Thursday, June 5, 2014

Smooth Transitions

This is the term used by my Wonder Weeks app to describe the phase Theo, at twelve weeks, is going through right now. I would not describe anything about today as "smooth".

We had one of those miserable "everyone's crying at once" moments in a restaurant. One of my rules of thumb is to stagger the care between B & T - I get Theo ready for the day first, I feed them at different times, Bobby goes to bed first, etc. Attempting to bathe, feed, or change a newborn and a toddler at the same time is just horrendous. But unfortunately it was lunch time, and B had to eat, and I was starving, and T started screaming inconsolably. I tried everything - bouncing, carrier, no carrier, walking around, finally a desultory attempt at breast feeding...and I became, as I sometimes am, that frazzled mother with no lipstick and my hair in my face, with a table covered in children's sun hats, torn-apart books, sippy cups and splatters of food, with a toddler in a stroller screaming and kicking her legs while her newborn screams, red-faced and stiff, at her naked nipple. Yes. Being a parent of two small children often looks like this. 

And then on the way home you look at them in your rear view mirror and see their angelic, sleeping faces, and your heart could burst for the love you feel for them. And so it goes. 

Still pondering Phase II of Bobby and Theo - as Theo's first three months wind down, his needs are changing, and I'm trying to figure out what to do next. I've been trying to use B's old bouncy seat for T during breakfast - I am getting really sick of handling a screaming, lurching baby who keeps spitting his pacifier onto the floor in the carrier while negotiating a bouncing-off-the-wall Bumpus and cooking his breakfast, feeding it to him (and doing the "you have to sit still and eat" routine, which is exhausting), and then cleaning the entire kitchen, including mopping up all the spilled food off the floor before the never-ending hoards of ants attack it. All of that is a lot more doable without an angry baby on my chest. But I can't leave the baby in the room with us in the bouncy chair, so I put him just outside the baby gate. Yesterday we made it through breakfast before he started crying; today we made it through breakfast and cleanup. Unfortunately, during dinner as I'd expected B thinks the bouncy chair is his and every time I tried to put T in it he threw a fit. Now I don't care if he throws a fit, but I'm not going to put a defenseless baby in the middle of that. So getting to put down the baby ever is a major problem, especially when now the baby actually wants to be put down. 

One of my favorite comedians, Jim Gaffigan, describes what having four kids feels like: "imagine you're drowning, and someone hands you a baby". Today having just two kids felt like that. But it's 7:00 and both kids are secure in their beds, we're all healthy, and I have some mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches in the fridge. Could be worse, right?

1 comment:

  1. You are doing great! This period is brief when you look back *doesn't feel like it* my two are now 14&16 this summer! Those first months/years I would gladly go back to.. but w/o the husband!

    Ps. I think gaffigan has 5 girls now! God I love him!