The massive cliche is in fact true: the first year with your second child goes by in a heartbeat. Especially if you, like us, decided to have two children under two. Looking back to when Wilbur was born Joni was just a baby too, really.
Something’s with Wilbur have been so much easier. I’ve not worried half as much about smaller things. We’ve taken illnesses and developmental phases more in our stride. We’ve been more relaxed, which is a relief.
Getting out of the house and doing things is easy enough, I’ve got into the swing of being prepared enough but not too worried. I’m a complete town person so I’m never more than a few minutes away from somewhere to buy a snack for Joni, extra nappies or anything we might need whilst we’re out and about. Although this might explain why we could stock a major pharmacy with sippy cups. oops.
A huge surprise for me: I’ve breastfed him for a year! Despite trying to stop plenty of times along the way so I could sleep more we appear to have carried on. We only feed once a day now and I can’t see that one lasting much longer … He digs his teeth in and it only lasts for a couple of minutes so I’m sure he’ll soon give up on it all together.
Sleep has been our biggest problem (duh!). We really have struggled. The whole family has struggled. Chris found it difficult because there didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to his sleep (or lack of it). Then, last week everything changed. He’s slept completely through the night a few times and on the other nights only woken briefly once. A huge breakthrough. That’s two weeks now of better sleep and I have so much more energy, it’s a relief. I’ve done things that I haven’t had the energy to do for months and months, my drill has been getting a work out Getting Things Done before our party at the weekend.
Somethings with Wilbur have been a lot different to with Joni. It’s strange because I thought, for some reason, that they’d be similar. I’ve no idea why – I’m not similar to my brothers. Joni didn’t get any teeth ’til she was 14 months old whereas Wilbur, approaching his first birthday, has 6 huge teeth with a couple more about to come through. And he has really struggled with them – he’s had all the Teething Hell symptoms (snot, temperature, whinging, crying, clingy, angry, off food etc) that Joni didn’t have.
Wilbur loves cuddles. He buries his face into my neck and just stays there for ages. Sometimes talking away to himself. He loves closeness and he loves feeling our skin touching. When he’s feeding he slides his hand up my sleeve so it can rest on my arm, I love this little intimacy between us. To this end, my family probably think he loves me a little bit too much. If he’s crying all I have to do is hold him and he immediately stops. Sometimes he sees me after not seeing me and will start crying, like he’s suddenly remembered he misses me. I’m glad we have this closeness. I’m hoping it’ll be a firm foundation for the rest of his life.
Joni and Wilbur get on really well, on the whole. Joni plays a game. She says: ‘let’s play my best game – I love Wilbur’ then she shouts I LOVE WILBUR and we have to say back that we love Wilbur more. And boy do they love each other. Wilbur thinks Joni is the funniest person he has ever ever seen. He just has to look at her and they erupt into giggles. She’s a little heavy handed with him and we’re dealing with her taking all his toys at the moment but he’s beginning to stand up for himself. Mostly though, they’re incredibly sweet together. I just watched him crawl under the table and hide and Joni was laughing, he immediately crawled out and back in again – I think he was trying to make her laugh. It was very sweet!
One of the most surprising things for me is that I don’t feel broody. For now, our family feels complete. I always thought I would be desperate for more children already. I thought I wanted 3 or 4. Perhaps I still do, but definitely not now. I can’t imagine wanting any more. I feel so happy with our two and i’m looking forward to life with two preschoolers who can walk and talk and play together. I’m looking forward to working more, playing more netball and doing more things all together that allow Chris and I to relive our childhood. We did it! We did the first year with two very young children. Phew.