We still laugh about the day my husband arrived to pick me up from the hospital after I had my youngest. Our two toddlers were 20 months old and while we waited for discharge paperwork they entertained themselves by pushing my wheelchair into every object in my hospital room. As they steered it recklessly through the small room, my husband and I looked at each other and laughed at the chaos we were about to introduce to our newborn baby. We were heading into a wildly crazy phase of parenthood, there was nothing else we could do but laugh and hold on tight.
Fast forward a few years and a million more messes created, having kids close in age has brought with it many surprises. Here are just a few to sum up our years from infancy to (eek!) the beginning of the preteen years:
1. Two kids can make infinitely more than double the mess.
2. There are only so many vehicles that can fit three car seats in a row.
3. The time it takes to get one child diapered and dressed is greater than the amount of time it takes for the waiting child to get un-diapered and undressed.
4. Not every store is double-stroller friendly.
5. You may cry the first time you head to the grocery store and they don’t have that mammoth cart that safely secures two toddlers and an infant car seat.
6. Several dollars per serving of milk at a fast food drive thru is worth the money of not having to get all of these children out of car seats and into any store for a gallon of milk.
7. Sometimes “getting out of the house” means strapping them all in their car seats, driving 20 minutes to the only good coffee place with a drive thru and never actually getting out of the car.
8. The best play dates are with other moms whose lives are as much of a chaotic mess as yours.
9. Just thinking about getting everyone dressed and ready to go somewhere is enough to make you want to stay home most days.
10. By the time naptime is over for someone naptime is just beginning for someone else.
11. There is no such thing as a calm bedtime routine when a half-naked toddler is counting to one over and over again and patting your head while you feed the baby.
12. At some point your newborn will be fed toddler food by the toddler.
13. At some point your toddler will attempt to lift/carry/move his or her new sibling even though they weigh about the same.
14. The audience of people watching you go to the bathroom has gotten disturbingly large.
15. Showering without the baby seat in the bathroom and someone unloading your make up bag is a completely luxury.
16. Before you know it your younger one will assimilate him/herself right into the age group of the older.
17. Your younger child will skip many of the stages you fretted over with the olders. Baby food, pacifiers and sleep cycles will work themselves out because you’re not as stressed or maybe you don’t have a chance to fret about it this time around.
18. As they grow, this crew of small beings will travel as their own little group. Playground kids will flock to their little pre-created gang.
19. They will always navigate toward each other, whether loving on each other or fighting like crazy.
20. You will find yourself saying things like “Why are you still sharing the same couch cushion if you’re arguing this much?!!”
21. They will find friends who love them all as a group and the ones who don’t won’t last long.
22. Everyone needs everything at the same time– bikes, braces, college tuition– it’s a blur of activity and dollar signs.
23. You won’t have to eavesdrop to get the inside scoop, one of them is bound to tell you what’s going on with the other since their circles always intersect. (This may only apply up to the preteen years, I’m afraid to know what’s ahead.)
24. Watching them interact as they grow you will see them as the new awesome people they are becoming but in the same breath as those little munchkins, dumping the pajama drawer and giggling at each other mid-conspiracy.
25. They may spend years arguing over who breathed on who but they will always love each other like the closest of family members and the fiercest of friends.