Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I don't have four arms

An interesting title for a blog post, right? It's what I'm dealing with right now though. I do not have four arms. I seem to forget that. I absolutely LOVE, and I mean love, having two kids. It is more wonderful than I imagined and 90% of the time I am surprised at how easy it is. (I was getting a bit concerned towards the end of my pregnancy about how I would manage two little ones so close in age.) I would say about 10% of the time it is difficult logistically though. And really that is only because I have unrealistic expectations about what I can handle!

Daycare pick up was where I first recognized the need for four arms. My first attempt at easy/peaceful pickup was leaving Liam in his car seat in the snap n' go stroller and trying to get Jack to walk by my side & hold my hand. No luck. Jack wanted to help push the stroller which was super cute and fun except that it's four feet off the ground and he's not tall enough to reach the handle so basically I was holding him up off the ground, and trying to help him steer (to keep Liam safe near curbs!) with his backpack on my back and keys in my get the picture. If I didn't let him push the stroller - major tantrum. Him screaming "Jack help!!! Mommy!!! Jack help!!!" Not an enjoyable experience.

So then I tried just carrying the car seat with Liam (usually sleeping) because I figured if we removed the stroller pushing factor, Jack would walk like a big boy and all would be well. Wrong! Instead Jack wanted to be held so I became a pack mule - 30 lb. child in one arm (Jack) and infant car seat (weighing at least 20 since Liam is such a chunker and already weighs 13 lbs!) in the other. Backpack strapped to back. Not an enjoyable experience.

So today I upped my game. I broke out the double stroller and popped Liam's car seat in and strapped Jack into the seat on the back. It worked really well (Jack enjoyed his ride) but I felt like I was driving a suburban pushing that thing around. It has no turning radius and is so heavy and clunky. But compared to other attempts it went really well and since we aren't going to spend $600 on a fancy double stroller anytime soon it will do!

It was great to solve that logistical issue but then this afternoon I found myself another one. I have a huge desire to be a fun mom and take Jack outside to enjoy the lovely winter weather (it's 70 and sunny most afternoons) and all of his fun Christmas toys. So after daycare pick up we took his new truck (push/ride toy) out for a spin in the cul-de-sac. Liam was asleep in the sling and I figured we could hang out for 20 minutes or so and then go inside for a snack. Unfortunately Jack had other plans. These plans included wandering bravely down the street, way further than I was comfortable with. Despite my requests to turn around he was marching full steam ahead. It's hard because he is SO verbal and such a great listener (he understands what I am saying) so I forget that he is still only 20 months old and therefore accustomed to doing what he wants and not what mommy asks. Long story short...I ended up having to scoop him up, screaming and kicking, and carrying him 200 yards back to the house. We left the truck behind and poor Liam got jostled around in the sling a bit since I had a toddler throwing a fit in my other arm. And Jack was traumatized that we had to leave the truck behind. (Once I got them both settled safely in the house I sprinted back to get it...let's just say that was my workout for the day.) I think all three of us were pretty upset with the experience! But lesson learned...I don't have four arms. Time to re-set the expectations on life with a 6 week old and 20 month old I guess!

(Sorry to disappoint but I don't have any photos of these experiences. :) )

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