Never did I think that having a second child could make me twice the lunatic I already was. But at this point in my life nothing seems more true than this: kids make us crazy.
In fact, I'm starting to believe that children are put on this earth to slowly and painfully send their parents into a state of sheer madness. Thus, the circle of life. We drive our makers to lunacy, only to be repaid the same gesture by our offspring.
Have your kids pushed you to the point of "certifiable"?
Mine have... And the youngest is only a month old.
Silence has become a long forgotten treasure. Now my house reverberates with the sounds of a toddler who talks incessantly, paired with the "feed-me-now-or-I'll-bite-your-head-off" cries of a newborn. Elmo's theme song has been forever implanted in my brain, and I often go to bed hearing bits and pieces of Big Bird's "Journey to Ernie" jingle. If that's not enough, somehow I can't shake the sound of Mackenzie's various demands throughout the day: "MINE!" "I WANT!" "NO, I DO IT!"
Of course, it doesn't stop there.
Lack of sleep takes a serious toll on any parent, and therefore adds to the crazy quotient.
Luckily - and I know as soon as I publish this post, all bets are off because I will have inevitably jinxed myself - Mackenzie has slept relatively well at night despite the fact that she shares a wall with a newborn who has a penchant for waking at 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. for feedings.
But sleep is still a fleeting memory. I have two children - one loves to sleep all day and the other will do anything in her power to avoid it. Stall tactics abound come nap time and bedtime and Mackenzie has recently taken to kicking her door with vile determination in an effort to send us straight to the psych ward.
Then, naturally, there's the expected transition to having another person in the house. Someone who - in Mackenzie's mind - gets a whole lot of attention. For a 23-month-old, the thought of sharing mommy and daddy with another baby must be daunting. And Mackenzie has certainly demonstrated behavior that seems to say, "Hey! What about ME?" We had been warned about regression: the desire to start nursing again or drink out of a bottle, the need for more affection, the tendency to cry more and speak less.
All of these things are normal. But when you're trying to burp a squirmy infant while attempting to reason with a toddler who wants to sleep in the baby bouncy chair, things can get a little unnerving. On the flip side, it's exhausting - and, truth be told, annoying - to have to constantly remind a child that her little brother is NOT a rag doll and cannot be handled as such.
Doug and I were relieved that we had finally reached a point where Mackenzie was relatively independent and didn't necessarily need to be watched with a hawk eye. But now she's capable of smothering her brother in a matter of seconds. BOOM - we're back on active duty.
So here we are - or at least here I am - ready to pull my hair out on a daily basis. And sad to say, this is the easy part.
But, dear readers, I'm forced to remind myself...
The best is yet to come.