Saturday, May 15, 2010

Terrible Two

Yesterday, I had an absolutely awful day at "work." It wasn't the first awful day I've had since I started nannying for a friend's little girl a few days a week, but it was definitely among the worst.

Nothing in particular happened to make it such a capital-B, capital-D, italic-font Bad Day. But every little thing somehow managed to go wrong. None of my attempts to soothe anybody, myself especially included, were effective. I think my voice may have gone into "loud and scary" territory a couple of times. I may also have called Rob at work and cried at him over the phone...twice.

Once for each kid.

People care for more than one child simultaneously all the time. In fact, judging by the people with kids I see out and about, the one adult, two young children thing is pretty standard. However, I'm not really sure how we do it. Because sometimes the nannying thing makes me want to die. Because when things suck, they double-suck. Because there are two of them and one of me.

After a bad two-child day, I start to get scared by the thought of having two children all the time. As in, another one of my own, who needs me 24 hours a day. It's hard enough to have an extra person needing me 27 hours a week!

Now, I realize that if this little girl were my baby - and my son's sibling instead of his honorary cousin - things would be different. Two wouldn't be so terrible. Or, at least, that's what I tell myself.

(It's entirely possible that things wouldn't be different at all, and that terrifies me. And I start to second-guess my thoughts of immediate IUD removal.)

Then I start to think that if I were a better, more organized, more creative person, this wouldn't be so hard. It's not that taking care of two little kids is all that difficult - I decide - it's me. I'm just a mess. If I made lists and schedules and ran a tight ship, things wouldn't be so miserable. Bad Days wouldn't happen.

Then I remember that a lot of terrible days just happen. No amount of planning, no amount of got-it-together-ness really makes a difference. Sometimes, things just suck. Regardless of how many children you have to care for.

And today? Has been pretty good so far.



Allison the Meep said...

I really don't know how people manage with a toddler and a baby at the same time. I don't think I'm stable enough as a person to handle all the stress, which is why mine are 6 years apart.

And when I was younger, I used to think it would be so awesome to have twins or even triplets. SO glad that never happened.

candace said...

Two is hard but so is one. I know I've had days where I've called Jason and cried about how stressed and miserable I was. I think we all have bad days and the kids feed off of you and each other. They are very sensitive creatures and can sense disturbances in the force!

Tis true that you will probably feel a little more connected when they are both yours and that does make it a little easier. I've worked as a nanny and in day-cares and taking care of children is really hard work.

I'm sure you would do just fine with two of your own. Yes you will pull your hair out, cry, scream and dream of another life but you will also have two wonderful beings to love.

This is all said with those lovely 2nd trimester hormones! When I'm in the shit in 5 months I might be signing a different tune!

Baby in Broad said...

Allison - I see women all the time who are hugely pregnant and chasing newly walking little ones, and I think (in my oh-so-judgy way), "Did you do that to yourself on purpose, crazy lady?" If it works for them, great, but...I would go insane. The 6-year age difference seems kind of awesome. When one child is somewhat self-sufficient and mildly trustworthy, having two children seems kind of do-able, in my head.

Candace - It's true: one is hard. Taking care of children - regardless of how many of them there are, whether or not they're yours to keep at the end of the day - is hard. That's why they pay us the big bucks, right? Oh...wait...shit...

Anonymous said...

Two is the worst. My baby is cranky and always difficult to deal with. I'm pregnant again and my 2 y.o. punched the Ultrasound Technician in the knee.

I have one wild child.