There are too many moving parts (literally) and too little sanity in this family now to give everyone his/her own post each month, so I’m mixing things up. As a parent of 2 now, I’ve adjusted my standards. The bar is set very… VERY… low now.
#1: Survive (Check! Success!)
#2: Maintain an atmosphere with as little crying as possible from all parties.
Since I’m actually achieving goal #2 at least 50% of the time now (mostly because I’ve upped my wine consumption), I’m setting a whole new goal.
#3: Write at least monthly about the goings-on in this 4-part-circus we call the Arvin Family.
This could completely eradicate goal #1, in which case, I’ll have to forget all about the new plan. Let me reiterate… the bar is very. VERY. Low. Let’s get this show on the road while everyone else is still asleep and not crying/needing food right now. The day is young and will be very long.
Little Anne was born 2 months ago (see announcement post I literally just created as I was writing this and realized I never made an announcement post). The goings were pretty rough for a while there. I mean, not the first 2 weeks. The first 2 weeks Will was on paternity leave. We were man-on-man and had a newborn, which really does nothing but sleep 95% of the time, and then only needs basic care like food and cleaning. Like a cat, really. The main objectives during that time were preventing Anne’s demise (i.e. protecting her from the ever passionate Pook) and figuring out how to do life with two. There are lots of minute things you don’t think about when the second kid is still baking, like – Oh yea, she’s going to cry a lot in the middle of the night when she’s hungry. How the ef are we going to prevent the first kid from waking up? Also, the second kid may not be anything like the first kid. Annie isn’t into the baby hammock like Pook was. She is however, into this new miracle of foam and fabric called a Snuggle Me, that cradles her like a baby bird in a very soft nest and makes her sleep long enough that her mom can almost complete a full REM cycle.
No, the first 2 weeks weren’t bad. Week 3 was when shit really hit the fan. Once Will was back at work is when we started experiencing moments of everyone crying. At the same time. And yes, I do mean everyone. When your toddler actually stops tantrum-ing for 5 minutes to comfort you in your pile of despair on the kitchen floor, you know you’ve really hit rock bottom. #momgoals
But those days are (mostly) finally past, which is why I’m taking a stab at documenting this shitshow now. Pook has been pleased with Baby Annie’s presence since day 1, and he shows it with lots of intense affection. He was not initially pleased with his parents, however, and showed it with lots of intense screaming and whining. Now that everyone has settled into a routine, this seems to be resolved (i.e. decreased to a normal amount of screaming and whining for a 2-year-old). At least 30 times a day, Pook snuggles and kisses Annie, which is heart-explodingly precious. And for some reason she’s totally into him, giving him big grins every time he approaches. Which is equally as heart-explodingly precious. Let’s hope he’s as tolerant of her when she’s barreling around messing up his toys and knocking down his block towers.
The daily routine has become a little more difficult. For instance, when Pook loses his effing mind because he has to take turns on the car swing at MyGym, it’s more difficult to carry his writhing body with another baby in tow. On the other hand, he has a stronger sense of responsibility now. He’s pumped up about fetching wipes and throwing Annie’s diapers away. I’ll take whatever help I can get.
I haven’t been a parent of two for very long, but I’ve already learned a couple big lessons (about my own life as a parent, not about being a parent in general… I’m in no position to pretend I have parenting advice to give).
First, not everyone is going to be happy all the time. Or even, like, 75% of the time. It just is what it is, and everyone adjusts accordingly. Everyone gets a little better at keeping themselves happy, really. And that’s something to celebrate.
Second, parenting isn’t really that hard. It’s caring so freaking much that makes it hard. Because all you really want to do is give them the best you can. If I didn’t care so much, I could totally keep these critters alive without much anxiety involved. Which also ties into the point that if you care, you’re probably a good parent. Repeating that to myself is reassuring.
Third, sometimes it’s just going to be a shitshow. That’s not really a revelation. I lowered my standards, and now I’m fine with it.
Not that all of this wasn’t true before, but when there’s suddenly two times the amount of chaos, these things become more apparent. Well, I could go on, but then my house might be destroyed and I’d have to feel guilty for neglecting my children for 30 minutes. So until next time…