Wednesday, September 24

Second Guessing

Before we even decided to have our "second" child, I thought, almost constantly, about the space between ages, and the pros and cons of 2, 3, or 4 years difference from Mia to her sibling.

We were in kind of a unique situation. We knew, right down to the month, when we would be moving out of state, more than a year in advance. And we knew, more or less, that the time and responsibility constrictions with Zach's future schooling would necessitate some creative "family planning."

Basically, we had two choices. A) Have the next kid before we moved- causing them to be extremely close in age, but compensating for the difficulties that would cause by being in the same state as both our families for the first three (and most difficult) months of infancy. B) Wait until Mia was old enough to take care of herself a little better, and hope that would compensate for the fact that there would be no family around, and that Zach would be up to his neck in med school.

Looking back- I can't believe what a difference choosing Plan A meant. There was no way I could have accurately weighed the incredible "pros" we were blessed with, (mostly because we had no idea baby #2 would come with baby #3.)

After realizing I couldn't keep our house clean enough to sell, live in it, have a bad back, and be eight months pregnant with twins all at the same time, I was worried we'd have to move in with my parents longer than the few weeks between selling our place and moving to Ohio. The story behind finding our apartment is kind of long, but it seems so cool to me.

Journal: February 8, 2007
Monday I saw an important ad in the online classifieds. I’ve been checking the baby section every day looking for good deals. Someone put an ad in for an apartment lease. I read it for no reason, other than it was funny that someone put it in "baby items" and it hadn’t been reported and moved yet. 4 bedroom, everything you could ask for in an apartment, plus free internet, a pool and gym, granite countertops and tile floors: $610 a month. When I realized what an incredible deal it was I started thinking how nice it would be to move there instead of my parents’ house. The amazing thing about it- the lease ends in July- the very month we'd need it to end. And you can’t renew the contract. (I found out later it is because the complex is really student housing, and when it was first built, they opened it temporarily to families at that great rate. The catch was- they got kicked out after two years. So this family found a house and it closed really fast. They have to move at the end of this month.) Just for the fun of it, I calculated the difference we would pay, once we got rid of our internet. $100 a month. Hmm. Just for a little more fun, I called the gal who placed the ad. She said all the offers she got wanted to renew the lease past July- which they couldn’t do. I called Zach, who surprised me by sounding optimistic. I called my mom, who also surprised me by NOT saying she would be a tad miffed if we didn’t come live there, and that it was up to us. I looked for the ad an hour later, and it had been moved. We went and looked at the apartment that night, applied for it the next day, and today, Thursday, we signed the lease! Crazy!

A little more than a month before D-day, we had moved into a student ward, with the most well-organized and willing compassionate service set up that I have ever seen.

Some of the forseen cons were actually pros in disguise. I think I would be either be working with two kids in daycare right now, or feeling like a big fat slacker for staying home. But having twins kind of nixed that problem.

Still. Every so often, something comes up that still makes me wonder if we made the right decision. (And I've gotta say- it was more my decision than Zach's. He needed some convincing- so I'm super scrutinizing of this particular life-choice.)

After adding and subtracting all the good and bad about this decision, I think the twins are paying the biggest price. Little conflicts have been escalating between those two- and got way worse when I experimented with having all three girls nap at once. Mia was used to at least a few hours of alone time, but the twins have never really experienced it. Having Mia around during their every waking minute made for some cranky babies, and alerted me to an underlying problem. They share absolutely EVERYTHING.

And are increasingly unhappy about it. The big wake-up call came Monday: Bree bit Anya.

I think the next-highest payer is Mia. I caught her eating her cereal in an odd spot this morning.
"What are you doing back there, Mim?"
"I don't want the babies to get my cereal."


But we'll keep plugging away. Because, whether or not having them so close together was the right decision- it was the decision we have to live with.

Something tells me we'll be okay.


Breezi said...

You had me going... I really thought that at the end of the post you were going to say.... and now we're on to #4. That would have been a good ending....

Cherry Tree said...

Hey, well written. The ending picture was perfect. I'd write more, but my fingers are tired of typing...

Tulsi said...

Having my girls 7 years apart and Kass 3 years behind Brie and 4 years ahead of Mikele, it was easy when they were young. Except that I had a baby when 2 where in school. But I would have liked them closer in age around late elementary and early Jr. High. Now, we are coming around to them all being friends. Brie and Kass have always been buddies and close to the same stage of life. That one extra year gets Mikele shafted sometimes. But now that Mik is in HS, her brother is seriously protective and hates boys looking at her and can't do a darn thing about it being in OK, and Brie has a lunch partner to gossip with and give advice to who will heed it. I guess any which way you look at it it's perfect. I remember a lovely mark on Kass's arm when Mikele bit him. And he bit Brie. Wow, those were the days!!

The Garber Family said...

It's so hard when kids are young...the months fly by but the days last FOREVER! Now I'm looking at my two oldest and can't believe next year I'll have two kids in Elementary. I have been amazed watching you be the incredible wife and mother that you are. I love reading your blogs and seeing how having these kiddos seems to have thrown you, head over heels, into mothering. I feel like 3 kids really made me a mom. And you are doing an amazing job, especially considering the support you have to give to Zach. I'm sure my nieces are going to be the smartest, most talented young women in the world!

RhondaLue said...

Poor girl, she just wants her cereal w/o the babies getting it.

I have a 7 yr old that still sneaks into his room to have a snack so the "toddlers" don't try to steal it. lol

La said...

"Well. It's clear who is the dominant twin."
"What are you talking about?"
"I walked first."
"I can walk now."
"I'm bigger."
"I'm cuter."
"Small doesn't necessarily mean cute."
"Big doesn't necessarily mean dominant."
"What does, then?"
"Don't go there."

Summer said...

"If Summer and Lara Had Been Born at the Same Time."

The dialogue of my twins, on the other hand, will read as follows:

"You go first, I insist."

"Oh, my darling sister, no- after you!"

"You are too kind. How was I blessed to enter the world at the same time as such an angel as you."

"There are precious few who would fill the requisites for such a priviledge, and you my dear, are just one such."

It's true. Just read Kiley's comment. ;D

Magirk said...

So sorry about the biting.

We're dealing with a lot here.

Princess, I think, is finally displaying her displeasure at being one-upped by twins. We're having some real discipline troubles. Not biting, but can I just say how sick I am of hearing, 'I wish I didn't have two babies! I want them to go stay somewhere else....'

It really gets to me sometimes. :-(

Good luck. My heart goes out to you.