Thursday, January 04, 2007

You Do What You Have To

Doing what you have to do is key to surviving with two children. I assume this holds true for more than two kids. Before my daughter was born, this was really the best—not so much advice as truism—that I heard. After a couple of months, I made a list of what “doing what you have to do” means to me. I wrote it in the car, while the children were captive.

The list includes:
  • Letting Geister watch more television than he used to. I used to restrict the amount he was allowed to watch, when it was just the two of us. It’s funny, I used to think that two Baby Einstein videos in one day was indulgent.
  • Going through the drive-through at McDonald’s so that I can eat my lunch, while Geister eats his happily strapped in the car seat, and while Boo sleeps in her car seat (or, if not, then feeding her in the car—actually more comfortable than some narrow-sided rocking chairs I’ve used).
  • Letting Boo cry longer than I’d normally do.
  • Cooking while nursing (putting water on to boil, taking something out of the oven, etc.)
  • Letting Boo co-sleep with us, because I don’t want to come up with creative techniques for inducing sleep, in the middle of the night, when I have a two-year old to deal with in the morning.
  • Keeping Geister in daycare two days a week—excellent for mental survival.
  • Stealing someone else’s diaper while at a drop-in because I forgot some for Geister (sorry Adam, your name was on it but we were desperate). This point is not so much part of the list, but a confession I’ve been meaning to make.
  • Trying to get out of the house every day so that: I retain my sanity, Geister has fun, and Boo falls asleep in the car, there, on the way back, or both. Sometimes I worry I may be over-scheduling the little ones, but that’s another discussion.
  • Putting make-up on in the car as we sit in the driveway in the morning. This works well because, aside from taking advantage of the natural sunlight, the kids are strapped in and not going anywhere. I’d do my make-up in the house, but there just isn’t time.
  • In public, giving in to more demands from my two-year old than I’d like, because when feeding Boo, I can’t physically enforce whatever it is I’ve told him to do (as in “Put the car away, Geister.” He ignores me. I then ignore that I’ve asked him to do anything). Kudos to my friend A. who I’ve seen chasing her son when he doesn’t listen, with her daughter mid-feed.
  • Putting off toilet training.
  • Watching The Berenstain Bears: They’re just like people only more so.

    Note: I wrote this a few months ago. As an update, we are no longer eating at McDonald’s, or any other drive thru. Co-sleeping is a thing of the past (after CIO), and Treehouse has given way to the CARS movie. I would hate to give the impression that I’m somehow “over” these techniques, though. I’d still use them in a second. But is it possible that life is actually getting easier?


bubandpie said...

Geister - hahahahahahaha!

That image of A. chasing son while toddler nurses made me laugh out loud.

metro mama said...

I do what I have to do and I only have one!

cinnamon gurl said...

So true! Some other mothers tell me things they're doing that they feel guilty about or that's different from what I do, but it's all about whatever gets you through the day. Sometimes I wonder though if that breaks down at some point. If maybe I need to think a bit further ahead then the end of the day (or because I have a frequent night waking, high maintenance sleeper the next morning).

KD said...

You mean it gets easier???