You might be reading this late at night, wondering what the heck I’m doing, publishing this piece at some random hour. Me too, sister.
There’s a reason people who have two under two often don’t have any other children. It’s because, outside of high-needs or multiples, this is the hardest drag in parenting. That’s not my opinion, it’s just what I’ve been told. But it does happen to be my reality - mine and my friend Lexi’s, too. Her kids are only about 14 or 15 months apart - while mine are 20 months apart. The difference in age gap means that Lexi’s son started walking when she was getting ready to pop out a baby. Newborns are notoriously immobile and needy - so it’s a hard balance to run after a toddler and tend to a baby at the same time.
But today - today was a real doozy. My son, who I love dearly, was on a mission to drive me absolutely insane. I lost my cool and yelled at him. Not my proudest moment, and unfortunately it wasn’t just one moment - I yelled a lot. First he woke up and immediately asked for a popsicle. Listen, I’m pretty lenient about food with him. But I’m not about to let his first meal of the day be literal sugar water. I listened to him whine and repeat “Ice, ice, ice,” while banging on the freezer door. Eventually I made him some oatmeal and fruit and asked him to sit in his chair. Cue toddler meltdown. It wasn’t even 9 a.m., y’all.
He also managed to spill juice on a coffee table that’s built like a shadow box - so of course, the juice seeped into the box area and started to seep into the mat that lines the box. On top of the glass, the juice rushed toward my computer. I was nursing, so I flung my daughter to the side and, with one boob hanging out of my top, grabbed my computer and tossed it onto the couch. Shep whispered, “uh oh”, as if he hasn’t done this exact thing and gotten in trouble for it a thousand times before. It’s nearly a daily occurrence. I am not a patient person, and he tests my limits every day. Every. Single. Day.
I spread rice into the shadow box table to soak up extra moisture, knowing I’d have to vacuum it up later. Before I could turn around, Shep was throwing his toy tractor - a hefty metal thing - at his sister’s head. I yelled at him to stop, but it was too late. Rory started screaming - not hurt so much as startled, honestly. Shep started crying and screeching because I had raised my voice at him. I just put my head in my hands and wanted to melt into the floor. It sucked. I have a perpetual headache, and I can’t tell if it’s because I have high blood pressure from all the kid-screaming, or if it’s just from the screaming itself.
This was my time to write - when Shep is supposed to be eating lunch and watching truck videos on YouTube. My precious schedule got shat on - by a kid that’s still potty training. It was messy and uncomfortable and annoying. I pride myself on being able to handle whatever scandal gets thrown my way. Well, I used to. Two under two has broken me. My own mother has no experience with this, nor does my mother-in-law. I’m not even just lowering the bar to stay sane anymore - I’m letting go of any standards altogether.
So yes. My toddler ate my homework. More accurately, he tore apart my plans for the day with his misbehavior. And here we are - me, writing into the night after my kids finally go to sleep. You, reading this and wondering why you’re still awake. Maybe it’s all that glorious coffee you had earlier? Let’s be real - it’s because this late hour is the sweetest hour for moms. Finally - peace and quiet.