First Time Being Alone with 2 Kids

[I wrote this post last November and didn’t end up publishing it for some reason, and just found it among my drafts.]

Last week I had the chance to experience taking care of 2 kids alone, while Antoine had to leave on a last minute trip to Hong Kong.

I felt like someone was trying to teach me how to swim by throwing me in the deep end. We found out on Tuesday afternoon that he had to leave on Wednesday early morning. That meant just a few hours of preparation. Mentally I was in denial right up till the moment he would board his plane.

Being the only adult in charge of 2 kids for more than 3 days meant more than anything constantly wishing I could split myself into 2. I have a newfound respect for mothers whose husbands are away constantly for work – and have to handle everything at home.

Here are some snippets and thoughts from our great adventure (in no particular order):

  • Mealtimes were a circus, with the baby complaining every time I took a bit more time between spoonfuls, and him throwing food on the floor, and the toddler constantly singing her head off, while telling me that she needed to go on the potty to do number 2.
  • I ended up not eating much during mealtimes – which meant eating instant noodles almost every night once the kids were in bed.
  • Nights were funny too. Not funny haha, but funny arghhhhhhh. Since it was Deepavali, fireworks were going off here and there. At one point, both kids were crying in 2 different rooms and I had to run from one to the other, always leaving at least one in tears.
  • I lost it once. It happened when bringing both kids to the car to go home. I was carrying Oliver (which is basically a sack of rice) in my arm and Juliette refused to hold my hand to cross the road, and kept on shouting at me about not wanting her Papa to come home.
  • I am not ashamed to say the number of times I succumbed to using Youtube as a babysitter.
  • Juliette will probably be a class monitor one day, considering the number of times she reports how Oliver is being naughty.
  • I can prepare a meal in 10 minutes.
  • Baking cookies with kids around can drive you crazy, but at least you get cookies in the end.
  • Great neighbours and friends who offer to have lunch with you make all the difference.
  • A messy home is a happy home. Keep telling yourself that.
  • ALWAYS have snacks around to shut them up while driving. Busy mouths mean quiet mouths.
  • Have music playing as often as you can. Everyone’s mood brightens up because of it. And even if it doesn’t work at least you can ignore their nagging a little better.
  • I learnt to let little things go – like cleaning up the living room full of toys at the end of the day. This meant constantly cursing when accidentally stepping on a building block.
  • DO NOT ATTEMPT grocery shopping with those 2.
  • Do not underestimate how quickly your 9 month old will rush up the stairs when there’s an opening.
  • I need to go on a trip of my own once Oliver is weaned.
  • I imagined the horror of having to take care of 3 kids instead of 2.
  • My back is now aching like a bitch.
  • My husband really does a lot around the house. This trip reminded me of that more than anything else.

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