I recently learned that hunter/gather societies (basically humankind for over 100,000 years until about 10,000 years ago at most) spaced out their children by 4 or 5 years, basically they wouldn’t have another child if they could help it until the previous child could walk on their own. Agriculture allowed humans to have children in a narrower range. My siblings and I are all 2 years apart and I think this is more or less “normal” in that shorter than this might be considered too close (derogatorily called “Irish twins”) and a larger gap might mean that the children aren’t as close (at least at the younger ages).
I bring this up because I have a 3 month-old and an almost 2.5 year-old. Oliver, the elder, is very needy of Jenny still. If Jenny isn’t the one to help him go back to sleep he will FREAK OUT. This past week was Labor Day weekend and we went down to the Jersey Shore. Oliver loved the beach, but he also was still recovering from a bad cough (his runny nose was over as of last week). However, Ocean, our little baby girl, was the last to get the sickness that started with Oliver and it was BAD. Choking on mucus, runny nose, and no idea what was going on she cried, couldn’t sleep, and had a terrible time overall. The 2.5 hour drive back turned into 6 hours with traffic and while that day was bad, last night was worse (hence the “low point”). Jenny had not been sleeping well or at all for days and last night was no different. Both children were asleep by around 9:30 or 10 PM last night, but Ocean woke up with phlegm and coughing/crying 2 hours later. Then just as we got her somewhat soothed, with 2 humidifiers, lots of shower steam, and even trying some cough syrup (almost everything we could try we did)…on the monitor we heard loud coughing and “Mama” from Oliver. I tried to go into his room and comfort him or give him water but of course he refused anything except Mama. After some failed bargaining I went back in to grab Ocean from Jenny. She was FINALLY asleep and so I went from keeping her upright/bouncing to being held in a more comfortable position for me (in the steam room of our bedroom bathroom). Then around 3 AM after lots of holding Ocean woke up again and was crying and wanted Mom, so I went into Oliver’s room to get her. Then I farted. And it was REALLY stinky. So Jenny had to get up, then deal with Ocean again, all while I tried to keep Oliver busy. It didn’t last long and Oliver on his own happened to get up around 4 AM to play. I followed him while Ocean was still coughing and Jenny was helping her. Oliver was at first energetic, but then got emotional and wanted to go outside (at 4:15 AM). Instead I was able to convince him to watch some Daniel Tiger (his favorite show). After 30 minutes of that (where I fell asleep during some of it), Oliver again wanted to go outside. He got emotional and then wanted Mama. I tried to tell him Mama was busy but then he went in anyway. Ocean was coughing and so I took her again and then Jenny again went with Oliver to his room. He woke up again at 6 AM, just as Ocean was waking up again (so Jenny/I swapped, her taking Ocean again and me taking Oliver). This time Oliver AGAIN wanted to see Jenny so I had to forcibly carry him away from our bedroom door and he was pissed. I eventually resorted to feeding him ice cream to calm him down, then we went about our day normally (oh, I had work after that too). What a crazy time. Things can only get easier from here.