[Note: This post was accidentally published prematurely. My toddler got hold of my wireless mouse, clicked maniacally, and published some scatterbrained garbage that stayed up for 29 hours before I even noticed. For more of an explanation of why this mishap occurred… Look no further.]
Let’s talk about having “2 Under 2.” It’s not a weird gambling wager. It’s not a super boring group sex position. It means having two children under the age of two. It means having two young babies who are not twins. It means that I can’t hang.
I’m home full-time with both kids. We get significant, but limited, help from my husband. As a result, I’ve been dragging my 10-day old baby to every playground in the city so that my 21-month-old can burn energy. The other day I had to breastfeed him in a pile of woodchips while my daughter rummaged through some stranger’s diaper bag and ate their snacks. I frantically yell-whispered for her to stop, snapped my fingers with my one free hand, and tried flinging a stick in her general direction to entice her towards me. It did not work because, despite my best efforts, she is not a dog. So, no, I cannot hang.
In turn, I’ve been sedating my toddler with hours of YouTube Kids so that I can comfortably nurse my newborn in the absence of mosquitos and ants. I’ve reached the end of the internet on my phone, but I can’t hang IRL.
The experience has significantly broadened my daughter’s language skills, which now include such zingers as “Mama muck” (mama milk, usually while pointing to my engorged boobs); “shhhh baby. shhhh” (you got that right, sister); and my personal favorite, “Mama Elmo” (in her world, Elmo = diaper = I. Can’t. Hang.)
And then there’s the summer cold I got just days after coming home from the hospital. I can’t smell or breathe, which is a blessing considering the volume of diapers my children produce. And then there’s the bout of Hand, Mouth, and Foot Disease that my daughter picked up from God knows where. So, no hanging for me, on account of the nasal congestion and the Hand Herpes.
So, that’s where I am. I look forward to hanging again in my life, but it’s just not now.
It’ll get better, of course. I’ll get the right gear (double stroller? Bjorn and stroller? Can I wear one kid as a hat and the other as a scarf?), my body will function as it once did, and my toddler will learn to respond obediently to sticks that have been launched at her head.
As my sister sagely advised: “Never ever, ever feel sorry for yourself because once you do, you will never recover.” Those are good words, my friends. I’m keeping my head high and embracing the chaos as a mark of strength, not a cause for martyrdom. Plus, the only person I truly feel sorry for these days is that poor mother whose snack bag was pillaged by my toddler. Pretty sure she has Hand Foot and Mouth now. Sorry!