I recently learned what it would feel like to have two two-year olds. For two days in fact. That's two two-year olds for two days. Did you get all that?
I survived. But I'm going to be honest, it was rough. Harder than I thought it was going to be. Much harder. I have no idea how people who have twins survive. They have two at the same age at the same time all the time. That's amazing. And if you have two sets of twins well that just puts you on a whole 'nother level of amazing. Yes, I'm talking to you Amber! If you add in the fact that I was also PMSing, it might help explain why it was so rough for me. But that's probably just an excuse.
The first day I realized I might have gotten in over my head. So being that I was at my Mom's house, I decided not to take my chances heading home with the two two year olds and I stayed where I had help. But I was determined to go about my usual day. So determined that I didn't stop to think about how difficult that might be. So off to Target we all went. With my Mom of course, I'm not completely insane.
I wish I could tell you that it was a quick and easy trip, but that would be a lie. I grabbed one of those practically impossible to push carts, you know the ones with the seats for two in the front. Got Zack all buckled in, only to realize that Preston's buckles were broken. Had I been smart this is where I would have just decided to put them in seperate carts and have my Mom push one. But NOOOO. I could handle it. I figured Preston would be so excited about riding around with Zack that he would stay put. WRONG! I don't even know why I thought that. It makes me feel stupid to even type that I thought that Preston would choose to stay in his seat and play with his buddy, when all of Target was at his disposal and there was nothing holding him back. Preston took full advantage of this. Which made moving the cart anywhere impossible. I tried punishing, moving him to the back of the cart (which he just tried to climb out of), and finally gave in and dragged my Mom back to the front to switch over to two carts for the two boys.
At this point, I was realizing that I'm not sure what I would do if I were by myself. Plenty of people have two kids and two kids that are close in age, my own Mom had twins and four kids ages five and under and yet there I was freaking out. When you take your kids to the car, how do you put them in? What if one runs into the street? How do you leave the house? I couldn't have made it through that Target trip if I'd been by myself. Not to mention showering. If I was home alone with both boys no way no how would I have left them alone for even a single minute while I climbed into the shower. That's like asking for disaster. These were just some of the questions I faced on the first day.
The second day things ran smoother and then at the same time didn't. The boys were used to each other this day. Which meant that they got right to playing and there was no awkwardness. It also meant that sharing went out the door. It was much more difficult to convince Preston that he needed to share his toys with Zack when he had just seen Zack the day before and shared them then. This meant that Zack became frustrated. And we all know what happens when two year olds become frustrated. The hitting begins. I wish that I could say that just Zack hit but once again then I'd be lying. Preston held his own and started a few battles himself. At one point I yelled at Preston that we "never ever EVER hit our friends" and Zack who was watching me correct Preston looked at me and asked, "never ever EVER?". I had to laugh. Here were these two boys just trying to get down to business playing and I'm interrupting them for not playing nice with one another and all they want to do is keep playing.
Then I attempted to run to Gap. Once again with my Mom. Seriously people I am not deranged. It took two strollers, two adults, and one stop at Starbucks. We finally got down there and my Mom tried to cause me to rip every hair on my head out by trying on every pair of jeans they had in the store. Preston and Zack were not having it. Zack would touch Preston and Preston would get mad. Preston would touch Zack and Zack would get mad. I was slowly unraveling. So I did what anybody in this wonderful technology age would do when faced with a problem like this. I whipped out my iPhone and put Cars on for them.
I wish that rainbows popped out and everything went smoothly after that. But no. Preston decided he didn't want to let Zack watch the movie with him. And Zack reacted exactly the way I would have, he got mad. And when I took the phone away from Preston for not sharing. I somehow ended up with not just one mad two year old, but two. Which meant that the boys got the phone back. Only this time Preston was willing to share.
After leaving the mall things did flow a lot smoother for the rest of the afternoon. But that was largely in part due to the fact that Preston fell asleep and I was back to my comfort level with just one two year old to deal with. Zack and I had some lunch. Played with some cars. Watched Thomas the Train. And did some snuggling on the couch. Until his Mom arrived.
I never thought I'd say this but just one two year old is so easy. At least after seeing what it's like to have two of them.
Strangely enough at the end of all of this I didn't walk away thinking that I would just stop at the one child. I suddenly crave the ideas of brothers. Preston loved having Zack around. He was completely entertained. And they were so cute to watch. The way that one fed off of the other and how excited they were to have a playmate. I can't imagine not giving that feeling to Preston. No matter how crazy being outnumbered (at least while Brad's at work) that makes me.
That thought does create a whole new problem for me though. I kind of want to stop at two kids. Two seems like we could keep the lifestyle we have now with just minor changes here and there. But three means we'd have to make so many changes. We'd need a bigger car, a bigger house, financially we'd have to make big changes in our spending and vacation habits, I'd lose a large chunk of my sanity, and Brad and I combined would be outnumbered. Still I can't stop thinking about Preston and Zack playing together and how much I'd love to give Preston a brother.
Don't even get me started on how it's not fair to give Preston a brother and not give my future daughter a sister. Decisions, decisions. It's a good thing we still have a few years to figure it all out.