To be truthful, I was kind of on the fence whether to go from being a single child family to two but Craig has a knack for tricking me on Valentine’s Day (yes, both Scorpio kids). It felt like two would be so full on. I gave baby Edie my all. True, I had two boobs, but one definitely needed a breather every few hours. Two kids would mean twice as many colds, half as much Mama-time, twice as much work.
But then I discovered having two kids to be more a breeze than having just one
When Kale was about three months old Craig offered to take Edie to town with him as he ran errands to ‘give me a break’. I must have been feeling weak for all of sudden I heard this voice erupt out me I barely recognized saying (kind of like Marge’s sister, Selma, from The Simpsons); do not take the girl.
The kids are almost exactly four years apart in age (nine months post-Valentine’s Day) and Edie has been indispensable in the mama’s little helper department. I almost feel like I’ve never been completely left alone with my youngest before. Until now.
Edie has entered the whole leaving house to go to school thing and the reality of how that feels didn’t hit me until about the third day last week when Kale and I were still sitting there at the kitchen table. Staring at each other.
And I was reminded of what has worked in the past
Any kind of change is scary but by leaning on the simplicity parenting principle of rhythm (which we will be exploring and implementing together in my upcoming workshop series) the paradigm shift has gone pretty smooth and only with the occasional utterance of “Mother. Where’s my sister?” in that wonderfully delicious fake English accent I’ve been imprinting upon him since his birth.
To help keep that cute but laced with a twinge of sadness lamenting away here are five areas of simplifying we instilled here in the last couple of weeks that have helped:
1. A chore a day
A part of our kindergarten dance when Edie was about this age was everyday was marked with a chore we dove into together. It really marked the days. Before she learned the days of the week I would inform her she would be visiting a little friend of hers on Vacuum Day. Grandma would be visiting in two more Bathroom Days.
And it’s surprising how seriously helpful kids are before you would think they are. Laundry folding takes a while with little man helping me, and things aren’t exactly folded, more squished over, but it’s a bonding time and sweet, as you can plainly see, how hard he tries. Little try hard.
2. A morning walk
We are back on our walk to the mailbox ritual. And now that we have the pup the trip feels three times as productive as before. And the cuteness factor is almost too much to bear.
Cute or no cute, it’s a grounding way for us to start the day and dial in to the changing weather and the accompanying look of our surrounding landscapes. We usually pick something up along the way to display on the nature table.
3. Regular meal times
Even though it’s tempting with less bodies to keep track of and fed to be more loose adhering to lunch times I’m sticking to it. And it’s appears easier for some reason feeding one kid as oppose to two. Not that Edie’s the biggest eater around but it just seems that way. I’m noticing lately how he offers and loves to help do the dishes which was trickier to entice him to do with Little Miss Good Times around.
4. Quiet time
After lunch we try to re-introduce the concept of quiet time. With big sis around quiet time wasn’t exactly the most silent part of the day but now with the parameters of stay on your bed and let mama have her tea time it’s been a little more realistic. He hasn’t had this time of muteness in the middle of the day since he use to nap so many moons ago.
5. After school decompression snack
Kale is excited about accompanying me to pick up Edie from school. We go about fifteen minutes early so that he can play in the playground with other somewhat lonely, younger siblings. And then the first thing we do upon coming home is wash our hands really well (school playground are laden in kid germs, did you know that?) and settle in for a bit of an after school treat before they rush off to play all the imaginative games Kale has been rehearsing out loud in that fake accent of his.
I can see how her temporary absence in the days already seems to be deepening their bond even more so so far and Kale and mine too. The set rhythm provokes me to be more aware when engaged in this ‘work’ when I observe how before I use to kind of tune out while allowing them to entertain each other and I would throw in a podcast while at some tasks.
I’m sure there will still be podcast listening days (I still have milking!) but for now I am reminded that he is learning much more from me now that it’s just the two of us and I want to present him with the best first teacher possible.
Fun gift being emailed out to subscribers to my Crummy to Yummy email list tomorrow ~ the fall episode of Radio K-Wow! Golden stories from my youth are sprinkled in with four of my favourite fall-inspired songs in this mini-podcast. Sign up today if you’re not on that list yet to scoop it up