I will admit I have been pleasantly surprised at how the adjustment has been for us as parents to go from one toddler to juggling a toddler and an infant. This isn’t to say I’d qualify it as easy, I wouldn’t, but I thought it would be so much harder so the bar was set lower. As parents the second time around it’s been almost seamless to fall back into the newborn routine. We aren’t scared about every little thing this time, so we are venturing out of the house whereas with Bud we hardly left until he was vaccinated at two months. Staying cooped up inside with an active two year old is not an option nor good for anyone’s sanity.
Bud has adjusted much quicker than I thought he would and increasingly is showing the sweet, gentle side of his personality more. He brings her toys and books when she cries and shows an increasing interest in her. There has been some regression in behavior (i.e. biting, hitting, more tantrums) but it was mainly in the first few weeks. Honestly, it wasn’t that bad, but our lack of sleep caused us to reach the end of our ropes easier. Bud is super attached to the spouse. Her status as the preferred parent was cemented during my pregnancy when I was too sick/exhausted to do all of the physical work and play that he requires. When she holds Bloom he’ll say “no no no, that’s Mama’s baby. You don’t need to hold the baby!” We’ve been alternating being in charge of the bedtime routine, which seems to have helped some. Lately he’s been calling me by her name- I guess I’m more tolerable when he can pretend I’m her.
Little Bloom predominantly wants me to hold her all of the time. She hates being put down, but sometimes that must happen and when it does it is met with real tears and screams. At 7 weeks she is starting to show more tolerance for the swing. She preferred the rock’n’play which met an untimely death earlier this week when the spouse in a show of strength tried to open it without pressing the release button. We are going to take a shot at a bouncer with some remaining gift card money. We realized how small our house is the first time around with all the baby gear– throw in toddler toys to the mix and you are pretty much stepping on and bumping into something at every turn.
Bud is still going to school full-time despite me being on maternity leave. One, I couldn’t handle the two of them all day; two, he’d be bored out of his mind; three, he loves school; and four, I’m not losing his spot. No guilt. He’s been going in late every morning because no matter what time we wake up we just cannot get our shit together before 9 am. The spouse is beginning to worry how she is going to manage by herself when I go back to work at the end of June.
We are so fortunate that Bloom was a Spring baby, not that we planned it. We are still shocked that it worked right out of the gate on our practice try. We have taken full advantage of the nice weather (and even braved the rainy weather of late) to get both kids out of the house. In the evenings after school Bud loves to rule the court with the neighborhood kids (more like tweens). He’s such an extrovert and made friends by marching right up and joining in on whatever they were doing (basketball, riding bikes or scooters, catching wildlife). Now they come knock on the door and ask if he can come play with them. I think he thinks he’s 10 now. It’s all too sweet.
On the weekends we try to get out of the house before Bud turns into a pumpkin, which happens by 10:30 am. It is not too easy to get two adults, an infant, and a rambunctious almost three year old out of the house. Guess who takes the longest? In seven weeks we’ve gone to the carnival, a horse farm, arts festival, a Spring Fest at the local elementary school, two local farms, the playground, walked around the town’s lakefront, attended several family events, and two or three children’s birthday parties. We’ve even successfully had dinner at a sit down restaurant, which any parent of a toddler will recognized as a huge accomplishment. (We had sworn off restaurants after the Red Robin Fiasco of December 2016). This is already more mileage than we put on in the first five months with Bud. Gotta keep it interesting!
Wednesday we attempt the biggest feat of all, two nights at the beach. Stay tuned!