I think the time has definitely come when I have to admit that Max is no longer a newborn, and he’s not even a baby anymore. In fact, he’s a fully fledged toddler with his own likes and dislikes, feelings and thoughts about things. He can walk, talk (shout) and has countless opinions which he now voices loudly. With Alexandra not yet at school she’s still technically a toddler – which means I own two.
When I was pregnant with Max and shortly after, I read a lot of people saying the first year with two under two is the hardest. Personally, and this could just be with the benefit of rose-tinted hindsight to mix a couple of metaphors, I think it’s much more difficult once you have two mobile children who aren’t quite independent yet. Sorry to be a doom and gloom merchant! Yes the first year with two tinies is really difficult – you’re tired, everyone cries a lot, you’re constantly changing a nappy while nearly wetting yourself cause you’re so busy, and you’re also tired. Did I mention that bit? But if you’re lucky enough to have a second child that you can put down then you do exactly that, put them in one place where they stay until you move them. You have to remember to feed, wind and change the smallest one but you don’t have to reason with them as to why they should let their sibling watch their favourite programme for once, or why it’s not nice to hit them in the face with a plastic spade.
And there are lots of nice bits about having two so close together – popping them in the double pram and walking at a normal speed rather than taking a zillion years to get anywhere with a slow toddler in tow, not having to toilet train anyone, and the fact if your oldest still naps then you might once in a blue moon get that magical occurrence of a joint nap!
Now, there are lots of upsides to two toddlers – my two absolutely adore each other 50 per cent of the time, Alexandra ‘reads’ her books to Max, they love the same types of toys, and he comes up to pat her on the arm gently if she’s upset. Yes, that does leave the other half of the time when at least one of them is having a tantrum (threenager and terrible twos is a delight!) or they’re slapping each other. I am more tired than I’ve ever been, and some days I’m looking at the clock willing it to be bedtime when it’s still before 9am. Max has the energy of about 50 people combined into one tiny body, and they’re both sending me grey faster than I would like.
But we get to do so many fun things with them as they both love being outdoors, and they are both really funny. Alexandra in particular comes out with some blinders, but Max also makes us laugh constantly with his zany behaviour!
We are speeding towards the time when Alexandra makes that leap into being a proper little girl and going to school, and two years after that her brother will join her. And I know I will look back on these toddler days and think wow that was tiring, but wasn’t it fun too?!
Harriet, Alexandra and Max x