I'm a mother of two now. And a neglectful blogger, though I can't imagine a better reason than this happy girl!
But, as a matter of fact, this blog is not the only thing suffering my neglect these days. The dog. The dishes. The laundry. The pile of books to read. The husband. And, at any given moment one or the other or both of my kids. (It is so weird to put an 's' at the end of that word!) I've come to the realization that mothering more than one child means that no matter what you are doing, you are pissing off one or the other of your children. And, you can just forget about yourself completely! You know the saying, "You can't please all the people all the time"? Well, it should be revised to, "You can't please all the people...EVER"!!!
It's like a continual game of tug-of-war. Take today:
C heard about a bike ride test-driving some new mountain bikes and he leapt at the chance. So, he's happy. J on the other hand, has recently learned that the word 'weekend' means Daddy is home, which typically equates to a trip to Starbucks for a a chocolate milk and a donut, and spends the morning randomly crying out, "Why Daddy is on the bike path? I want him." He is not happy.
I am not happy because I awoke to a kitchen full of dirty dishes. With a three year-old asking for Captain Crunch (which we don't even have) and a two month-old cradled in my arms, there's no chance that I can clean it up a bit before getting breakfast going. So I unhappily move the dirty dishes around, clear a 6-inch by 6-inch space off the kitchen table and set down a bowl of yogurt for J. Immediately, he drops a glob of yogurt on his shirt. He is not happy. The shirt must come off. Any slight stain or even a drop of water necessitates a wardrobe change for this kid.
Now N is not happy because the first of her many nursing sessions of the day has been interrupted by big brother.
Fast forward an hour and a half. N is still nursing and J has exhausted his capability for independent play. "Where are we going? Want to go somewhere?" C won't be home for another hour and he took the good car.
J's second favorite thing after going places is snacking. So, he launches into whining that he wants "a snack". No hint as to what he wants. He expects me to go into a detailed and complete list of everything we have, which he will briefly consider before saying, "No. Something else."
When none of our slim pickings will do, he remembers that if he pees on the potty he can have three chocolate chips. N protests as I plop her into her swing and herd J into the bathroom.
After that's taken care of, C comes home and offers to make lunch. J's exuberant mood at going potty turns on a dime and he shouts that he doesn't want lunch, he wants "a snack". C and I give him exaggerated and forceful "Shhh's" because N is finally napping.
Napping is another battleground. I savor the hour and a half that J naps. He's much happier after a nap, but is in denial of that fact. So, he begs and fights and stalls and we end up cajoling and making bargains. Today, no amount of cajoling on C's part could get J to sleep. I tried to nap while they bickered about glasses of milk, trips to the potty, and what time J could get up. In the end, C drifted off and J ended up playing in the basement while I changed an explosive poo diaper. Pretty clear here who's happy and who's not, right?
Rather than taking you through the continuing give and take of our afternoon, suffice it to say that it involved car naps, J sporadically singing, "I'm wearing a Pull-Up!", and canceling our dinner plans with friends.
Lest you think I am a horrible, grumpy, ungrateful mother, I assure you that there are moments of pure joy throughout our days. My favorite right now are the times that N is content on my lap looking up at me when she catches sight of J and breaks into a wide, crinkly-nose smile. J's face lights up as he grins right back and says something sweet and cute like, "Mama, look! Her happy face! I think she really likes me!"
It doesn't get much better than that.