National Novel Writing Month – Day 16

Word Count: 34,657

Today was not my best showing, word count-wise.  Or writing-wise.  My brain feels like it’s been stuffed with Jello chocolatey pudding.  Maybe it was the lack of adult conversation I was privy to today.  Maybe it was the fact that I didn’t get to eat much of anything until 6:00 PM.  Maybe it was just Monday.  I don’t know.  Tomorrow will be better.

I do feel like I am figuring out how to better handle spending the day with two kids under two, though, so that’s a plus.  Each day my niece “E” is becoming less like a newborn and more like a curious little infant.  She’s very smiley and very chatty and she takes a lot of naps (which I love).  My son (“A”) loves having her around, and I look forward to a time when she’s old enough to hold her own with him — at least somewhat.

Also, beyond the kids getting used to each other, I’ve learned a few personal lessons on how to cope with having two little ones in the house:

1. Start each day fresh (mentally, physically, and domestically). This means get enough sleep, shower, put on make-up, wear clean clothes, make sure everything is picked up and put away.  That way a) you will feel so much better going about your day and b) you won’t feel the need to be working your butt off around the house if you somehow happen to miraculously get the kids to nap at the same time.

2. Expect to get absolutely nothing accomplished during the day aside from taking care of babies. This is a difficult one to do, but it’s very freeing.  If you don’t expect to get the bills paid or the dishwasher unloaded or the pages written, you won’t feel as bad when you inevitably fall short on your tasks.  There will always be time to get the rest of your life under control after they go to bed.  Or not.  Who really cares if the rug gets vacuumed?  And mortgage, schmortgage — Am I right?

3. Behold the power of Sesame Street. I know you’re not “supposed to” plop your kids in front of the TV; but if it means allowing yourself a few minutes to read Go Fug Yourself while holding on to a modicum of sanity, it can’t be all bad.  Plus, Sesame Street is rad.  Especially the Old School episodes that are apparently no longer meant for children.  At least I know that when my son’s in jail for a breaking and entering I’ll be able to point a finger at these two cats.

4. Enjoy the kids. Nothing you will see on the TV/find on the Internet/read in a book will ever compare to the sight of a smiling baby who is learning to use her hands for the first time or the sound of a kid as he rattles off not-quite-right barnyard animal noises.

5. Be able to send one of the kids back home to their own house at the end of the day. I may be holding my own while having two kids in my house during the day, but I always get to start and end the day with only one child.  Having to watch only one kid at a time is like going to a day spa where they serve you chocolate layer cake laced with muscle relaxers.

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