I still think the worst was having two tiny ones. They both needed me constantly, and conflictingly, and there was no one who could find me a pair of socks or turn on the light. There was no flexibility because the older one needed regular meals and times and places and routines, and those things had to happen somehow when the baby needed to be nursed in the middle of them. And was there any greater tragedy than non-aligning naptimes?
Now I have a five year old. O blessed five year old! She brings me things! She wipes her own bum! She anticipates needs! And when she gets rotten, all I have to do is send her off to her room! It's so great. There's also a four year old with some commendable qualities. He's not quite as civilized, but he at least knows how things work around here and that he sometimes has to wait. These two anchors keep the house a lot more like what I remember as normal. It's not the formless chaos of one baby, or the mayhem and hysteria of two. It's just family life, and if the baby or the toddler has me occupied, things keep ticking where before the whole world crashed down around us.