I live my life in twos.
I take care of two people every day.
I talk about my daughter's number twos daily.
I make two dinners every night.
I make two breakfasts (and lunches too).
I pump two breasts every night.
I put away the toys twice a day (after nap- in order to give her new toys to play with after nap and before bedtime).
I have two couches, two laptops.
I clothe two people a day.
I dream of having baby number two, whenever that happens.
See? My life is in twos.
But the most important twos I live with every day are the two hour time slots we are still somewhat captive to.
I read a fabulous book, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child that my sister-in-law gave me before Brooke was born. (And would completely advise anyone having a baby to read a few sleep books before baby arrives- you will probably be a) too tired to read a book, or b) too frustrated to consider the author's opinions or c) too enraged to even think about what to try next.) One of the key features I read in almost every book is that a child should not be awake for longer than 2 hours, pretty much at any time. I know a lot of people who said, "Not MY baby," oh no, your child is just special and so abnormal that they don't need routine. Only kidding. I know, every child is different- in fact, Brooklyn could barely stay awake past 1.5 hours. But, as a general rule, if you do not put your child to bed (for a nap or bedtime) within 2 hours of the last time they awoke, they will be overtired and you will either think they are a) not tired or b) hungry or c) need you. However- they probably are just overtired- just give it a whirl. We have read that by now (8 months) Brooke should be able to stay awake beyond 2 hours, possibly to 3- well, our baby girl just requires a lot of sleep, and some days she can make it to 3 hours, but her naps usually suffer then, or her mood. Joy.
So, twos it is. We wake up and I have exactly two hours to get whatehaveyou completed. Then we nap. Then I have two more hours to get whatchamahoozit done. Then nap, then we have two more hours to magnificently make memories as a family before bedtime. And if I'm lucky, we will have gotten a lot accomplished. It sounds pretty easy right?
To most non children families, it is almost impossible to NOT get everything done in three, two hours slots, I mean, come on. Maybe this post isn't intended for the every day mom, because right now, if you are a mom, you are probably smiling, nodding, and reminiscing to when twos ruled your life. And if you're not a mom... you probably gave up on me hours ago- and that is fine... I'll just keep going.
Two hours. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. (Awww.... miss my 6th graders). Let's see what happens in those two hours, Monday let's say: Baby wakes up and we lounge until nap time- we never go out before our morning nap because often we are down for our first nap within an hour and a half of waking up (we're delicate in the morning- not crabby, delicate). We nurse for 20 minutes, snuggle, play puzzles, wrestle, eat breakfast, change our diaper, play some more, and take a nap- that, is doable my friends- sometimes I even squeeze in a shower (if she will go in her jumpy) or throw in some laundry. Then when she goes down I have anywhere for one to two hours to shower, throw in some laundry(because you NEVER do laundry before your shower), do my hair, makeup, flip the laundry, clean the bathroom, set out dinner, play with the dog, make the bed, and plan the grocery shopping trip (with coupons) for the week. Then I have exactly 2 hours from that first real cry- GO! 20 minute nursing, 10 minutes to change her, pack her up get in car. 15 minutes for transportation, 45 minutes to shop (less time if going to Wal-Mart- have you STOOD in those lines?), 15 minutes to transport home, and 15 minutes to get everything inside/love on baby girl/feed her solid lunch so she feels like she had a mom in that 2 hour time slot. And she has to be down within 2 hours- or... else... Oh, and you are supposed to look cute while doing these things, just an fyi.
Then we nap... sweet nap. I put away groceries (which may mean breaking up meat into one pound packages or cooking baby food), fold laundry, clean the kitchen, play with the dog, put the toys away and take out a new round, read a little, put away some laundry (if I'm being disciplined) and get ready for daddy to get home.
I know it sounds pretty simple, I know moms complain a lot- I'm really not complaining- I love this life I have chosen and been given. But a lot of my friends just don't get it.
Living in twos is not easy- it means saying "No" to lunch dates, or picking whose house to get stuck at while you try to get your kid to nap there (knowing it'll probably be somewhat of a disaster) so you can hang out with someone other than yourself for a bit, or when you have to wait for something (picture DMV, SS office, Unemployment office) you feel that nervous going to pee your pants feeling because you know the sleepy timer is about to ding and it still isn't your turn and if you had just left the baby with a family member she COULD nap, but WOULD she and what burden would she be on someone else- when life is in twos, it isn't that simple.
Some day we won't live in twos anymore, and I'll miss it, because it can make for a nicely paced day (while we're at home). But- I won't miss feeling like I miss out on things because people just don't understand.
But either way... God, if I have to live my life in twos, bring it on- bring on two more babies, or two times two more in many years to come. I'd gladly live in twos forever if life will be this good.