Monday, May 31, 2010

Two is Not One

I'm not sure if I should call this happy.

This morning I was surprised by the gargantuan task of caring for our two children. Maybe it is better to say that I am noticing how easy it is to just have the baby. Jeep was at Grammie's house last night, and we had a passable night's sleep. There were no toddler calls from the back bedroom this morning, so an extra hour of time in bed came as a welcome surprise for the Daddy.

But this morning, instead of an ambitious run or project or breakfast, I have been doing . . . well, nothing. I made coffee, read the paper, and watched reruns of Lost, Season 1. Without the pressing needs of my all terrain boy, it is almost peaceful. Quiet. Pleasant. The kitchen is clean, the sky outside is grey, and nothing is going on. This change have pace has got me thinking about how difficult our life has become. Difficult is not the right word. Busy. Complicated. Harried? Is this our life for the next few years? Is there any peace?

We are fully in the throws of two under two. I asked for this, planned for it, and touted it with bravado. We will be lucky people if it never gets any harder than this. And I am sure that there are big paybacks down the road. I have taken comfort in one thought this week. A sibling is a gift that you give to your child which can last a lifetime, hopefully well after the parents are in the ground. That's got to be worth it, right? Right?

Do these two look like a handful to you?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Life with the Newborn

For one thing, the lists are shorter.

We've got this new baby, a toddler handful, and a house to keep clean. This takes up pretty much all of our time. So we cut back on anything remotely ambitious. I had to quit playing golf - it was getting into my head. Now, I have to be satisfied with breaking out for a short run. Sometimes in the middle of the night, if it comes to that.

I say OUR time and WE because that is what its like around here. We are lucky enough to be able to clear the schedule, to recognize the sheer insurmountable task of having babies means that we both need to be here. So my wife takes all the leave she can get, and we both just hang around and try to figure this thing out. HOW IN THE HELL do people do this and still have a life? How do you work? How do you take a shower, for that matter? How could a working single mother ever make this work? If she can, well she's a better man than me.

There are late night handoffs, so that each of us can get most of a night's sleep. And then at 7am my day starts anew, with diapers and waffles and Thomas the Train and energy and whatever it takes to keep the train rolling forward. And we do less. We're pretty happy to pull off an evening walk with both kids, or a trip to the park, or even a meal.

That being said, there are small moments that are wonderful. This morning we were all up early, and spontaneously dreamed up a trip up the Gorge to see my grandmother. When I called to find her feeling sick, we changed the plan and opted for breakfast at Multnomah Falls Lodge and a hike to the top. Both children cooperated, and as I write this they are all snuggled in for an afternoon nap. Its nothing short of a miracle, really.

But like I said, the list is pretty short. I'm not really sure what we're doing tomorrow.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Baby Girl Arrives

One day we were getting ready for the new baby. Assembling the crib, sorting baby clothes, and making checks on the list.

The next day she was here.

The game changes now. It shifts from the WHAT IF to the HOW. We are lucky people, and we are counting our blessing, or our luck, or our fortune, or whatever you want to call it. We have a healthy baby girl, the labor was short, and we are all home safe.

I don't want to consider the rest of the IFs. Now we are in a new phase. HOW do we get this baby to sleep at night? HOW do we know the baby is getting enough milk? HOW will we manage with the toddler in the household?

My job has changed, of course. I'm the behaviorist in the family. Actually, we're pretty much all behaviorists, but I'm the expert when it comes to our little boy. So I'm taking the lead on this one. How do we bring a new baby into the house so that Jeep still feels the love??? I'm working on it.

One last thought about the birth, the hospital, and all that drama. It is an awesome thing to see your own child born out of your spouse's body. I have been there twice now to see it happen and it never gets old. Wow.