I hesitate to say that I am getting the hang of having two kids, but I will say that we are settling into some manageable routines. It's funny how the things I was concerned about are working themselves out.
For example, I was pretty stressed about how Owen would do being stuck in the house for long stretches. Before Josh was born, we pretty much left the house for a walk, play date, activity, park, or just to run errands at least once (usually twice) a day. Now, thanks to my activity books and a rapidly maturing 2-year old that can focus on a project for more than 4 seconds, the thought of sticking around the house doesn't send me into a panic. In fact, Friday morning, I CHOSE to stay home with both kiddos rather than pack them up to meet our friends for a walk. I realized I went two whole days without getting in the car. What's gotten into me?
And this morning, I was marveling at how some things (okay, maybe just one thing) have gotten easier with two kids. Take my morning shower for example: With Owen, he was not content to hang out while I was in the shower. Other moms would put their baby in a bouncy seat or exersaucer, but Owen would scream bloody murder the second I moved out of sight. Consequently, for OVER 2 YEARS I always showered before he got up or while he was napping (or not at all). Now, with 2 kids, I'm finding that taking a shower is one of the easier parts of my day. I put Josh on a blanket on the (carpeted) bathroom floor. Owen picks out a couple of Josh's toys and then takes very seriously his "job" to entertain the baby while I shower. They're both where I can see them, it keeps Owen occupied, Josh giggles with delight, and I get 5 (okay 10!) minutes to get cleaned up and ready for the day.
A similar scenario also occasionally lets me clean up the kitchen after meals, set-up art projects, etc. I know it will be a few more years before the boys will actually play together, but it's nice to see that they can provide each other some brief moments of entertainment this early on.
I guess it also helps that Josh is such an easy going baby. Yesterday, he sat in the baby seat in the kitchen for almost 20 minutes watching Owen and I make cookies. And, when he does get fussy, he can go in the Moby wrap and be entertained by all the activity a 2 year old produces.
And the icing on the cake - two days in a row where both kids are taking their afternoon naps at the same time! I'm sure that's just a fluke, but it gives me hope for the future.
(Of course, not everything is peaches and cream around here, but it's important to embrace the little victories, right? Affirming the positive helps us persevere through the frustrations.)