Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Adding a baby to the mix

  Picture this: Your house is covered in toys. Particularly tractors, firetrucks, garbage trucks, and Paw Patrol characters. The floor is rumbling from one set of feet running tracks into your ugly but functional speckled carpet. Someone is crying, someone is making fire truck noises, and the dog is whining. Your once hot coffee is now as cold as the soul of your enemies. 
                     This is what life is like with a 3 year old, and a baby.
   
 I'll be honest, things are not as hard as I thought they would be. However, they are not as easy as I was hoping for. Going from one kid to two kids, plural children.... has been an adventure. I like to say that it's been a "learning experience." That's a nice way to put it. You learn a lot about yourself, your patience levels, and how far you can be pushed. You also learn that your first born turns into some sort of feral wild child who has apparently never been out in public before. Sibling regression is normal, but you don't really understand the depths of it until your knee deep in a nuclear toddler meltdown in the middle of Sprouts. Seriously it was so bad that I was afraid people were going to start filming me. I'm still watching Facebook to see my toddler being a viral video. 
 Now not every moment is a total cluster fuck. Tater is a really good big brother, and overall a great kid. He's 3, so he can also be a tiny dictator with no mercy. Our biggest struggle has been the whining. Kids whine no matter the age, but this is a different whine. This is the most obnoxious whine you've ever heard. Sometimes I just look at Tater and ask "who's child is this?" 
 I really have no clue what the hell I'm doing (what's new?) when it comes to dealing with the regression but we are finding things that work. I really am not in the place to write a post about how to handle the transition, but I am going to be honest and tell you all the chaos I'm dealing with and how I'm managing. One thing I've noticed that Tater responds to is "Your turn, Tot's turn." Now this is sometimes insanely hard because you can't exactly explain to an infant that it's not his turn. For example, when I'm feeding Tot and Tater needs my attention I explain to Tater that it's Tot's turn. I ask him to wait for Tater's turn. Sometimes I get an "okay mom!" other times I get a meltdown. It's really just dependent on time of day, length of sleep the night prior, stage of the moon, and duration of the last snack. If I give him 15 minutes of my undivided attention every hour or two things usually go smoother for the day. As tired as I am I try and stay interested in him showing me his monster trucks for the 400th time. I ask and answer questions. I try to get him to do crafts and activities. When I can't sit and play I try to explain to him why I can't or I ask him to help me as a distraction. Sometimes he loses his shit, and sometimes I lose mine. 
  Keeping Tater busy does help too. It's really unfortunate that school is out for the summer. So we spend so much time at the park, the library, and the Chik-fil-a play place. I think those 3 places are really essential to having a toddler and a baby. There is always another Mom their dealing with the same things. One of her kids is losing it, and you both just give each other a nod of solidarity. 
 Attempting to keep kid 1 on their same schedule sort of helps. A little bit of consistency in his now totally inconsistent world helps with the confusion. We've had to make adjustments along the way, but overall we are working with a normal-ish schedule. I do notice the days where everything is chaos are worse than when their is our "normal" routine. I say normal lightly. Nothing in our lives are normal anymore, and that's okay. We are learning our new normal... all of us.
 The biggest thing I've realized is that there is actually no magic anecdote to make this transition phase easier, there is just things that make it tolerable. Along with most things with parenthood, you just have to wing it. I am winging the shit out this, let's be honest. Learn as you go folks. 
 Remember, as soon as you think you've got a handle on everything your 3 year old will knock you back into reality so fast. 
my life.

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