Two children

They say that two is the age of wonder. I have heard it called “the most fantastic time”, where, if you stare at them for a few moments, you can literally watch your children grow before your eyes. Their molecules are reproducing at such an enormous rate that, whether they eat their vegetables or not, these once-tiny beings stretch overnight. The pants that fit yesterday will display ankles today, and as much as you would like to blame the dryer, you know in your heart that it is not to blame. And not just because you haven’t done the laundry yet this week. Or month. What day is it now, anyway?

At two, in fantastic (ankle-baring) fashion, new strings of words will likely emerge from your offspring each day. Your surprise may be compounded by just how bossy and self-serving these new language abilities can be. Your child won’t eat peas because the fork you gave her is the blue-and-green one rather than the green-and-blue one. Isn’t that adorable. Your child insists on going down the slide in the rain, then breaks into hysterics when he gets wet. Oh, so precious.

Two is also the time where your sleep-deprived body and brain starts unloading a new bag of tricks on you. New mom or old hat, those hormones are wringing their hands, staring up their engines, and laughing maniacally. You already can’t watch the news or Law & Order in any incarnation due to the possibility of a story-line involving an injured or missing child, which would cause you instant panic followed by a week of malaise. But now, as you watch your two-year-old play with bubbles and giggle, your synapses are firing and trying to convince you that you can handle, neigh, you need more. Look at that child, no longer a baby. So much of a person. A person that you created. How could you deny this child the experience of being an older sibling? What kind of parent are you? And, really, what’s one more log on the fire?

There are, of course, many things to consider. For example, if you are thinking about adding another kid and you like hot coffee, then right off the bat know that this might not be the job for you.

If you are contemplating expansion of your family size, even if reluctantly so, you may also want to take some of the following harsh realities into consideration:
• World over population.
• Over-population of jeans in your closet that you are already unlikely to fit over your thighs again.
• 10-20 more years of withholding curse words, forcing yourself to yell, “oh FRONT DOOR” when you stub your toe.
• Keeping up with technology. At least enough to know how to throw a wrench in the WiFi at whim and block Mickey Mouse Attacks Minnie Mouse videos disguised as benign learning-to-count games. YouTube is not on our side, parents!
• Your feet will grow as much as two sizes with each pregnancy. That’s right, say goodbye to your favorite shoes. Depending on your starting point, you may have to say goodbye to all shoes for a while. Sure, your two-year-old can play in them all they’d like now, might as well.
• Spring break. It’s no longer a vacation, it’s a “trip”. There’s a difference. While difficult to discern, you’ll come to understand quite clearly should you choose to expand your family. As a sneak peek, I offer you this: during one, there is tequila. During the other, a toddler affixed to your knee for the duration. Oh, who am I kidding, there’s tequila in both. But one knee is potentially void of barnacles when you have one child. When you have two, the only time that will happen is when one is napping. Otherwise, they are likely squabbling about something while clinging to you. Should you add a third, no limb is safe.
• With an additional log on the fire comes complete obliteration of your devotion to organic, non-GMO, preservative-laden foods. You may find yourself indulging in diaper warmers, outfitting your abode in video monitors, and a slew of other things you said you’d never use or do: Goldfish Crackers. Chicken Nuggets. Ice cream with Blue #40 as a top 3 ingredient. Macaroni and Cheese. For breakfast.
• College tuition, even in-state, starts in the six-figures. Shut THAT front door!
• Suddenly, you may find yourself facing so many commitments that even the little things become a challenge. Even if you were always known for sharp, snap-decision making skills bordering on the impulsive, you may find yourself suddenly overwhelmed with choices. From paint colors to the cereal aisle, the cumulative effect of constant commitments become overwhelming. Kix or Rice Chex? Blue or yellow decor for the bathroom? Will the blue just wind up as green anyway? Frozen in the cereal aisle is no way to spend your lunch break.

While these all may sound like things you can handle, and I am sure that you can at the very least find a way to successfully work around them, I want to just be clear: I’m not even remotely kidding. Especially the “never drinking hot coffee again” mention. You may think that these things won’t happen to you, but it is more than likely that they will.

If your shoe size didn’t change last time, you’re pressing your luck next time. If your water didn’t break on your babymoon last time, guess what? Studies show a 412% increase in likelihood that it will happen next time you go into labor. If you think you’re immune because you don’t even drink coffee, let me tell you what others might not – there’s nothing like a second kid to throw a wrench into that plan.

As soon as your youngest starts using a potty, you may find yourself with a sudden desire to take in a puppy. A homeless person. Or an exchange-student. Do try to remember that your hormones are playing whack-a-mole with your sanity. And start brewing iced coffee, just in case.

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Karen Friend

Karen Friend realizes that her married name makes her sound like a Care Bear (TM). Her proudest accomplishments in life include her career in supporting cures for cancer, taking up running in her 40's, and getting two children out of the house on weekday mornings while lacking the ability to shoot rainbows out of her abdomen. As a working mom of two boys, she treasures productive pump breaks, silent, Lego-less exile, and Brooklyn bagels.

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1 Comment

  1. Thank goodness I’m past the urge for more children (although, give me alllll the babies) but that whole, growing overnight thing. It’s so real and so fast and so amazing and sad at the same time. I have always SO enjoyed reading what comes from Karen Friend’s heart. She’s real and honest and love her hilarious sarcasm!

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