When I was pregnant with Elijah, people would comment on how getting into a routine is much easier when you have your second baby. They lied.
The past two weeks have been a complete blur. In-between trying to figure out some sort of nappy changing system so that neither child smell like they have just come from a toxic waste plant, working out how to time bottles around mealtimes to miminalise the risk of meltdowns from hungry children and still attempting to sleep, I’d have to say getting into a routine is not easier the second time around.
Our second night at home as a family of four was a small insight into some of the interesting situations we are yet to experience. It all started at around 1am, when Elijah woke up for a feed. His sudden outburst of crying woke Oliver up, who in turn began to cry too. So while I fed Elijah, Mr. C gave Oliver a bottle, which he then spilt all down himself. With Elijah fed and back to sleep, I put him back into his Moses basket and set about changing Oliver’s soggy pyjamas, which made him cry and of course this woke Elijah up… again, who – yes you guessed it – began to cry (oh and then he pooped).
After a bit of a battle of wills, I got Oliver into clean pyjamas and took Elijah from a very tired looking Mr. C and set about changing his nappy, which had leaked. Of course changing a nappy is no simple task and as soon as I opened it, Elijah decided to have a projectile poop. So as I tried (and failed) to stop bright yellow poop covering me and my bed sheets, Elijah began to cry, which made Oliver cry again. Give me strength.
With both babies finally fed and changed into clean pyjamas, we then faced the endurance battle of getting a toddler and a newborn baby to go to sleep at the same time. This entire scenario played out over FOUR hours. Four hours of Oliver and Elijah taking it in turns to cry about different things and then refusing to go to sleep, despite the fact they were both extremely tired. It was definitely a laugh or cry moment, so Mr. C and I decided to laugh. This was definitely a story we would be retelling over the years.
During the daytime, we are faced with an even more difficult set of situations, involving an overly helpful big brother who is determined to ‘help’ feed Elijah by trying to give him his bottle (which then has a side order of toddler snot coated on it), who is also very persistent in sharing his toys and making sure Elijah knows how a rattle works. Poor Elijah isn’t quite sure why a purple, stuffed parrot that jingles keeps being shaken inches from his face.
Then we have the rather stressful ordeal of trying to actually leave the house. While Oliver is trying his hardest to put his shoes on himself, I’m rushing about trying to make sure we have everything in the changing bag and Mr. C is desperately looking for the car keys which Oliver has hidden somewhere in one of the many places in our home that only Oliver knows about. Once we’ve triple checked the changing bag (which later I realise is missing bibs, wipes or both), put Oliver shoes on, found the car keys, actually got everyone in the car and reached our destination, we then have to get them both back out of the car. Once out of the car, we have to ensure we do not stray from our rigid itinerary, as that would cause all sorts of mayhem and inevitably result in at least one child or adult having a meltdown.
Not all is lost however, as we reach the end of our second week parenting two under two, things are starting to come together. The nappy rota is starting to work relatively well, we’ve got the food schedule running like an organised chaos and it only takes a second to look at their gorgeous little faces to know that every parenting hurdle is worth it. The only problem I’m left to face is, Mr. C starts back at work next week and I’m left all alone to do all of this parenting two children under two by myself. Let the games begin!