I realized one day that instead of being completely afraid of leaving the house with both kids by myself, that I had intentionally done it to add some structure and an activity to our day. I just need to occasionally remind myself that I don’t need to be afraid of a toddler meltdown in public – Will is a fun kid to hang out with and do things with, as long as he’s not hungry, tired, or sick. And if those three things are checked off and the baby has been fed, off we can go! We don’t have that many things firmly scheduled into our weeks, though, and there are plenty of days we entertain ourselves at home. We are so blessed to have both of our children and I’m glad that I’ve had this time to spend with them at home.
Two presents me with a fun new logistical problem – which kid to get out of and put in the car first. And to remember to communicate with Will what I’m doing in the parking lot. At the grocery store we park next to the cart corral so I can load him up in the cart and he can sit there while I’m putting the baby in her carrier and vice versa when it’s time to leave. Thankfully he’s gotten good about holding hands walking across the parking lot. Our double stroller doesn’t have an infant seat, so either he’s walking, riding in a cart, or riding in the wagon to the neighborhood park.
The stairs are the biggest challenge at home, because Will isn’t old enough to be left on one level while I take care of something in another part of the house. Sometimes his naptime (or baby naptime) is when I find myself dashing up and down the stairs to get everything put away that I need to. As soon as I get Becca to sleep after lunch I suggest to Will that “it’s time to go upstairs” (code for naptime) and he gladly goes. More often than not, though, I come back down to find her eyes open and we spend some time snuggling before I can do what I have planned, so I’ll spend some time resting on the couch and by the time I’m ready to get up she’s awake again. It’s ok, though, because I usually get enough sleep at night that I’m not depending on that time for a nap myself, and since about the third week I’ve been able to get a shower in the morning before Will gets up.
Will runs to Becca’s bed saying, “Baby!” every time he wakes up or goes by, and will push her swing saying “whee!”. He does wake her up sometimes, but it’s all part of daily life and she gets enough sleep overall. Eventually we’ll move her toward naps in another room, but for now she stays with us. He’s not jealous towards her, but when my lap is free he does need quality attention from me, and will sometimes crawl up in my lap or next to me on the couch while I’m nursing.
Trigger has responded to the addition to the family by acting out because he’s not getting enough attention, poor guy. He used to be good about boundaries around food – not counter surfing or eating off of Will’s table before he was permitted, but I guess he feels like he has to fend for himself now. He does like the cooler weather now, but likes us to be out in the yard with him. He’s good with the baby, though, as long as we can keep him from licking her face.