Today Jonathan and the Mac and cheese doodles had a chance to go to Six Flags St. Louis courtesy of neighbors with season’s passes. That has left just me and the snickerdoodle to hang out all day. I realized very quickly into the day that I have never had a 2 year old all to myself. By the time the mackerdoodle was 2 we had the cheese doodle and by the time the cheesedoodle was 2 we had the snickerdoodle and their year of two was largely overshadowed by the chaos of another round of newborn/infant stage. A two year old all by herself is hilarious. And exhausting.
As I was typing that last paragraph she was peppering me with “why” questions about everything, interspersed with her newest favorite word, “everybody” (or “ehbody” in snicker speak.). As she did so, she leaned back against the grill of the van, then hopped up, glaring at the offending vehicle. “Ow! Dat hot!” She said, and proceeded to run around the perimeter of the van touching random locations and saying, “Hot” followed by giggles.
We are outside to play, but every time she goes down the slide, or jumps, or picks anything up, or has a random thought about either related or unrelated things, I have to respond. I’m all she’s got. She has only known life with the built in entertainment system “siblings 2.0″. Without it she’s lost. The frequently asked question of the day is : “Why ehbody doe away?”
Until today I had no answer when people would ask me if three was harder than two or one. I really had no frame of reference. Today I would say this:
Of course the chaos multiplies a little with each child, so does the laundry, the noise and to some extent the general chores of the house, but the minute to minute intensity of parenting is divided. Three children collectively demand less of my individual attention than does one.
If you are a mother of one scared of having another because you can barely handle the demands of the one you have, I say only that the joy is multiplied and the intensity divided as a family grows. I thought I would get more done with only one child at home. Instead I am accomplishing less.
Mothers of only children, today you have my admiration. You must be exhausted.