anything (YET, can we please one day be that family who does a musical number before dinner? anyone?), and I am seriously floored by this every time it (the playing, not the non-existent musical numbers) happens, but it is also the one thing that makes me think I have not made a very serious mistake by doubling my workload and introducing competition into a household that was otherwise quite happy to be run by one demanding and sweatpants-wearing toddler. I guess seeing them interact like the cute siblings I imagined back in the days when I had no clue what parenting would really be like is just plain heartwarming, in spite of the fact that Jennifer Senior has assured us parenting is not ever fun for one second of time, only theoretically joyous.
Fun, you say? Really? Okay. I know this sounds like the stuff of paranormal fiction, so I decided to make a list of all the ways in which my two kids, already, IN THEIR CURRENT STATE of being a baby and a 3-year-old, who have literally nothing in common except that they both poop, play together:
1) Toddler plays BOOP with the baby
2) Toddler pokes the baby
3) Toddler “taps” baby’s body parts, sometimes too hard, hurting him
4) Toddler throws tantrum. Baby, who already seems to sense, even in his infantile state, that this is cruel and unusual punishment (for us), laughs hysterically.
5) Toddler insists on climbing into baby’s jumparoo, nearly breaking it with some frequency
6) Toddler “brushes” baby’s hair
7) Toddler licks baby’s hair until it is so wet we just call that his bath
8) Toddler tries to “lick tongues” with baby (we stop that about 50 percent of the time)
9) Toddler “wrestles” with baby (note the frequent use of air quotes here. infer what you will)
10) Toddler “shushes” baby when he cries, or, better yet, stuffs paci violently into baby’s mouth, causing baby to ramp up crying to new decibels
11) Toddler pets the baby (this one is actually so sweet we all cry happy tears for an hour afterwards instead of turning on netflix)
12) Toddler asks to hold baby (again, tears)
13) Toddler generously hands baby a book to chew on, with accompanying words, “Here, (insert name of Baby)!” (more tears)
14) Toddler takes off baby’s socks right after I have painstakingly put them on for the seventh time
15) Toddler helps with baby’s bath by dumping water over baby’s head with a cup, even though the one thing toddler himself hates with the heat of a thousands suns is water being dumped over his own head with a cup during his bath (NOTE: This is not done with irony. Toddler believes himself helping).
16) Toddler kisses baby (earning himself new toys, chocolate, or whatever he wants from his sucker parents, obviously).
See?! Two kids is FUN. Maybe even more fun than one. I know. I don’t really believe it, either.