Poor Aria! For the first few years of Oscar’s life I wrote him a letter almost every month. I read the infant development book with rapt intensity, curious about every developmental milestone. I carefully prepared organic fruits and vegetables for his first foods. I talked to him and sang to him and documented his early life with thousands of photographs.
Having two kids has wiped me out and blown my mind with how hard it is. Yes, I know people have raised more than two kids for millennia, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s kicking my ass.
Aria still wakes between 3-5 times each night, and no, I have no plans to wean her, stop co-sleeping, move her to her own room, or let her cry it out. I will just suck it up and you (and the people I live with) will listen to me complain about it forever and ever, amen. Anywho, there is no extra room for her to sleep in, I’m not moving, and if she cries it out she will wake her brother. Plus, she has the cutest little, heart-wrenching, gut twisting cry. You try ignoring her.
Oscar slept through the night at 15 months, so hopefully she will too. Until then, I reserve the right to fall behind on my novel, my contracted academic tome, the laundry, and personal hygiene. Luckily, Aria is beautiful and sweet. I give her credit for that.
Oscar is so smart and funny, and I love him more deeply and intensely than ever before. Sometimes I watch his little body running around the house, playing with toys, doing whatever, and I am seized with such love and affection it breaks my heart.
He’s also a pain in the ass.
I feel like I was lied to and tricked. I always thought that parenting would be all downhill after the terrible twos. Oh, I know having teenagers is its own special hell, I’m referring more to the constantly on your feet chasing kids around and taking care of their every need. Downhill after two, right? The terrible twos?
Oh, what I would give to be back in the blissful, wonderful twos. I had no idea how good I had it.
Not only is Oscar not more dependent (I mean, he can’t do the dishes or the grocery shopping yet), he’s more high maintenance than ever. Everything has to be a particular way and it has to be that way NOW. When he decides he wants lunch he will pester me relentlessly until he gets it. I say to him, kindly and rationally, “Sweetie, you will have to wait until I’m done with such and such (i.e. surfing the internet or reading a People Magazine article) and then I will fix your lunch.” He then proceeds to hover nearby and say, “Are you almost done with your work?” Or if he asks for a snack, I tell him he can have one when I’m done eating my breakfast, lunch, etc. He then watches every bite go to my mouth, carefully analyzing my plate for tell-tale emptiness. “Are you done now, Mama?”
But he is just so stinking cute, so I can’t get rid of him. Every morning when he wakes up he says, “Where’s Aria?” Aria, of course, worships him in every way. As soon as he walks in the room her arms and legs start flailing wildly and she shouts with glee. Anytime he is nearby she cannot take her eyes off of him and will crane her neck to try to watch him even while she’s nursing, being changed, etc.
Oscar says to me, “Mama, you are best friend.” Last night, he kicked off his covers and asked me to cover him up again. I asked him why he did that and he said, “I like it when you make me nice and cozy.” When he can tell I’m getting frustrated by his nonstop prattle, he will say, “It’s okay, Mama, I’m done talking now.”
His favorite game to play is, “Accidents Happen!” in which various trains and cars find themselves in dire straights. All manner of accidents befall his toys, such as train derailments, landslides, floods, helicopter crashes, plane crashes, car crashes, hot-air balloon crashes, and various other apocalyptic events. All the while, he’s screaming, “Accidents happen! Accidents happen! Aaaaaaaaacidents haaaaaaaaaaaapen!”
Aria has absolutely no interest in baby toys but will go after her brother’s toys with an intense zeal. She’s also interested in power cords and choking hazards. From early on she hated and refused baby food purees but will happily dig into anything we’re eating. I’ve stopped worrying about stages and allergies and organic purity and just let her have everything. When she’s happy she does what I call “baby zombie breathing.” I can’t really describe it. Have you seen The Walking Dead? Yeah, it’s like that.
As I type this, Oscar is sitting on the bed playing with Aria’s baby toys (she has no interest in them but he loves them). He says, “Mama, I want a hammer and a drink!”
Aria is at my feet. She has such an impish grin I have to stop now and pick her up.
I can’t sit down for more than two minutes at a time.
I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my life.