>Guest Post: Two Is Better than One

>She’s been a guest here before, several times. She is one of my favorite ladies. Please give a return welcome to Kelly from The Miller Mix.

People like to say, “no two children are the same,” but you don’t really believe that until you experience it yourself. When you have only one child, you liken him to others and keep a mental list of how he’s more or less advanced than his peers. You feel your heart swell up when he does something no other child his age is doing, and you start looking up numbers for professional services when he lags behind in some other area. Keeping track of his abilities is a tedious and time-consuming task.
Then you have a second child, and the world as you know it shifts on its axis. Everything’s different. You’d heard it would be, but you simply didn’t believe it. That list of milestones and achievements starts to seem pretty ridiculous. After all, while you remember the exact moment your older child rolled over for the first time (because it was at least a month before your friend’s same-age child did it), you were too busy chasing and entertaining that older child to fully devote your mental energy to cataloging when your second child rocked herself from front to back. And so it goes.
Some might think the general fog that settles in after the second child (and the complete inability to remember which one it was that did that hilarious thing at age 2) is a bad thing, but they’d be wrong. It’s called freedom: freedom to laugh at your children’s antics instead of writing them down, freedom to enjoy your children’s development rather than compare it, freedom to feel pride that these kids — the ones who depend on you for everything — are gonna be A-okay. And freedom is a beautiful thing.
Life happens, and I’ve yet to meet a parent who doesn’t lament about how the time is rushing past them. I am so grateful that I’ve finally realized that the best thing I can do as a parent is bask in the minutes — whether they seem endless or fleeting — rather than worry about what they mean and how to make the most of them. My children aren’t the same, and they aren’t like yours or hers or his. They are their own little selves. Today — and everyday — I’ll be working on knowing them better and appreciating them for the unique souls they are.
Now if only I could forget that my oldest was potty trained at 18 months as my youngest sits across the room laughing about how she just (purposefully) peed in her pull-up!
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>Guest Post: A Glimpse Into the Future

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Please welcome Jessica Anne from Adventures with 3 Girls to The Scoop on Poop today. I’m very excited to have her here. She was my NaNo partner, helped me stay motivated and pushed me along.

I’m so excited to be guest posting for Stephanie while she moves into her beautiful new home! You can usually find me over at Adventures With Three Girls, a clever title I came up with because I have three girls.
When people find out I have three girls four and under, I always get a reaction. How busy I must be, how I have my hands full, and my favorite, just wait until they’re teenagers. I smile and laugh along with them.  Yep, those hormones are going to be something else.  It’s going to be like World War III in my house. Can you imagine all the crying? My husband already has it set up to take a week vacation at my mother-in-law’s house once a month. Hahaha.
People. It’s not funny. It scares the crap out of me.  My oldest will be thirteen in less than eight and half years. That’s less than a decade before the hormones start. My youngest will hit thirteen in eleven and half years. When she does I will have a sixteen year old, fourteen year old, and thirteen year old.  All living under one roof at the same time.  And, unless we move, at least two will be sharing a room.
If you do the math, that’s two full years of three teenage girls before the oldest one goes to college, or gets kicked out of the house. Whatever, at eighteen, she’s gone. I’m sure I won’t be able to deal with it any more. 
You might think I’m overreacting a little. I mean, don’t worry about it until it happens, right? Here’s the problem with that.  The things I thought I’d have to deal with when they were teenagers have already started. It’s bad. And it’s only going to get worse. 
1.       The Clothes
Teenagers change clothes almost as often as they change their moods. Nothing looks right, what they want is dirty. There are clothes everywhere.
 My girls are already there. Every morning we go through multiple outfit per girl. It’s not right, it has a stain, they want the one in the hamper that’s dirty. The four year old has a fit that it’s dirty and she can’t wear it. The two year old has a fit that I won’t let her fish is out of the hamper and wear it, covered in yogurt.
 There are clothes on the floor.  The hampers overflow, even though I seem to do five loads of laundry a day. 
2.       The Hair
Teenagers spend an inordinate amount of time on their hair. Every hair has to be in place. I know I have my own hole in the ozone from all the hairspray I used as a teenager.
 My four year old does her own hair every morning. I don’t brush it right. She spends at least fifteen minutes brushing, creating pony tails with pieces sticking out, and figuring out ways to use every barrette in the house at the same time.   This is the same child who can’t entertain herself for fifteen minutes so I can sit down and scarf lunch at two in the afternoon.  The two year old is fast on her heels, fighting for barrettes for her own hair.  And the baby?  Even she’s in on the action, grabbing a brush and hitting her head with it. (She’s not that coordinated.)
3.       The Fighting
 With three teenage girls in the house, I expect there to be a lot of fighting, over clothes, over space, over television. Basically, I expect them to fight over everything they can possibly disagree on.
But it’s already started. I break up roughly thirty million fights a day during the fourteen hours they’re awake. They fight over dolls, they fight over books, they fight over who gets to turn off the television.  They even fight over the chores I give them.  Apparently, feeding the dog is a good gig. Even the little one fights for things.  She’s a hair puller and a biter. Gotta use what you got when you’re the smallest.
4.       The Screaming
 Teenagers scream, a lot. They yell that they hate you. Screaming is a primary form of communication.
 Turns out, screaming is a primary form of communication for girls of any age.  Every morning , I am awoken, not by the sweet song of a blue bird out my window, but by the screams of a child.  My girls are not morning people. They wake up rough.  The first screamer, in the process of screaming, wakes up her two sisters, who start screaming because they got woken.  On the days my husband works, the screaming intensifies when they realize he left before they got up.  And it only goes downhill from there.  Only when the television is on and they have a snack in hand, is no one screaming. You may have guessed, but they watch more than the prescribed two hours of television a day.
 I’m pretty sure by the time the oldest is eight I’m going to have hearing loss.  Like the kind you get from going to too many concerts. 
5.       The Sulking
 Teenagers are moody. It’s all those hormones.  Moodiness results in sulking.  Tell them no, they sulk. They have a bad day, they sulk.  Angry, sulk. There’s a lot of sulking.
 Surprisingly, the sulking starts young.  Both my older two, when angry, stomp around the house, slam the door to their room, flop onto their bed, and lay there, sulking.  Four and two, people. Four and two.  The little one slams doors too, but for now it’s just because she likes the noise it makes.
 I think you can understand the sheer terror and panic attacks I have when I imagine my house full of three teenage girls.   So, when you see me out at the grocery store, instead of laughing at me about how terrible it’s going to be, take pity on me. Remind me, there’s one big advantage to having three teenagers.  They will sleep. A lot. No way I’ll have to deal with them for fourteen hours straight.  Between school and sleeping, I probably will only have two or three hours max when they’re awake. I hope.