Back when it was just Toddler and me, I could address her needs and mine quite efficiently. Neither of us had to do much waiting around. She also wasn’t potty training prior to Baby’s arrival, so there were never any “Mommy, I need you NOW” moments.
Well, she always needed me, but not quite to the level of the “mom-if-you-don’t-help-me-get-to-the-potty-now-you’re-going-REALLY-regret-it-in-fifteen-seconds!” You know what I mean….
Somehow, the addition of one more person – one tiny little person – has increased the demands on my time fivefold, it seems.
You know what I feel like most of the time now? An ER nurse performing triage to determine whose needs are the most important, who merely wants something, and who is just pretending to need something for the attention. (Note: I am NOT putting myself as equal to an ER nurse doing actual triage … they are extremely skilled and saving people’s lives … I am not!)
Example #1: 1) Someone is about to pee their pants and needs to pee in the next 60 seconds. 2) Someone has poop in their diaper. 3) Someone bumped a body part and is crying. (Key: Me, Baby, Toddler.) Triage result: Give Toddler a hug and carry her the bathroom so she has company while I pee. Then I change Baby’s diaper.
Now, I would’ve liked to go pee first, but we all know that’s not how this mom game works….
Example #2: 1) Someone tripped and is crying over the boo-boo. 2) Someone was set off by the crying and is now throwing a hard toy across the room and crying. 3) Someone is overtired and about to either start crying or yell “fuckfuckfuck stop crying!” (Key: Baby, Toddler, Me.) Triage result: Take a deep breath and keep my mouth shut, pick up Baby and kiss/rub her boo-boo while shushing her, and then calm down Toddler by showing her that her sister has calmed down and telling her not to throw toys no matter what’s happening.
I definitely would’ve liked to let the expletives fly – my version of a toddler tantrum – but we all know how that’ll end up (Toddler learning some fun new words and Social Services arriving a few days later….). Double crying means the triage skills are put to the test!
Example #3: 1) Someone woke up and is singing loudly from her room (Yellow Submarine, Happy Birthday, etc.). 2) Someone woke up and is overtired and parched. 3) Someone woke up and is crying from bed. (Key: Toddler, Baby, me.) Triage result: Bring Toddler’s sippy cup of milk upstairs and bring her to the bathroom quickly so she’s clean and has something to drink while I go and nurse Baby. Then, 20 minutes later, turn on the coffee maker and get myself really woken up….
Now, my ideal first activity would’ve been to get at least one cup of coffee in me, but I have to wake up earlier than the girls (not possible if they wake up unusually early) to get that in. Or I could nurse the baby first, but Toddler can’t (won’t) go pee on her own yet when she wakes up. So Baby just deals with a few minutes of crying/fussing – or rather, we deal with it.
Notice a pattern here? Mom’s needs are met last in every example. Living the mom life!