This time last year, I was just starting this blog.
I had a six month old baby who had just learned to crawl and a feisty, chatty two year old. As you’d imagine (or can guess from the exasperated tone of my posts) it was hard work; I often felt like I was drowning under the weight of trying to keep my toddler alive whilst trying and usually failing to get the small one to sleep.
A year on, and I no longer have the dreaded two under two (cos, you know, kids grow up). I now have an 18 month old and a three year old. A toddler and a preschooler. Yay.
Now: I don’t really have to worry too much about the big one accidentally doing for the small one any more. He’s more robust and less likely to swallow things, and she’s a bit more aware and less likely to sit on him (unless on purpose).
He still cannot be left on his own or he whines like an annoying puppy but they can be trusted to entertain each other for short periods of time, whilst I cook dinner/have a pee/check Facebook and I’m usually alerted to any impending crises by loud screams. As long as I am nearby to shout ‘share!’ and ‘stop pushing your brother!’ every five minutes they don’t need me to intervene in their strange games. Phew.
They still come and watch me wee.
Verdict: Definitely looking promising.
Then: They didn’t really have a lot in common, him being a baby and all. He basically had to tag along to wherever she was going.
Now: They enjoy lots of the same things; picnics, the park, soft play, Mr Tumble, tantrums and whichever toy the other is playing with.
Verdict: Big tick in the ‘pro’ column for the close-in-age thing.
Then: The big one could talk. The small one (obviously) couldn’t. He just whined and screamed a bit.
Now: I can ask them both to do things, and they understand. It doesn’t mean they are listening or will do them though, The small one is learning to talk, and it’s very cute. The big one never stops talking, which is a bit less so.
Verdict: Having two children capable of comprehension is great. One day, they might do as I ask. One day.
Then: Two in nappies. My personal best was changing seven before 9am. That was a shitty day.
Now: One in nappies, and one “potty trained“. This does not equal less shit for me to deal with.
Verdict: I’m going to be wiping dirty bums for a while.
Then: Big one would go to bed at 7; a bath and a story and a kiss goodnight and that was that. Small one still shared with us and would go to “bed” when we could persuade him; usually when we went to bed or about two hours afterwards, lying on top of my face.
Now: They (usually) go to bed at the same time and although it can be a fraught ordeal thanks to the small one’s refusal to go to sleep unless either daddy or I are RIGHT THERE, bedtime can be achieved single handedly. He might however reappear several hours later.
Verdict: An improvement, but my god he’d better start learning to fall asleep on his own soon.
Then: He was a certified shit sleeper and woke up every hour without fail. I wanted to rip my face off. His naps were woeful.
Now: He is still a total nap jerk. He usually only wakes us up once in the night, by leaving his bed, exiting his room and knocking politely on our bedroom door at any point between midnight and 6am. Sometimes he will even go back to sleep. ONCE I got to lie-in, in my childfree bed, until 7.30am although I suspect he may have been ill.
Verdict: I can’t believe I’m meant to accept waking up once through the night and then at 5am for good as an improvement but…
There you have it.
It’s been a hell of a year.
* Or slightly less, as I wrote this post when the big one was 28.5 month old and the small one was 9 months.