Adjusting to life with two under two is a lot like getting comfortable with a hurricane and a tornado occurring at the same time. At least it was in the Ribeiro household for the first few weeks. You can prepare yourself all you want and tell yourself, “it will be manageable,” and “not that bad” with two… but there’s no way to fully know what to expect until the time comes.
Currently, the name of the game is defense. AJ is an extremely active and energetic toddler. He’s not aggressive, but because of his excitement when it comes to playing with his toys, he indirectly becomes a safety-hazard to Anders. Fortunately, Alfonso and I have developed mad defensive skills in blocking the toys and balls thrown in Anders direction. AJ is improving with being more gentle around the baby, but that’s only when he is next to and focused on Anders. Once he steps a foot away in the direction of his toys, he’s a full-out boy, and likes to play hard using every square inch of the room. (His favorite indoor activities are playing soccer at full-speed, throwing balls, using the furniture as gymnastics apparatuses, and crashing his trucks and cars off the back of the sofa and ottoman. Sound familiar to those of you with boys?)
As for Mama, I’m starting to get a bit of a routine down and learning some tricks as I go. For starters, I’ve been wearing Anders in a carrier or in my Lalabu Soothe Shirt around the house in order to be more efficient. I feel quite proud when I’m able to wear and nurse Anders while feeding AJ simultaneously. (Oh the talent!) I’ve learned the fabulous method of changing their diapers at the same time. I’ve been perfecting my routine of ensuring Anders sleeps during AJ’s only nap of the day so that I can have some ‘me’ time. And even though I haven’t taken our double stroller on its maiden voyage yet, I’m perfectly happy going for my power walks with AJ in his single stroller and Anders in my carrier.
The main challenge starts next week when we begin our summer travel schedule. (When AJ was a baby, he had traveled on over 40 flights before his first birthday! Needless to say, I mastered the art of flying with an infant.) Fortunately, our first flight experience with a toddler and an infant will be a relatively short one. I’m not too daunted by the thought, as Alfonso will be in charge of AJ and I will have Anders. Rather, I’m more concerned about the two out of nine flights in July that involve flying with my two little guys without Alfonso. (And yes, nine flights in one month… it’s a statistic I’m not proud of!) I’ve witnessed lots of mothers fly solo with their little ones. I’ve seen everything from complete train wrecks to end-of-the-flight high-fives for the mom from nearby passengers. I certainly hope to be among the latter. For those of you who have tread these waters before, feel free to share any tricks or advice that worked for you. The more the merrier!