The Joys of Two Under Two!

It is time to extol the pleasures of being a Mam of two under two. They won’t be this small and sweet for ever. I will look back and long for these days. They may be long, tiring and at times very stressful but they are always, always worth it. I started this blog with a mission. To start exercising. No, there is still dirt and dust aplenty on the spanking new treadmill bought in flawed optimism two babies ago in the spare room (how on earth will we move that so Betsy will have her own space when she moves into that room? Another question for another day!). No, not physical excerise. Jumping Jacks can go away for another day. No. Emotional exercise.  It was An exercise in happiness. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. Motherhood. Responsibility. Bad weather.  Starting to blog, I hoped, would help me deal with this unwanted feeling of pressure. Something I could do in spare minutes, in the middle of a wakeful night or even after lights out. You might get a rewarding feeling, I thought, that will help you be a successful mother. I hoped it would be beneficial. Has it been? I truly believe so. Cathartic even.

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The sun is peeping through. Metaphorically mainly. Evelyn the weather lady might disagree.

Being able to write, chat and rant without judgement, to others who I may feel are daily visitors to my life, but I have never actually met, has really been tremendously therapeutic. So thank you one and all. You guys are helping me live the bigger picture. I always could see it. It was a bit too elusive though, carefully framed and a little out of reach, but now I think I can say I am there. Inside frame.

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Friends of ours are expecting twins. Excellent news. At times however, the Dad to be is spitting feathers.  Every work colleague or jocular buddy has told him that his life is ruined. Once or twice is bearable. Repeatedly is insufferable. Sure, he is known as someone who lives a healthy social life and also gets to go to lots of sporting events. Maybe they will be paused awhile.  It is unfair however to throw such negativity his way, I feel. Their life will change . Their life will be amazing.

The Joys? Let us dwell a little.

Today Gigi was standing on furniture when she’s not allowed. I warned her gently. Waggly finger, eye contact, shaking head, no-no, the usual.  She would lose her cartoon if she did it again. She did it again.  I turned off the TV. She ran to me ‘I sowwy Mammy, I sowwy’, she said very coaxingly. Grinning at me. Winningly. I turned away for a second to smile.  It was her first true apology. I don’t even know how she learned to do it so well. I hadn’t even realised she knew my warnings were warnings. So many firsts as she learns to talk.  We were hugging and playing baby dolls seconds later, TV and furniture standing forgotten as usual in zip time. It was TV caused the issue in the first place. Bored. She needed interaction. I had been busy with Betsy. We played babies therefore, all three. I live and learn with two babies.

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Inclusion. We all want it, so why not babies too?

Betsy is so new in our world yet so central to it already.  How can a four month old have such a laughing presence, such a vivacious personality, such a command of an audience? Gigi loves her. They are too little to fight. The joys of their age. Betsy cried yesterday as I was changing Gigi. I popped Gigi down and said, ‘Quick, run see if Betsy’s OK!”. Engaged straight away, her curly little head popped up, ‘Oh! OK Mammy!’and she tore away in urgency,  I watching her closely as I dealt with nappy clean up. Behind her in moments, I held back to watch the scene. Betsy in her swinger beaming. Gigi on her knees jabbering. ‘OK Baby Beh (she can’t say the full name yet) OK baby?’. She laid her head on her lap and kept changing the music buttons. It was beautiful. Naturally the incident itself is amazing. Also, I don’t know if it seeing yourself reflected in such a loving manner being such a compliment and relief or is it that your 23 month old can’t say her sister’s name yet but is able to show love and comfort so deftly, but there is definitely the feeling of a magic spell or higher being at work in those times. Joys. Wonders.

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It is a joy to look at your children’s faces in the morning when you peep into the cots and they beam at you. Sure, some mornings they are grumpy. Rare though. Very rare. Small children love morning time. It is a pleasure to see when they are wanting, that you and Daddy can satisfy their need with hugs, snacks you provide or games. Betsy and I have a moment every evening at bedtime.  She is sleeping twelve hours now. I know, this is probably the main  reason I feel happier and the writing is only an aside!! It is not just the sleep. It is her complete look of happiness and satisfaction when I play with her. Sing. Rhyme. Speak Irish. She thinks my attempts at Gaeilge are hysterical so I keep doing it. Now Mrs Healey (old teacher), who said my Irish needed focus!?! This is our time together. Giggles and laughs. She is clutched to me. We are so close physically that I have been unable to grab the phone and tape it so far. I can’t break the clench.

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The Joys are many and far reaching. Yes my hair is unwashed half the time. I spend days dealing with nappies, (an extreme amount of poo. There, I said it) laundry, food and handling an inhuman amount of baby wipes. Throw up related extra work occurs at least once a fortnight. Toys are everywhere. I sing songs all day. My recycling bin, once full of wine bottles now only holds empty baby medicine jars and diet mineral tins. If I don’t eat right, I cannot get away with it and have full scale meltdowns and mood crashes.  My sleep is an aside to being a night watchman for my children’s safety.

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Yet I am away from them right now. In a Starbucks. Sneaky hour away. I have bought them clothes.  I am thinking of them. I have looked at pictures of them. I am writing about them. I am in love with my family. Everything else falls in behind. The Joys of my two under two. My blessings. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

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Their future as sisters is so exciting to imagine.

I am a teacher and often have to work with poets such as Plath and Dickinson, renowned for depression (Plath) and reclusivity (Dickinson). I find that I try to sell other sides of these women to my students. Their intelligence. Beauty. Skills. I don’t think they should be overshadowed by horror. So now I plan to quote a Plath poem that means so much to me. I almost tear up when teaching it now whereas pre motherhood I was indifferent. I wish that I could forget Plath’s tragedy when reading her works so every poem is not affected. I omit the first three stanzas of this poem because they are part of another story in another location. The three stanzas I place in are so beautiful and simple. A woman listening for her child. Ready to nurture. Tired. Emotional. Joyful. A paradox of feelings which culminates in love. Their words ring so true. I also never fully felt their power until I had children. So how can I expect my students to? I once had a class of 18 year olds which included a few more mature students. One of the mature students was older than me, a married  soldier who had served peacekeeping time in Afghanistan and Chad and had two children. He spoke at length about Plath’s ‘Child’ and ‘Morning Song’ in class. He could relate.  I could not. Who taught who that day? I hope I am not egotistical enough to think that I didn’t learn from him. We all did.

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That last line. So beautiful.
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The joys of being Mammy.

So I feel joys again.  I can enjoy this experience. I am blessed. Fancy Paper is helping all the way and all of you out there too!

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27 thoughts on “The Joys of Two Under Two!

  1. so good! I am also a bright side person and I’m so glad to find a fellow. It is not all rainbows and sunshine but I created a formula when they were all little that was entirely non mathematical but mother-matical; 1 positive negates all negatives. I hate the negative people predicting nothing but doom to come, each age is challenging and rewarding and work with now and don’t borrow trouble!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought I had replied to this…Sorry! I love your outlook and it shines through your blog posts. Have bought almonds…might get to make those Maltese treats for Easter…all going well.

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  2. I am only just beginning to practice positivity in my life and blogs like yours help.

    But when it comes to poetry, I think of the theory of Donald Hall about the “conflict of energy.” Essentially, he said that there’s so much inherent joy and beauty just in language itself that the subject matters of poems often veer toward the dark and depressing. It’s the conflict between the two–the painful subject and the joyful form–that represent the energy of art.

    Maybe I’m just playing devil’s advocate, but there’s a cutting beauty to Plath’s poetry that could only have been sharpened against the stone of her hard life. And it gives her life meaning, even if it doesn’t mean she was happy all the time. I just think there’s a value to that, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you, I am usually very positive and am trying hard to stay that way! I am glad you are too.

    I like that phrase ‘conflict of energy’. That is exactly it. I find Plath’s words invigorating and terrifying at times and I love it. I think what I try to counter for my students is a created perception of Plath (and Dickinson) as almost fictional beings. I want them to try see them as people who lived. My English teacher (who I loved) I feel gave me a wrong impression of Dickinson. I imagined reclusive to an extreme level (think beehive monks) now I know not. In fact I think a modern day Dickinson would be an avid fan of our social media. Facebook. Twitter. Brilliant blogger maybe. If her love of letter writing is anything to go on! She just didn’t love the interactions and expectations of society around her.

    I am rambling again! Poetry is an amazing conversation maker. And you are right. We wouldn’t have had such clever poetry to discuss if these women didn’t have many elements to their lives.

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  4. A lovely post. Sometimes we all forget to focus on the positives amongst all the things which grind us down during the day. The moment will your eldest saying sorry we beautiful! I keep a gratitude journal now – when I am awake enough to remember at bedtime – to end my day thinking about the lovely moments. It’s rare my daughter doesn’t star in them! As for the people telling your twin-expecting-friend his life will be ruined…shame on them.

    #fortheloveofBLOG

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comments and taking the time to read! I agree with you. People should definitely speak positively to expectant parents. Life is about finding and noticing the little treasures x I am lucky to have so many. #fortheloveofBLOG

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This has made me very happy. My husband and I are talking of trying for another (don’t tell anyone 😂) and if it happened quickly we’d have 2 under 2. I have read countless blog posts about how difficult it is and how people are told that they are crazy etc for having two small ones so this has put a huge smile on my face. I love that blogging has helped you so much and that you have such a positive outlook. Being a mother is beautiful – yes it’s hard and exhausting but it is worth it. #fortheloveofBLOG

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh also I find it really frustrating how people are to soon-to-be parents. I think it’s horrible to tell expectant parents that their lives are over or that they don’t know what will hit them! It causes unnecessary panic or dread in a time that should be happy.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Am so pleased to have given a positive effect! I wrote this from the heart in the middle of a time where I was feeling up and down so therefore you can see the children are ALWAYS able to get you through purely due to your love of them. Thanks for reading !#fortheloveofBLOG

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  6. Beautiful words. I adopted siblings, two at the same time, I really felt I needed two brains, two eyes, two pairs of hands. Being a parent can be consuming and overwhelming, hard, challenging and yet the best experience one can have.

    It’s so awful to say to someone their life is over. Life without kids is over, but a new one is about to begin and how amazing is that!

    When ever I feel down, I just think about how far my kids have come…and the small part I played in that.

    Thanks again. TMx

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  7. How am I only coming across you now? What a lovely, lovely post. Your outlook is fab. It’s so easy to complain (guilty!) and not focus on the positives which, of COURSE, outweigh everything else! Teacher here too. I usually clutch Eavan Boland’s stuff with both hands. Her poems on motherhood are so inspiring and lovely and honest. (‘This Moment’? *gulp*) Plath’s too but, y’know… Morning Song gets me every damn time. Looking forward to following your blog. I’m a newbie and still navigating the blogosphere with the confidence of a blind donkey. You are bang on when you talk about how therapeutic it is though. At the moment I feel like I am just shouting into the void but sure what harm, eh! 😉 See you around!

    Visiting from #thebigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you and I agree! It is cruel not to be nice to new parents. I think adopting siblings is lovely and definitely so kind. I can imagine how busy you were! It is all worth it even though it feels almoat impossible at times.
      Thanks for your nice words!
      #bigpinklink

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    2. Well am very glad you liked it and really hope you love blogging! It is a wonderful world to join. I actually have a post inspired by This Moment…how funny is that! My outlook isn’t always shiny but I try to keep it positive as I think the writing helps so much. Thank you for your lovely words! Look forward to reading your work! #bigpinklink

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a lovery post, it made me tear up a little bit at the end. I lover your positivity l, and just like you I love seeing my little girls face in the morning when I get her from her cot. It’s so cute that you got first apology. Treasure those moments. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

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  9. Gosh what a beautiful post. I have the exact same age gap and now, four years down the line from that second baby exploding into our lives, all is well. There is fighting and arguments and tears but the amount of love there is phenomenal and they play so beautifully together and really care about each other. Thanks for joining in with the #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ah this is such a good view point. I always think it’s so daunting when all anyone can say to a new parent is something negative, like to your friends expecting the twins. There is so much reward in this most difficult of jobs, as you’ve pointed out. I’m coming to you today (very late, sorry!! 🙈) via #fortheloveofBLOG xxx

    Liked by 1 person

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