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Two under two…

My two under two.

I’m no stranger to being a parent, having been one for 20 (almost 21) years. I’ve been a married parent, a single parent, a step parent, a surrogate parent… yeah, I know parenting.  Or, so I thought!

When I was nearing the end of my pregnancy my partner in crime, Scott, kept telling me, “You’re going to need help… Seriously, Sandy, you’re going to need help.” In my hormonal state, every  time he spouted that sentence at me, I wanted to slap him. I am an independent, fully capable, woman… help?! *SNORT*

I had a plan. A well laid plan. In my head, not on paper, because everyone knows everything looks easier on paper.  ANYway, about the plan: I would continue breastfeeding Dublin and perfect tandem nursing, thus achieving my goal of breastfeeding each of my kids until they turn two. I was going to get up every morning by eight. I was going to have a clean house.  My days would be filled with productivity… from playing structured games with my almost two year old, Dublin, all the while I would be baby wearing my newest addition, Juniper, in one of the many baby carrying devices I recently acquired.  We would go to the park, we would play on our patio, we would walk to get Starbucks… oh the fun we would have, the three musketeers!  And why shouldn’t I be able to achieve this, after all I’d been able to do it two times before!

Here is where the universe has a hearty laugh at my expense; as well as all the other moms who have more than one child under a certain age. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA…. And they laugh and laugh and laugh! This is where they say, “Sandy… it doesn’t really count when one child is 20 years old and the other is 20 months. That’s sorta like cheating.”

Two under two… it’s a new game, with new rules.

I know that there are wonder-moms out there; I’ve seen them in pictures. I’m pretty sure they exist. I, however, am not one of them….

On a good day I get up around 8. But on a bad day, it could be 4 a.m., 2 a.m., noon, 3pm, or any other random number that resides on a clock.  My new translation of a good day is when I get 4 hours of consecutive sleep, I don’t have many of those kind of good days.  A good day is when the family room floor is toy free for 2 hours (that usually happens during nap time). A good day is when the dishes are done and the laundry has made it out of the dryer and as far as a laundry basket. My bedroom floor currently has about 5 filled baskets. I think it’s time to buy more baskets.

Most days I feel like a cow… no, not in the traditional “I feel fat” sort of way, I’m too tired to care about THAT right now. No, I mean literally… I feel like a milk supply outlet. If I’m not feeding Juniper, I’m feeding Dublin. And sometimes, when I’m feeling adventurous and ambidextrous, I’ll feed both at the same time. Maybe I should say when I’m feeling adventurous and amBOOBextrous! Haha. ANYway,  I seem to constantly have a boob out. Don’t get me wrong… I’m a happy cow; I come from California after all! I’m a thrilled and happy cow, except when Dublin bites me. Then I’m not so happy. Or when he drags his teeth… oh my friggon lord, that HURTS!

**On  a side note: I’ve lost ALL of my Juniper weight!! Just don’t get me started about how much Dublin weight I still have to lose! Ugh! **

So, after all my firm and unequivocal “NO, I WILL NOT NEED HELP!!!” it is with a enormous relief that I hand off Dublin to Scotts mom when she arrives several mornings during the week to watch him while I run back to bed and try to catch a couple of hours more sleep, Juniper willing. Or, while I clean the bathroom… Or, while I try and catch up on any number of things I’m currently behind in!!

I have a new found respect for all women who have performed this juggling act before me, those who can do it with grace and style. I’m 5.5 weeks into this parenting two under two and have not found my groove yet, but when I do… I hope to join the ranks of those other fabulous mommy’s out there that actually make it beyond their front door with spawn in tow. (I have ventured out by myself for walks in the double stroller, but the thought of going to Target BY MYSELF accompanied by both kids has me breaking out in a cold sweat.) While I’ve not found my groove yet, I have to say this new chapter in life is a challenge that I am feeling so blessed to be venturing in to. Bring on the spit up, the poop, the crying, the tantrums… because at the end of the day, when I get a toddler hug or a newborn smile… my heart melts with joy.  Yup, I’m feeling very blessed to have the opportunity to do this two under two thing.

THE BIRDS!


Walking from my car into my office has become quite treacherous! For they’re everywhere…. the… BIRDS!

Parent birds that have taken up habitation in the bushes next to my works parking lot dive bomb anyone who would dare to tread near a nest. I actually had birdie feet touch-down a few weeks ago. The bird made contact with my head! I nearly screamed, because I didn’t see it coming. That little bugger was uber stealth like!

I sometimes think about those birds and their fierce instinct to protect their young. Their bravery to go up against creatures of all sizes and species. Their consistency makes me wonder if they even believe in lunch breaks! I’m beginning to doubt that they do.

Yet when it comes time to let the little birdies learn how to fly, they hover, all the while allowing the little birds to hop about autonomously. I wonder what sort of pep talk they give…“Fly higher than a cat leaps” might be a favorite chirped saying.

I see a lot of similarities between the birds and their human parent counterparts. As a parent I know I’ve gotten my feathers ruffled several times. There have been many-a-situation where I would have loved to dive bomb…. if only I could have been able to fly!

Watching our children grow and leave the nest has similarities to birds…. we watch, we hover… we hope they fly above the cats claws. But it’s not easy being a spectator, there’s still that dive bomb instinct. But we don’t….. we just hope and pray that we have given our children enough know-how to figure things out…. Or, to have good enough communication with them that they don’t hesitate to yell at us, “Need a little help here!!”

I look at my daughter and am amazed. Over night she’s turned into this mini-adult. True, in a few weeks she’ll be legally an adult, but she’s in those early stages of adulthood and barely through the doorway that separates her from her youth. This 18 year adult is going to be very different from who she’ll be when she is walking through the 21-year-old-adult doorway. And that is still just the start of the metamorphosis into the full fledged adult she’ll someday become.

I’m hovering….. in the background, letting her start to make her own decisions. And it’s more intense than any sporting event or horror movie. Yet this hovering is allowing me to observe this most intriguing young adult. It’s like this chess game and I’m impressed by her thought, surprised by her reasoning and proud…. very-very proud of her deductive skills.

I wonder if birds ever look at their young and think, “Wow! That was some good-crazy-arse flying! Way to dodge the claw, bird, way to doge the claw!!” Or, if they’re just happy that they’ll be able to get to go back to their favorite perch and scout out some worms.

Leaving the Nest…. without going splat!

“Oh gawd, she’s not ready!”

Last Christmas my sister gave me a beautiful incense holder. It was a tall wood tower that you lifted off of a platform. In the platform was a small hole where you’d place the incense. Once lighted, and the tower in place on the platform, the incense smoke would stream out of the holes located on the roof of the tower. Lovely. Well, it WAS lovely, until I went away for a weekend leaving my 17 year old daughter in command!

I noticed it right away. As I walked in the door and placed my bags down on the living room floor, my peripheral vision and the eyes in the back of my head were all a flutter checking the place out and narrowing in on the table which holds the incense burner. I walked over and KNEW something about it was askew, but since it was newly acquired I couldn’t quite figure out what was missing….. Then I saw it! I turn to Sonora and ask, “What the heck happened to the top of my incense burner?!?!?” To which she calmly replied, “It sorta burned off….”

This is the first time I found myself uttering inside my brain, “Oh gawd, she is not ready….” A thought I’ve been repeating, like a mantra, several times since what is now referred to as the ‘incense incident’.

My heart races… the panic has set in…. it’s the last inning and while it appears that team Competent Parent is ahead, the inning is not over with yet…

The realization that my BABY girl is months away from being legally old enough to vote, buy tobacco, get married, get divorced, rent a house, work full-time, finance a car, get a tattoo, or bungee jump out of the nest WITHOUT parental consent…. is enough to make me hyperventilate, let alone question if I’ve really done a good job in the life-prep-work called parenting. I find myself throwing at her “last minute” tid-bits of “life lessons” that has her no doubt convinced that I’m preparing to change all the locks the moment the clock strikes midnight on her 18th birthday….

The race is on to impart all of that knowledge that must have slipped through the cracks. I mean, if I never properly taught her to light an incense (SONORA…. you BLOW OUT the fire on the end of the stick!!!) what else have I neglected to share?!

Perhaps I should prepare a Final…. A test she must pass in order to earn her 18-year-old-I-am-an-adult-and-don’t-need-no-mamm’s-signature status? I think this is a good idea!

I will quiz her on candle lighting, dishwasher loading, turning off the oven remembering, do not spill bleach on the carpet technique-ing, and how-to-keep-your-animals-alive multiple choice questions….

Oh gawd, she’s not ready!!