I’ve been faced with some difficult dilemmas lately, trying to balance 2 kids. Here are some of them. Any feedback is welcome. Perhaps I chose poorly. Perhaps not:
Scenario 1: Due to the time change, “naked time1” no longer falls at the predictable 3:00-4:00 PM. Instead, it can occur at any time in the afternoon, often more than once. You sit nursing the newborn who has just awakened after a 2.5 hour nap. Your boobs are full – more than full. The toddler begins naked time, dancing around the living room in naught but her Foofa hat from Halloween, occasionally deigning to sit on her potty. You fear a smelly mess but realize if you break the latch with the infant, not only will you piss him off, but the pressure of the spray will probably blow a hole through the living room wall. What do you do?
Scenario 2: You sit pinned under a nursing baby with a whirling dervish of a toddler making laps around the living room. There’s not much else you can do but stare at the dust bunnies and filth accumulating at a rapid and grotesque pace. How do you let it go without medication or heavy drinking? Really?
Scenario 3: You get approximately 12 minutes to do whatever you want. Normally, you are a master of time management and prioritizing. Now you have to pick from an impossible list: do you bathe or go to the bathroom, clean some of the aforementioned funk around the house, do something recreational that you would truly enjoy such as blog or read, or sit and stare at the wall quietly? What do you do?
Scenario 4: Your toddler has this goofy toy: a duck bill/duck call on a yellow string. When you put the mouthpiece up to your face to blow, you look like a big duck. It’s on a string so that if you choose, you can wear it as a necklace. Your kid has pulled the string apart, such that it’s a long rope with a free-sliding duck bill attached. She likes to let the bill part rest on the floor and hold on to the end of the string while she runs around and around it so much that the string begins to torque like an old-fashioned phone cord. So far, no big deal. Until it becomes a bolas. You’re stuck nursing on the couch (surprise, surprise) while the bill whirls overhead. You just go the newborn to stop fussing after about an hour straight and latch. You know the toddler needs to stop swinging the damn duck bill, NOW, but she is ignoring your commands. You don’t want to set off the infant. Any direct involvement will result in a blow from a plastic duck bill at pretty high velocity and a tantrum. Lack of involvement could result in a busted TV screen2. She also could just get bored and walk away, some day, allowing you to dispose of the duck bill safely. Which option do you choose?
Scenario 5: The infernal drum is being played, quite joyfully, in the living room. Your toddler is having a total ball, and you’re grateful that she’s not demanding that you fix her a glass of chocolate milk or turn on her “bideos.” Sure, you are the one that purchased the drum, and up until recently the noise really didn’t bother you. However, now you’re getting less sleep and changing more diapers. You’re also conscious that the little one’s ears are still fairly pristine, and probably don’t enjoy this kind of loud thudding. Do you take the drum? At what price does the toddler’s happiness come? The infant’s ears?
1 Naked time is the spontaneous event which occurs almost daily in which Stella abruptly decides that clothing is for losers and quickly strips. If you’re lucky, you can persuade her to keep a diaper on sometimes. But I’m not lucky.
2 We have a large but old TV. Sure, it’s flat-screen but also has a picture tube. It’s a behemoth. My husband hates it and wants to replace it. However, it still works perfectly well. He may not weep at a broken TV as it’s an opportunity to upgrade. Then again, he’s safely at work and wouldn’t have to clean up the mess and wrangle a toddler without intervention of cartoons.