“Mommy peas upy,” says my 20-month-old, Vivienne, stretching what is left of her Michelin-arms up high—she has four rolls remaining which for her age is quite impressive (thank goodness! I pray for those rolls each night like the Judy Blume character Magaret Simon prays to increase her bust size!).
The problem: my 2-month-old is peacefully sleeping on my chest, fastened tightly into her Bjorn. I try to avoid picking Vivienne up, taking her hand and walking with her, but she quickly retorts. “Peas! Upy upy” and I find myself lifting her up—both girls on me—sweat dripping from my forehead.
I check to make sure the littlest one is okay. I feel for her little limber hand. Not squished. Phew. Her little sweet legs: not squished either. I am good.
I feel myself sinking under their weight. Perhaps one day, I will be hunchback. Quasimodo you will meet your match—but it will be worth it. I hope. I have found myself in this situation more than not since my littlest was born.
If this is you, welcome to the club.
Here are five ways you know you have two babies under two:
1. A carrier is a must
My girls are 18 months apart and yes I actually am one of those crazy ladies that tried for the second one. In fact, it took me six months to get pregnant—meaning I got the baby bug even earlier. Crazy? Perhaps. But I love babies and missed the sweet infant smell, skin-to-skin.
Babies: I want them.
My 20-month-old is in a lot of toddler classes and in order for us to resume our schedule post-baby sister, I bring my littlest to her classes attached to my chest. Heading out into the big, germ-filled world would have been a no no for baby number one—especially without proper vaccinations.
Now, this is what I call survival.
I have been in the Bjorn chasing my daughter through jungle gyms. I am following her up to the top and watching every maneuver to make sure the baby on my chest is okay. I slither through, slowly down slides shoes bracing my landing, and crawl through tunnels. I have actually become a ninja master of this craft.
If this is you, this is a common skill for having two kids under two.
2. Your older child has mastered the death stare
Jealousy doesn’t look good on anyone, even an adorable 18-month-old. I find that my daughter, who is so sweet-natured and loves sharing with other kids, has not been as welcoming to her baby sister as I’d expect. She gives the baby death stares so fierce that you would never believe them.
Every time I change the baby, feed the baby, burp the baby, (see a trend…) my big girl wants to be picked up too. Now, if I were an octopus this could work. Sadly, I am not.
On particularly demanding days when I focus more attention on my newborn, my 20-month-old wakes up crying in the middle of the night, probably because she had a nightmare that this unwelcome baby keeps following her everywhere. Then she wakes up and Not. That. Baby. Again. Death stare.
If this is your eldest, this is unfortunately common for two kids under two.
I hear it gets better. Let us hope. 🙏
3. At any given time, someone is usually up, needs a diaper change or SOMETHING, or is crying
One wants this, the other needs something else. Both need you. Both can’t be trusted alone. Crying. Chaos. Ah.
That about sums it up for two kids under two.
4. Self-care takes a backseat—FOR NOW
The only two things I’m sure I do every day is take a shower and brush my teeth—the musts! Makeup? Eyebrow waxing? Shaving? Who has the time?
Not I. I am rocking the permanent-puffiness-under-the-eye look. It’s so in right now.
Welcome to two under two.
5. So much love, laughter and cuteness. Double the babies, double the love.
I still love it. I love motherhood. My girls are hands down the best things that ever happened to me. Whether it is my infant making T-Rex noises or my eldest running in circles screaming “circle, circle, circle,” I really enjoy these little people I get to help mold.
When my eldest gives me a kiss or my littlest lays peacefully on my chest making me feel their love, it just makes all in the world seem right. I am where I want to be: motherhood.
If this is you, this is why two kids under two is completely worth it.
So give me spit-up, poop blowouts, heavy lifting, and no me time—twice the baby love makes two kids under two a pretty special club to be a part of.
Dani Sherman-Lazar is Vice President of a transportation company, and a mother to a twenty-month-old and a two-month-old. She has been published on Bluntmoms, The Mighty, Project Heal, Beating Eating Disorders, Sammiches and Psych Meds, Recovery Warriors, and . Follow her on her blog Living a Full Life After ED
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