--YOU KNOW YOU KNEAD IT--

1+1=5

I suppose it’s not the kind of thing that is ‘nice’ to muse upon. You can’t change it. Wouldn’t want to. But over the last month or so I have been wondering what the hell I was thinking having a second baby. That’s awful, isn’t it?

For me the difficulties are not double. They are measured more exponentially, like the power of wind. A day or so ago, while Small DB was asleep and M, Small Z and I were hanging out, I thought evilly, “This is what it would be like now. Small Z nearly four. It could all have been SO MUCH EASIER.”

Naturally I don’t like myself for these evil thoughts. I love Small DB to the moon and back. And imagining all would be blissful without her here – well, it might be correct – but as we only moved to this house due to her impending arrival, who knows where we would be without her. Possibly back in Warneet…

All I am saying is this: I have been looking at other people who have stuck to having the one kid. The kids in question are about Small Z’s age. They inhabit a different planet. They hang out. There are no days planned around the naps. There are no nappies, no breastfeeding, no maternal guilt about the youngest inevitably getting more attention than the oldest.

To which you are thinking; “Hey! Idiot!! You had another baby. You are still in babyland. Chill with it! Because it passes in the blink of one very tired eye!!”

To which I respond thusly; “I know all that. And I wouldn’t change anything. But anyone who tells you that ‘two are no more trouble than one’ is a big fat LIAR.”
——

M has been on kid duty for the past two days. Today I was back in the saddle. We do things differently. He focuses on the Smalls to the exclusion of most other things – the house, the washing, the dishes – and takes them to the park, to innumerable cafes, and plays with them. They are chilled out happy little creatures – and so is he. It works for him.

I, on the other hand, feel that, goddamnit, I need ORDER. I can’t stand all the crap all over the floor, the dishes filling up the sink, the piles of endless, endless washing, the full recycling box, the brimming rubbish bin. I cannot relax and engage until I’ve attacked most of it. (I am the first one to admit that this is possibly a bit weird…but anyway…)

Which is why Small Z listened to two 15 minutes audiobooks this morning while I dashed about with Small DB strapped on my back, trying to conjure some order. Small Z is sick and snotladen. Small DB is like a wobbly grenade – she has a tooth the size of the Titanic trying to appear. This, coupled with her regular feistiness is just Very Hard.

Any time I tell her ‘no’ (as in, no, you can’t climb up there and no, I can’t hold your hand for the entire day) she spits on the ground. On purpose. I don’t know how she figured this out. She’s so little that it’s almost amusing. But such was our day, she spent a fair chunk of it spitting madly whenever things didn’t go her way. I’m surprised none of us slipped on the wet spots…

Suffice to say, we went out – to Centrelink and the library. On the way home were were not chilled out or happy. I was tired. Small DB was screaming because I wouldn’t let her dive out of a moving pram and could not carry her all the way home, and poor little Small Z was trying to hold it all together while coughing and hacking.

At some point during all of this I remembered something I had thought when I was about eight-years-old. I concluded that Dads were fun, and Mums were not fun.

Dads would play with you at the beach, while the Mums just wanted to lie on their towels, possibly reading a book. This seemed to be the case with most families I saw. Now, of course, I realise that the mothers had so much on their plate that they wanted to be horizontal at any opportunity.

I suppose I feel that my fatigue is just sucking away my ability to be fun. I’m waiting for this to change. Time for bed!

Oh. Here are some clothes peg flower fairies I made with Small Z today. Better pictures coming tomorrow:
Clothes peg fairies

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4 Comments

  1. It took me until I was 40 to truly appreciate the fact that if I’ve thought of it so has someone else.

    I had those thoughts as well except in my case there was a five-year gap between the girls and the boys so my scenario was imagining what if we hadn’t had the boys look at where we’d be right now.

    Now of course they are all grown up and I’m thankful for them all and of course get togethers are so much more exciting having the four and their families. Hard to appreciate it now when you’re exhausted but I think it’s better having more than the one and the girls will really appreciate one another if not now then later in life.

    Taking care of the house, there will always be a double standard. Guys tolerate more mess. I tried it when I went back to school, left the house for months. They never lifted a hand and it didn’t bother them. All I had at the end was a big mess to clean.

    I wouldn’t sell yourself short. I look at what you post and believe me when I say you do a lot more with your kids then I ever did. Fatigue will get anyone down but you’re a great mom, believe it.

  2. M

    The kids are quite amazing. Funny to the point of absurdity, strangely kind and warm, smart and feisty. This is mostly because you have had the love and patience to be there for them every step of thier small way. They are living the ‘Life of Riley’, dont worry about them overly.

    My hope is that you begin to worry about yourself. I will (stupidly) suggest… Take more time off, really, do it. Swim. Socialize. Laugh. Don’t make mountains to climb. Take stuff OFF your plate.

    Please.

    I think that i am doing a good job around the house and an awesome job as a Dad.

    Clearly, you don’t agree.

    I could care more. You could care less.

  3. I agree with M, take more ME time. Sounds like he’s got a handle on things so you’re probably over-stressing because of being tired.
    From what I’ve read about all the things you do for your kids and when I compare it to what I did really they have it ‘made in the shade’ so to speak. My kids turned out fantastic so will yours, don’t worry.{{{hugs all around}}}

  4. @karen – you are my wise owl from over the seas. I was horrified at M’s comment and penned a multitude of responses, but decided to cool down and settle. That’s what you’re both telling me. Right!!? 😉

    @ M – at first reading yesterday when my exhaustion was brimming over I was going to do something hurtful to you with a bottle of beer: however I think I will now just buy you one. xxx

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