"Don't wake up your brother!"
Said the Husband to the Bean. "Your brother "?!
Crap, I thought. There's two of them.
Four years suddenly seems like a long time to get used to being a family of three. A good while since we did the newborn thing. An eternity to be the sole focus of your parents' attention.
The jump from one to two children is, indeed, a big one.
A big but delightful jump, in many ways. Much of the Bug's personally is still unknown to us, but it somehow already feels like he was only ever here, making us a Four. This is unexpected, but reassuring.
It's also wonderful to see our two boys together. The little one still jerky and googly-eyed, but so obviously enthralled with the big one that he reserved his first quivering smiles for him. The result is far more than twice the joy.
For the big one the novelty of having a baby in the house didn't last long (like, all of three seconds), but he still likes to help by fetching the nappy or the dummy, and to prove to everyone that "he REALLY likes me the BEST, mum". The implication being, not you mum, of course.
Two arms, one of me, just not enough when the little one needs feeding (again) and the big one decides he needs me to build him a(nother) paper aeroplane that very moment. But perfectly adequate in the middle of the night, when I am everything for both of them. Even if it means I'm often the only one who's not asleep.
Two o'clock, the time I now pick up the big one. Two hours earlier than I used to, because of Sweden's funny rules on parental leave and daycare entitlement. Two hours extra to spend at the park, for now, but goodness knows what we'll do in winter.
Two boys, one day at a time. Sometimes an hour.
All the cuddles, big smiles and many, many tearful outbursts.
Two little hands in mine.
Two shrieks of laughter when the little one empties his bowels with the most spectacular sound effects. Usually when Daddy's back and I'm just trying to take five, and always when a fresh napy's been on for all of two minutes.
Two bewildered parents whose paths occasionally cross to share battle stories, pretending-to-know looks and mini-win high fives. Although I think, admittedly, also two parents who are struggling to identify with one another, because it is easy to feel like you're circling entirely different orbits when one of you just watches the world go by with her boobs out all day every day and the other just feels like that world is speeding up underneath them, all day every day. Even Sweden's famously egalitarian parental system hasn't found a way around that one.
One row of crochet here and there: the bare minimum to stay sane.
One bag of laundry parked permanently in the hallway, although at least it is usually filled with clean things.
Way more stuff than you'd think reasonably possible with only two children, especially when one is so tiny.
Two brothers who will hopefully share many more giggles and support each other through the tears. My two.