And then there were two…

Hello smiley, happy people! Well, yet again my abstinence from writing has been entirely accidental; I obviously learnt nothing from baby Numero Uno, as I thought I’d have plenty of time in the evenings once the little cherubs were asleep to pen my thoughts on our new addition. The reality has been more like trying to herd sheep whilst going through a wood chipper. I stupidly believed the people who told me that going from one to two kids was easier than going from zero to one, so I wasn’t massively prepared for the war-zone like state we are so often finding ourselves in of late. So, 14 weeks into our little family of three becoming four, here I am, velcro baby strapped to me in the Ergobaby carrier (thank actual eff to the saintly being who invented this), rocking maniacally back and fourth and tapping the keyboard as quietly as possible, as I attempt to share the last 3 month’s exploits with you!

We have been blessed with another gorgeous girlie (husband is seriously outnumbered, as even the male Jack Russell is HUGELY effeminate), and from here on I will refer to her as ‘Bean’. Bean’s arrival came 2 days after her due date, and was fast and furious…in retrospect setting the tone for how things would eventually pan out. Maybe I’ll try and do a witty write up about her arrival in month or two, but I’m not quite there yet. Seriously; FAST and FURIOUS. That said, the first 6 weeks were idyllic. SHE SLEPT! That’s all I had hoped and prayed for- a healthy baby that slept, in stark contrast to her sister, whose inability to nod off plagued my every waking minute in that first year. Oh, what a smug arse I was: “She’ll literally sleep anywhere”, “She’s an absolute dream”, “So different this time round”, “Two is tricky, but it’s true what they say about the second one just slotting into the family”, yada, yada, yada. I could punch myself in the face, thinking back. Had I learned nothing from the first time round?! Never EVER be a smart-arse. Rule number one.

Fast forward to week 6- BAM! Literally overnight, screaming abdabs left, right and frigging centre. Car seat? Sod off. Pram? Do one. Swing? More like torture device. The only place she was happy was strapped firmly to me in the carrier. What fresh hell was this?! She wouldn’t be put down for more than a minute or two, and would suddenly scream out and writhe in pain every time she needed to expel something from either end. After a long road of treatment for reflux, two trips to the cranial osteopath (which I’d always thought was a complete money making exercise from their side of the fence, but I was desperate), baby massage, and 5 brands of dummies (she didn’t take to any of them), ‘we’ (translated as ‘I’) are now dairy and soya free to exclude intolerance to them. To anyone who doesn’t check food labels (like me before this whole debacle), it basically means you can’t eat ANYTHING pre-prepared. The food industry seem to have challenged themselves to adding soya or milk to EVERY item of food in existence (including some frozen fruit- say whaaaat?!). So, the silver lining is I’m finally shifting the baby weight. Thankfully, she is much more comfortable as a result, and the couple of times that I have accidentally eaten something containing hidden soya, she has paid the price the following day, so hopefully we’ve found the issue.

But she is still insistent on being in the carrier to nap- sometimes up to 2.5 hours. Now, for those of you who are abroad, or Brits living in a cave, the UK is currently experiencing it’s biggest heatwave since 1976. Bean already weighs about 17 lb at 14 weeks- if we’re being diplomatic about it, she is a ‘well covered’ baby. If we’re being frank, she’s absolutely gibungous. Add to that a minimum of 30 degree heat, and you start to get an idea of how comfortable it is to carry her around for half of the day.  Also as a result, I now have the most questionable tan lines possible- for those not well versed with the structure of baby carriers, I probably look like an off-duty Dominatrix, given the number of strap lines I have all over my back.

Then we come to Pickle (remember her?), who was two yesterday, and has been tantrum-ing like a freaking pro for months now. There have been days that have honestly almost finished me off. Tying to wrestle her like a bloody salmon at spawning time into the sodding buggy, as she roundhouse- kicks a screaming Bean in the carrier and members of the general public pretend to ignore the whole situation has been pretty tough. I have cried on number of occasions, and lost my shit on a few more. In addition, I now have two-fold mum-guilt; ‘am I neglecting Bean as she fusses in the swing so I can help Pickle with her drawing’? Or ‘is my toddler getting ignored as I try and calm her screaming sister’? Well, yes to both. But I guess that’s part of having a sibling. I’m an only child, so never had to contend with any threat to my parents attention. But it was pretty lonely, and the way I see it, when we lurch out of this fug into the next challenge of parenting two kids with a small age gap, at least they’ll have each other’s company as they wait for Husband and I to work out what the hell we’re supposed to be doing. And watching Bean’s face light up in a huge grin when she simply hears her sister’s voice is pretty incredible.

So whoever said going from one to two kids was easier than going from zero to one was a lying git, and owes me a huge stash of gin. And if anyone can furnish me with a tasty supply of dairy and soya- free chocolate cake so I can stress eat like a normal mum with a newborn, I’ll love you for all eternity.



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