Tuesday, September 22, 2015

One Kid, Two Kids, Red Kid, Blue

Just us gals, cruising Hollywood and looking for trouble.
This morning, after we dropped the Muffin Man off at preschool, the Little Lady and I hit the town went to storytime at our local library.  It was a surreal experince having only one child in tow, because other than a random Doctor's appointment here or there, I haven't been out with only one kid for over a year.  I realized, as I was driving along, that even though it's only been 15 months since the Little Lady's birth, I had completely forgotten what it was like to only have one child.

People, I had no idea how easy I had it.

This is not to say that having only one child is easy; nothing about motherhood is easy or simple or painless; I drank just as much wine when I had one kid as I do now that I have two.  It's simply that the logistics of going out with one kid are so much less involved.

1.  The single stroller.  Navigating a double stroller, especially when one lives in a city, is a particular version of Hell.  Oftentimes, the double stroller doesn't fit through doorways, so you end up contorting your body into shapes worthy of a Cirque de Soleil show just to buy your kid a new pair of shorts.  Let's not forget how much heavier a stroller with two seats happens to be (two times - go figure) and you have to lift it in and out of the car at warp speed, because there is always, always some douchenozzle waiting for your parking spot.  The single stroller, on the other hand, fits easily through doorways and is almost light enough to lift with one hand.  Oh, and let's not forget the singular joy of the sibling foot fight that is sure to ensue when your kids are sitting side by side in close proximity.

2. One carseat.  Do you know how long it takes to buckle a kid into a carseat?  For-fucking-ever.  It takes approximately six minutes just to bribe and/or force your child to climb into the thing in the first place, and then you have to hold down a small, yet surprsingly strong, wiggling human, while you figure out the puzzle of straps, ensuring that the right buckle goes into the right spot and that the stupid belt hasn't gotten twisted around, thereby guaranteeing your child's certain death in the event that you accidentally back into a pole in the mall parking garage.  This, times two, is why I don't go anyplace that's not within walking distance.

3. The stuff.  Kids require so much freaking crap just to leave the house.  Even with my scaled-down diaper bag skillz, I still find myself carrying a bag that weighs more than I did in second grade.  Just to go on a quick errand you need: diapers (or underwear), wipes, butt cream, hand sanitizer, a changing pad, extra clothes (for both kids), snacks, drinks, toys, crayons, and security objects.  In the winter you need jackets, in the summer you need hats, and at all times of the year you need a travel bottle of tylenol for the headache Mommy always gets when she attempts to leave the house with both children in tow.

4.  Nap schedules.  Trying to work around the nap schedules of two kids is a total pain in the ass.  Honestly, don't even bother planning to leave the house, because one child is always going to be asleep when the other one is ready to go.  If you succeed in getting your kids on the same nap schedule from an early age, you are a parenting hero, otherwise sign up for Instacart and start surfing Pinterest for some great at-home activities to pass the time, because you are pretty much on house arrest until your older kid goes to school.

5. Focused attention.  One of the aspects I'm enjoying most about Noah being in preschool is that I'm having the chance to spend one-on-one time with Rose.  Because the kids are so close in age, when Rose was born I really had to give most of my attention to Noah, mainly because he was liable to fall down the stairs if I didn't keep a close eye on his antics.  As a result, my poor second child sort of got shuffled off to the sidelines or simply thrown into the fray of activities meant for older kids.  Now that I don't have to worry about keeping my older kiddo occupied, I'm able to take Rose to classes or events that are more appropriate for her, and that she responds to with excitement.  I may even start taking the Little Lady out for weekly lunch dates, since dining out with one kid feels like a vacation compared to the shit show that is attempting to feed two children and myself at the same time.

The truth of the matter is this: no matter how few or how many kids you have, you're basically just overwhelmed trying to make it through the day.  I remember way back before I had kids when I would look at people with children and think, "it really can't be that hard".  Hahahaha - if only I'd known!

Maybe I should crowdfund some sort program where you could rent one extra child for a week; I'll even be happy to loan out one, or both, of my offspring to start.  I promise, after spending a few hours with an extra kid, you'll be happy to return to the lesser number you're currently raising...especially if you only have a dog.

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