Sunday, October 21, 2012

1 + 1 = 15

Over the weekend, Alec went over to a grandparent's house to play and spend the night. Immediately after he left our house, something very strange happened. My day became amazingly easier.

Now before you start thinking, well duh!, let me continue.

Obviously it's easier to take care of one child than it is to take care of two. But the strange part was that it felt like a whole bus-load of kids had left the house, not just one.

I had time to do laundry; I had time to play with Chase (like actually play with him - for more than 30 seconds); I had time to clean and do dishes; and when that glorious time called "nap time" came for Chase, I even had time to skim a few pages of a magazine and relax for a while.

I felt like in just a few hours with one child I had accomplished what normally takes me at least a few weeks to accomplish with two children.

I don't know about other moms with more than one child, but in my house I feel like I have about 15 kids, not just two. I mean, I know I'm outnumbered if Chad isn't home (and even when he is home we still feel outnumbered). But I'm only outnumbered by one tiny person. And sure, Alec and Chase each have their challenging moments, but overall they're both really good kids. So how can it really be that much harder to take care of two kids than it is to take care of one?

One sweet little boy

One more sweet little boy

Seriously? I left the room for a minute. ONE MINUTE! The only toy that we keep in the dining room has been scattered all over the floor. Chase has found and is playing with something he shouldn't be (a mute to Chad's trombone). Alec has located and turned on the central vac and is attempting to suck up his little brother. And where did Chase's pants go? There HAVE to be about 13 other little boys hiding somewhere. That is the only explanation as to how all this could happen in just ONE MINUTE.

Take laundry, for example. Doing a load of laundry with one boy is easy. He helps me sort the lights and darks into piles and then helps me put the laundry in the washer. When I'm folding, he plays nicely with his train table.

But add my other boy to the mix and it's a whole different story. I have laundry of all colors flying everywhere while the boys fight over who gets to put the clothes in the washer; then I have Alec pushing buttons on the washer while Chase runs around sporting Alec's (dirty) underwear on his head proclaiming he is Captain Hook. By the time I'm ready to fold the laundry, I realize that a red bathing suit has managed to find its way into the load of Chad's white dress shirts that are coming out of the dryer.

And how about those toys? When I actually take the time to straighten up the basement playroom, it takes my two boys all of 30 seconds to have every single toy out and thrown on the floor. Forget playing with the toys... The mission is simply to destroy the basement as quickly as possible. But with only one child around, the basement actually looked fairly neat for a whole ten minutes!

Bedtime was another time where I really noticed a significant difference.With Alec gone for one night, I was amazed at how easy bedtime seemed. Even with an extra ten minutes of snuggling Chase, I was still downstairs in time to catch the final round of Jeopardy. I think Alex Trebek was probably in his 40s the last time I saw this game show.

So what gives? Obviously one plus one does not equal fifteen. So why does my life get fifteen times harder when both kids are around? Why does having two children around make me feel like I'm responsible for caring for an entire football team of toddlers?

I suppose I can only hope that the pink dress shirts, destroyed basements and sacrificed game shows will all pay off in a few years when my two boys will be making my life fifteen times easier by helping around the house. Apparently Alec already has a passion for vacuuming, so that's at least a start. Hey, I can dream, right?


  1. Haha I so know what you mean. My husband often says we have 7 or so kids or something because each of them surely feels like more.

  2. I hear you, my two boys are younger than yours but they are such a handful! when my eldest goes off with grandma and my infant takes a nap its like a very happy 45 minutes of me time, I love it! They certainly feel like 15! Visiting from SITS!

  3. Oh soon after my daughter was born I was told that 1 kid is like 1 kid and 2 kids is like 10 kids! And I still foolishly went ahead and had a 2nd :)