I have great news! I’m going to be an aunt again! My sister is expecting her second child.

Yay! And, forgive me, but muahahahaha…now she’ll understand my pain.

Come on, all of you with two or more thought the same thing. I heard your thoughts from here! And the answer is no, I’m not going ‘break the news’ to them, I am going to let them learn for what having ‘more than one’ is like for themselves.

However, being the compassionate, older sister that I am, I decided that before they learn the secret handshake, I would prepare a short list of what they have to look forward to with the two.

My own children are four and two years old and so some of these may not apply for awhile, but here goes.

Dear sis, as a mom of two kids, prepare to:

Own stock in a dairy farm somewhere with all the galloons of milk your family will guzzle.

Buckle, unbuckle; buckle, unbuckle wherever you go.

Become the enemy of evolutionists, for you still will not have grown that second set of arms so biologically necessary for caring for two human beings at once.

Develop a renewed sense of respect for your own parents, and all parents throughout history who have raised more than one child at one time.

Feel the need to wear a plastic rain poncho at bath time.

Frequently order one meal to feed the two of them.

Feel the need to wear a rain poncho at meal time…and, while you’re at it, why not drape plastic over everything in house, including the dog?

Hear the phrase, “My mommy,” “No, my mommy,” and derive a secret satisfaction from it.

Catch yourself reminiscing about what it was like when you could go to the bathroom by yourself.

Discover how insurmountable and miraculous the simple task of “getting out the door” can be.

Learn the art of healthy, and maybe not so healthy bribery (Cookie?)

Find yourself intimidated by how well both can actually understand their unintelligible filial toddler lingo. (Is there anything weirder than seeing two little human beings that you made start conversing? I don’t know.)

Unconsciously accept the five-second rule (or the five minute rule) for fallen food in your household.

Resign yourself to the thought, “Well, at least they’re dressed,” more times than you ever believed you would.

Be able to distinguish between a ‘good’ loud thud and ‘bad’ loud thud and whether it actually requires your immediate attention

Prepare to be amazed at watching two little people do this thing called ‘growing up’ together.

Teach them the Faith and, if you can, make it most beautiful part of their lives. I know you are already doing that with your first one. Her “Faddah, Sohn, Holy Spit…” Sign of the Cross surely indicates the deep piety rooting itself in her tiny breast.

Do try to enjoy every minute of the aforementioned bath time with your little fishies (for me, this has been one of my favorite parts of this whole parenting gig) and make family meals central to your domestic life. We’ll all want to hang out with you guys in public and at restaurants if you do.

Congratulations, sis! That learning curve from one kid to two kids is a steep one, but thankfully, there’s a step-by-step manual you can buy to help you with this.

Oh, wait, no there isn’t! Oh well… don’t worry! You are actually going to be able to write your own one day and probably just in time for the grandkids.

God bless, you!

Signed, your sister and the future god-mother…right?

Copyright 2012 Marissa Nichols