In the interest of killing two birds with one stone, I can simply answer: this time. Harder. Much harder.
Count me firmly in the camp of those who say it's more difficult to go from one child to two than it was to go from none to one. I was afraid this would be the case, but crossed my fingers hopefully every time I heard: Well, it's a lot easier to adapt to a second kid than it was to adapt to the first one!
My first kid, though? He was easy. And in fact, this second one? She's easy too. On her own. Luckily, my babies have been easy ones. And my toddler is easy(ish) for me to handle when I can give him my full attention. It's the balancing act on the high wire of their vastly differing needs that's got me desperately seeking my footing, and often failing to find it until after a crash or three on the circus floor of sulking, tears and tantrums (the toddler's, the baby's, my own or my husband's; it's hard to say some days who'll fall apart first!).
And this whole living in your house, like, nonstop, round the clock, with your immediate family all up in your grill at every conceivable moment? Intense.
That's all I'm going to say about that.
Except: Can I plead extenuating circumstances?
Yes, I can (being judge, jury and executioner in these here proceedings, I vote yes, I may proceed with the plea). Let me lay out my case for you, dear reader. Perhaps you can serve as my witness.
Extenuating Circumstance Number One: Winter. This could easily equal case closed, not guilty by reason of insanity, right here, with that one word. But there's more..
Extenuating Circumstance Letter B: My husband threw his back out the day after I was released from the hospital. Did we let this slow us down? No, we did not. I shared my Percocet prescription (shhh...) and we rearranged all the furniture in the house, including moving three dressers and a queen sized bed that had to be sawed in half and then repaired up a flight of stairs into the attic, aka our new bedroom. Bad back and healing abdomen be damned!
Excruciating Circumstances 1.0 and 2.0: Mastitis (1.0). Followed by a regiment of antibiotics. Followed by a recurrence of mastitis (2.0). No, I did not share my Augmentin with my husband, in case you were suspicious. I'm midway through a second prescription and just now beginning to nurse without feeling like ground glass is being sucked through my mammary glands.
Dietary Bylaw Breakage 2,011: I abandoned the diabetic diet that sustained me through my pregnancy, and promptly began forgetting to eat. Until all of a sudden I find myself starving, dizzy, headachey, and in dire need of large quantities of the closest available convenience food. Bad habit to get into. Still trying to break it. My dinner tonight? The crusts of two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, the rest of which were consumed by the toddler. I still have some work to do in breaking this habit.
Exclamation Oh-Fuck-No! Number Zed: The sudden death of the afternoon nap. That's right. The boy has chosen NOW to abandon his long held practice of sleeping away a good portion of each afternoon. It took us over a week to realize we could put him to bed hours earlier instead of spending those evening hours in the presence of His Royal Highness Mister Meltdown Extraordinaire. Quick thinking appears not to be a hallmark of the post-partum period.
Strange-But-True Happenstance Letter K: I seem to have morphed into Mrs. Martha Stewart Kiddie Home Living. Which means there are four of us living in a home we haven't managed to organize in the two plus years we've been living here, and suddenly I find it unacceptable when the wooden toys aren't arranged just so or the alphabet puzzle is no longer in alphabetic order on the floor. I think I have uttered the phrase: A place for everything and everything in it's place more often in the past weeks than ever before --cumulatively-- in my entire life. I may not have eaten since breakfast, but goddammit, you could eat off my son's truck rug (freshly vaccuumed!) if I remembered to offer you something. Which I wouldn't. Unless you're a toddler desiring crust-free sandwiches. Or you have a breastmilk fetish. So help me God, if you don't take your shoes off when you enter my house, though. No breastmilk for you! I can abide a pervert, but don't you dare go tracking snow up in here after I just cleaned the hardwoods, motherfucker.
Final Closing Argument, Gavel Pounding in Agreement: IT'S WINTER! Seriously, what's a mama (of two) supposed to do? IF it were summer (or spring, or fall) I could take my offspring into the great outdoors and allow nature to work it's magic, running my boy's energy off like he's entered a marathon, providing my daughter the Vitamin D she must resort to a dropper to get in this wintery clime, burning baby weight like the fiery sun while I pushed my younger child and chased my older one. Winter, it's not the first time I've said it, and it likely won't be the last. I don't care how pretty you are in pictures, dude. You, my friend (and when I say friend, that's a polite way of saying enemy, you know, like they do in Congress): are an asshole.