Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Two Under Two

Williamsburg, 2014

A few people have asked me if we're doing anything to prepare Axel for having a little brother next month, which makes me think, WHAT? Don't be crazy! Oh yeah, we're going to to have two children under the age of two and gah, how did that happen?

I kid, sort of. In truth, while Axel is getting more verbal by the day and has lots of words, I think bigger concepts like extended family, brothers, relatedness, and permanence are kind of beyond him at this stage. I've heard the old 'Have the new baby give your child a present at the hospital' recommendation, or 'Read lots of books about being a big brother,' but I can't help but think Axel will be kind of blase about the whole thing. Like "Nice baby! Toy! Book! Why am I here?" Fortunately he spends most weekdays having playdates with a troupe of little children, so he does get a fair amount of practice with sharing attention and objects and I think he'll be okay on those fronts, mostly.

The question that seems more relevant at this point is how are we preparing to look after a newborn and a toddler at once. On days when I am feeling very pregnant and very tired, I have moments of panic. But then I remember that spring is coming (eventually) and that we know the drill. Instead of wondering if I'll ever sleep again, this time I'll know that the newborn phase goes by so quickly and that there will be peaks and troughs, as with everything.

I am sure that life will be a little (or a lot) chaotic for at least six months or so, but then I remember how much I enjoyed being home those first few months with Axel, even when I was delirious, and I get all the more excited to meet the new baby.

Until then, being pregnant with a toddler is...something. Will has had to take over a lot of the heavy lifting, both literally and figuratively, and I'm insanely grateful for that but also feel guilty for my lack of energy. It's so easy to idealize my last pregnancy and imagine I was never this tired (I was!), but I tend to remember it as a really lovely time. Ahhh, pregnancy amnesia.

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