Saturday, 13 April 2013

If Only I'd known...

I have been thinking back over the last year (as my youngest boy just turned one) about what I wish that I'd known about before I embarked on the crazy rollercoaster of juggling a busy two year old and a new born baby. What people don't tell you (and I wish they had) is that it's not the new baby you have to worry about at all, in fact second time around I had mastered the art of whisking my boob out discreetly and into my sons mouth without anyone in the coffee shop even noticing. I had also got over the fact that despite me feeling like everyone is starring at me feeding publically, they really are not - in fact most have absolutely no idea at all (until your child accidentally unlatches and you give them a quick flash!) I also have totally mastered all of the gadgetry that belong to my children and I can not only build and collapse the pushchair with one hand I might add, I can also convert it into several different seating positions - check! Then we get to the two year old! I don't know if its just 2 year olds, or boys or maybe just my son but he has to be busy. From the moment he awakens he is desperate to be building, crafting, creating, running, jumping, eating, watching; the list goes on and I am exhausted just thinking about it, and somehow I have to fit the baby into all that business or the toddler into the babies newbornness. Aargh! This is us all in the picture in the first few weeks - I look exhausted!

So here we go with four things that happen whilst your dealing with two;

I am sitting in the coffeeshop nursing my little one, I had provided Jake, my two year old with suitable refreshment (or so I thought) of babychino and cookie who was sat next to me whilst I refuelled on our shopping trip. All of a sudden Jake jumps up and laughing, legs it towards the coffeeshop door with me trying to catch him with with baby still attached. If that wasn't embarrassing enough I also had my big flabby just had a baby tummy on show. RULE ONE - BRING REINS FOR TODDLER!

Two in the chair
Lots of people want to come and visit you when you have a new baby, which is nice (except for the ones who out stay their welcome like the health visitor) many of whom don't have children yet so it's really embarrassing when your eldest son decides that he wants to potty train (just for a day or two) and so banishes his trousers and his new pants to another room in the house and then answers the door to your unsuspecting friends practically naked. To add insult to embarrassment your friends who you see gulp as they enter your house slightly bewildered then can't look or speak to your child because it was not what they expected at all, and make excuses to leave shortly after. RULE TWO - ENFORCE NAPPY WEARING AT ALL TIMES. Potty training is a new form of torture unlike anything you have come across before where you spend your whole day on edge wondering if they are going to make it to the toilet or wee deliberately on your favourite rug.

It's lovely to sit down and nurse your baby when your a busy mum and I have come to see it as a treat to catch up on the news of the day, read a book and put my feet up. However in my moment of bliss with my youngest quietly suckling I look up to see Jake having pulled every book from the bookcase, thrown the box of jigsaw pieces entirely across the room and broken his biscuit into pieces across the floor. This is the story of my life time and time again. RULE THREE - HAVE PLENTY OF ACTIVITIES AVAILABLE FOR YOUR OLDER CHILD.

Brothers love to share!
RULE FOUR - BROTHERS ARE GREAT AT SHARING. Colds seem to plague our house and when you have two kids the older one seems to pass their cold lovingly along to your newborn in sloppy kisses. "Be gentle" is very overused in our house too, as I am constantly crowd controlling playtime trying to stop Jake from pushing his brother over in all the excitement of it all. I love seeing their two little mischievious faces as I come into the room and they doing something together... like the other morning when I came in and I could hear "...and this is how you brush your teeth.." - there was toothpaste everywhere and my youngest has toothpaste pretty much covering most of his face! There was also the apple incident at four months where I found my youngest sitting in his bouncy chair eating an apple he had been kindly handed. Or a few weeks ago I found the two of them sipping the dreggs of my cold tea out the cup my oldest helping the youngest - thats why that say if you don't laugh you cry!

I could go on and on, every new day brings new excitements, adventures and challenges. I wish I could have known what having a new baby and a toddler would look like, I still would have done it but I would have armed myself with reins, activities and a bigger sense of humor, much bigger.

I think this image sums up all the fun we have!
What do you wish you had known? Aptaclub have created an app to help new mums in preparing for birth which comes with lots of tips and advice for mums to be. Even second time around I was nervous about what to pack in my hospital bag as you do forget and the rules change so its good to be reminded.   My final thought for new mums is this, on looking back at my hospital pictures my husband took I noticed that he had been so excited about picturing our baby that he had not waited until my modesty had been covered, so in some picture you see more than you would want to - so be warned, vet your pictures before you facebook them!

This post is entry into the Aptaclub 'If only I'd known' competition.

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