Friday, April 13, 2007

Kid Chaos

My daughter is 25 months old today.

Shortly after she was born, some family and friends asked me, "So, when are you going to have another one?"

I'd smile and come back with some joking reply, but the truth was, I didn't know. Sometimes I'd say, "Let me get used to this one first!" or, "I don't know, ask Billy!" (That's my hubby).

As Downey grew up, and her personality began to shape, folks would ask me that question again. It usually came after she had thrown a tantrum in the store or sometimes it was when she'd so something really smart. I'm not biased when I tell you she does the latter quite often. :-)

I remember a time last summer when I was visiting with my cousins, Lisa and Candi. They asked me if we planned on having more children. Of course, I said that I would. I came from a small family and would like to have at least one more child, if not two, but my husband and I have been enjoying Downey and watching her grow from infant to toddler.

Now, at two, she is absolutely wild. No other toddler could be into as much as she is.

A friend from church told me they didn't lock their cabinets or kid proof the electrical outlets.

I'm sure the look I gave them was like: "Are you crazy?"

Kid proofed in our house takes on a whole new meaning. I mean, have you ever seen bubble wrap around someone's entire house? Stop by and see me.

I tell Downey "no" to things she shouldn't be doing and it goes in one ear and out the other. We keep all doors - interior and exterior - locked because she's so quick!. If I take my eye off of her for just a moment, then turn back around, she's gone! Then I find that she's snuck into the guest bedroom and climbed to the top of our tall, four poster bed. That one just happened today. Needless to say, I relocked that door real fast!

Or, she'll sneak into the bathroom and climb up into the sink where she then proceeds to turn the water off and on and squirt toothpaste and lotion all over the place. My days consist of chasing her down either telling her, "Now, Downey, don't do that . . ." or simply chasing her to get her dressed.

My cousin Lisa had her daughters about fifteen months apart. She said most people thought she and her husband were nuts, but because she had a hard time getting pregnant with their first daughter, the second daughter coming without fertility pills was a nice surprise. Lisa always told me it was nice to have her girls so close because they played together. I could never imagine this.

Until today, I figured if I had two children that close in age they would be climbing the walls and swinging from the ceiling fan.

Not true. I'm glad to report that I watched my nephew, Landon, who's fourteen months old, and he and Downey played very nice together.

Okay, I'll admit I only watched him for two hours. But I'm optimistic if I had him for eight hours, the day could've gone just as well (until nap time came, but we won't think about that).

This morning, I actually stood back and just watched them play together. There wasn't a lot of pushing or hair pulling. They were interested in each other and seemed to be glad to have someone else to play with since they're both only children. Though Landon was happy to see his Dad when he returned, I was kind of sad to see him go. And I think Downey was too.

But maybe we'll have another day to play with Landon, and I can enjoy those few minutes of sitting back and watching them play so happy together. Breathe a little in the middle of all this kid chaos.

Yet, I wouldn't want to be without this kind of chaos for too long.

6 comments:

  1. I'm not going to give you any advice. Oh, who am I kidding? The day a woman with five kids stops giving advice is the day the world stops turning:-)

    First of all, no two children are created equally, whether they have the same gene pool or not. I've often said that God knew that if He'd given me my second child first, I never would have had any more. She was a lot like your daughter, while the first was much more content. By the time number three came along, she just sat and watched the other two :-)

    This one I'm gonna throw out there at the risk of having you throw something at me. Your daughter is obviously very inquisitive by nature. This will be a great asset to her later. But, for now, maybe she's bored. Find something that will challenge her, and you've got an occupied child. For ten minutes at least :-) Yes, I'm laughing. Just like I do when my daughter calls with those famous words, "Do you know what your grandson just did?"

    Go ahead, Christy, take the leap.

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  2. Have that second one, and they'll entertain each other! :)

    My oldest was an only child for 5 years. He was sooo much work when we would go out, or even just at home. At restaurants, we had to take turns walking him around, take turns eating. We had to play peekaboo or ANYTHING to keep him occupied. I couldn't believe how much easier it was with the second! We never had to get up and walk him. He just watched big brother.

    Of course, when the third came, we were outnumbered, so that complicated things a little. :)

    I think it gets easier each time, though, because we learn to relax. My sister-in-law joked with us when they came to visit after we had our first. We dropped the pacifier, and my little nephew picked it up. She took it from him and said, wait, he's a first child, they'll want to sterilize that. LOL Of course, that was the truth! We boiled for the first child, rinsed for the 2nd, then blew off the pacifiers for the 3rd. :)

    Missy

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  3. My daughter was 23 months old when I had my son. I wanted to get pregnant again when he was 6 months old but my husband said no--two was enough. My theory was have them all at once and be done!!
    I knew once I got them out of diapers and baby things I wouldn't want to go back.
    Now they are 22 and 20....Amazing how the time has flown by. Enjoy Downey now.....she's a treasure! Then at 13 you'll really be pulling your hair....then a couple of years later it's all good again for a couple of years..you get the picture.
    My daughter and I are soooo very close. I love that.
    She just got a puppy and she's going crazy. She said "I feel like I had a baby overnight."
    Anyway, that's way off subject.
    And remember....God won't give you anything you can't handle. That's a promise.

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  4. Thanks for the advice!

    You're right, Mindy. She is bored. She's thinking, since Mommy's not looking, I think I'll explore here... I still can't believe she climbed up on that bed. The door is still locked, btw.

    Missy, I'm LOL at your memories of the restaurant. And that is so true about how you handle your first, second and third as far as boiling, rinsing and blowing goes! Loud LOL at that one! I have friends who've told me the same thing!

    Lindi - I smiled when you mentioned wanting another when your son was 6 months. I thought I wanted twins. I still think I would like to have twins. Sometimes it's that big family thing that I think is so cool. God will give me what he knows I can handle, you are absolutely right.

    And I love running crazy all over this house. When she's asleep or I'm separated from her - with other adults - I'm not totally sure what to do with myself. I think that's a blessing to know that kind of love.

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  5. Christy,

    I've wanted another one for a long time, but it never felt like the right time. When Celina was small like your daughter, we were going through the life-threatening seizures and I couldn't handle the thought of another one. When she was five, my husband started his own business and finances went down hill from there. Everyone told (and tells) me if you wait until you can afford it, you'll never have another one. They don't (really) understand the financial struggle we've gone through and it makes me feel like they're being insensitive to my concerns and not listening to what I've said. I have a responsibility to make rational choices.

    You are home with your daughter and it doesn't sound like you have my concerns (unless you haven't shared it). If I were you, I'd go for it. They'd be close in age. You're healthy. Can you hear all the logical things coming out of my mind?

    I held a baby last week at an Easter family picnic. Now I've had dreams of babies all week. My husband says I can't hold anymore babies. Now I'm 35 and my daughter is nine. Do we really want to start over, especially since I'm working full-time, making the money we need to live on? Last time I was on bedrest for 3 months. God will have to show me a few miracles for me to willingly get pregnant in the next few years.

    My situation is so different. If I were you, I think I'd go for it.

    Jenn

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  6. Hey Christy,
    I have a total of 6 kids. 4 mine and 2 his. I really think that they are worth it:-) But what made it work for me? I kept my sanity by taking courses from Love and Logic. I listened to tapes, read their books, and my hubby and I went to a conference by Love and Logic. I went from a really stressed mom to a really confident and comfortable mom. I can laugh and enjoy them because of what I learned. And...they have a GREAT toddler tape!!! In addition, I am hooked on Focus on the Family radio show. The combination of the two parenting programs of Love and Logic and Focus on the Family really work and make a huge difference!
    Angie

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