That moment of “Ok… we’re bringing a life into this world.”
That moment of “Oh holy fudge, this is real!”
That moment of sheer, unbridled terror, of horror, and of thoughts whirling: “I’ve got to push a melon out of my Lady Garden, AND THEN LOOK AFTER THE MELON! Who is not actually a melon – it’s a baby. A real human baby.”
Whilst house hunting over the weekend I was run down a second time by the BRB… and I must admit, I burst into tears (which is proving the fairly standard reaction to most things in this pregnancy): “We’re going to have two children!” my mind screamed, “Two children under three!!! You foolssss!!! Why couldn’t your maternal and paternal urges just hold off until the first one started school?”
I started to panic.
How on earth is this ever going to work?
Will we ever get out of our pyjamas?
Will we ever leave the house?
Will I ever wash my hair again?
Is there enough caffeine and gin in the world to keep us afloat?!
Casting my mind back to when Busby was a newborn; the hours spent feeding her on the sofa, watching box set after box set… The times when I would catch up on sleep while she snoozed in her Moses basket. How, logistically, does this work with a Toddler as well?
How do I get two children dressed in the morning, horrifically sleep-deprived and wandering aimlessly around in the newborn haze? Especially when the Toddler takes at least 30 minutes to get dressed, unless she is bribed with some form of locomotive-based promise…
How do I deal with a newborn poonami nappy (oh jeez, I’ve just remembered those), with a Toddler hovering over us trying to help? I can picture the scene already… and it involves all three of us ending up in the bath.
How do I deal with cluster feeds and newborn growth spurt days with a Toddler who refuses to sit still for more than 5-10 minutes at a time? What if breastfeeding doesn’t work out again, and I can’t just pop Baby on the boob, in a sling, while I deal with the needs of my firstborn?
Is two and a half too early to teach the Toddler to make a cup of tea?*
And this only gets us to 10am!
Breathe, just breathe.
This is why the BRB hit me head-on whilst out hunting for our future house; there’s so much we need from a property, the area, and the community, to make it work:
A big enough living space for all the Baby and Toddler paraphernalia.
A garden with space for a Toddler-exhaustion-kit (i.e. slide, tunnel, perhaps a trampoline)
Local amenities; a decent park, Waitrose, Costa…
Good, reliable public transport links – if such a thing exists – as I won’t be learning to drive until after Peppercorn has arrived and I’m clearly out of the newborn thicket, and entering the copse of six to twelve months. (i.e. until I can throw away the matchsticks propping up my eyelids.)
A troop of local Mamas in the same boat who understand the primal need for tea, cake and a moan.
The sensible part of my personality, who occasionally pops out to say “hullo”, tells me not to worry. It reminds me that thousands of parents are in the same boat, and that they cope.
Who cares if you have a pyjama day (or week)?
Or if you all end up covered in poo?
Or if you take your eye off the Toddler for 10 minutes whilst staring at your newborn feed, and realise she has drawn a rainbow on the wall… in crayon?
You survived the day.
Both children are feed, watered and happy.
Plus you’re actually rather impressed by the rainbow, as the Toddler managed to get all the colours right, and it’s a story to tell, if nothing else.
As Dory says: “Just keep swimming!” I think this may end up being my motto for life with two!
*This is obviously a joke – she’s too short to reach the kettle, even with her stool.