"I hope you've had lots of sleep, because you won't have much for the next 25 years!"
"Well, your days of showering in private are over."
"How do you feel about pee soaked mattresses? That's too bad, because you're going to have one."
And so on.
What society doesn't prepare you for, is the life flip that happens when you go from having one child to having two.
Perhaps it was just me... Maybe it was our birth spacing... Could be that we went from having one really easy going kid, to having one really easy going kid with a feisty sister. More likely though, I think that the first year with a second child is just BRUTAL.
One child is a PANTLOAD of work (literally and figuratively), but the first year with two is like treading water (and doing laundry, and making breakfast, and climbing the stairs), with a toddler clinging to your ankles and a baby in your arms...
It was like Neve was born and on her first night at home, she and Judah met in his bedroom closet and made a secret treatise along these lines:
We solemnly swear,
1. That we will never nap simultaneously.
2. That we will always lick each other's toys and faces when we are ill, to ensure one of us is sick at all times.
3. That one of us will always be in mom and dad's bed.
4. That mom will never use the bathroom unattended.
5. That dad will always be awoken by one of us before dawn and that we will ensure he reads 10 Sandra Boynton books before breakfast.
6. That one of us will always attempt escape at the library.
7. That no trip to the grandparents shall go without a screaming finale.
8. That we will never willingly share anything with each other, and that whatever you are playing with is exactly what I need, right now.
9. That any moment we accidentally get along, should end with us banging foreheads.
10. That the only music we will agree on will be nauseating, third-rate, nursery rhymes sung by puppets.
For the next 12 months, they obeyed their own laws. Then, one day without notice, they started to play together. We pretended not to see. We avoided direct eye contact. We hid in a closet and wept with relief.
Now, Judah insists on being the one to run upstairs when Neve wakes from a nap.
Now, Neve calls for Judah when she wants someone to play in the couch fort.
Now, Mom has tiny moments of reprieve. A chance to sit back and watch... and imagine what it might be like to have three.