Friday, August 3, 2007

How we are managing!

A lot of friends ask us how we are managing life with 2 kids (especially after my in laws left last week) and I tell them we are trying our best to manage time. Hats off to those who have been there and much good luck to those who'll be there at some point cos the journey has been far from easy.

Here's whats been happening at the Sukhwani household

- As of now, we have a low maintenance new born (any parent with a high spirited toddler will know what I am talking about) and a very high maintenance toddler at hand. Jiya spends most of her time feeding or in her crib. On the other hand, Vansh spends his time exploring his new sister - her hands, her toes, her reactions when he makes funny faces and does silly dances for her, as well as, when he shouts in her ear or even swats her.

- Tempers obviously run high when we see the latter happening. Its hard to see a child, who now seems to be so much bigger than the little baby at home hit her and then make a satisfied face on top of that.

- High tempers translate into a lot of yelling ourselves and as much as I hate to admit, even a smack on the hand or on the bum. This leads to even more unacceptable behavior from Vansh including more shouting, getting uncontrollably mad, banging doors, tantrums et al.

My intention is certainly not to scare away expectant or prospective 2nd time parents but rather narrate our experiences one so they can be prepared and two somewhere in their heart of hearts, they can find solace in the fact that they are not the only ones facing this. Well, of course we had to do something and we did and things are certainly getting better now. Here's what worked and what didn't :

- We really had to work hard on maintaining our cool. Come what may, we promised ourselves not to yell, not even raise our voices at Vansh. Of course, that didn't mean there wouldn't be consequences for something that he's not supposed to do, but it had to be without us losing our cool. The objective was to teach him gentle ways to deal with his own anger. The first couple of days he was really surprised to hear no yelling but he's getting the hang of it. I searched for articles on aggression, hitting, shouting and found excellent ones at babycenter.com and read and re-read them everyday with Ashwini to get answers to all our questions.

- Reading a book or working on a puzzle with Vansh while feeding Jiya works particularly well. It makes Vansh look forward to the feedings because he knows I'll be doing something fun with him at that time.

- I get up early to finish off the cooking (lunch and dinner) before the kids wake up so that I have the most important task out of my way and am able to spend more time with Vansh (my experience says you need to spend lots and lots of time with the elder one to make up for the divided attention now). Other chores like cleaning and laundry, I have learnt not to get stressed about and just accept that things will take longer than they used to earlier.

- We are having dinner pretty early at about 6:00 pm these days and then go out for the evening walk. Because what was happening was, when we came back from the walk at about 7:30, Jiya needed to be fed and Vansh too used to be getting hungry and I had to still make the chapatis. So basically there was lots to do with two hungry kids at hand ...too tough!!

- Sending Vansh with Ashwini to do grocery shopping on weekends leaves me with some time on my hands to clean up the house or just rest for some time.

- With getting outdoors being limited, indoor physical activities like hide and seek, or generally hopping around help Vansh burn off some extra energy and of course have fun as well.

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