It’s 6.30am. Bub is asleep on me, finally, only just, that tentative shallow sleep where I hesitate to put him down and try and go back to sleep myself because there will be a squawk in fifteen minutes and then we’ll have to start again with the whole cycle. He woke at 5am. So I’m a bit hazy and tired.
Little dude goes to creche on Fridays. How awesome is childcare, huh? Childcare is the best. Yesterday, with the two of them, was mostly ok. We went out to get the little dude some new winter trousers, and bub slept in the baby carrier almost the whole time. I got the little dude a fluffy at the cafe by the kids clothes shop (“yook mummy, a dafe! Me get a ruffy!” – he’s embarrassingly well acculturated to cafes). He carefully finished his fluffy while I nursed bub. The little dude is always fairly well behaved in public and it was all good.
But then, parenting fail, I didn’t leave soon enough. I let the little dude play in one of those coin-operated ride-in things for too long, and by the time we got home he was overdue for lunch.
And bub cried most of the way home in the car.
Home: put bub in bouncy seat, get little dude some toast for lunch, put little D in high chair, change B nappy, hear D crying, come back to find he’s put peanut butter in his eye (why would he do that?!) “oh no, bpeanut budder in me eye, mummy take it out!” – wtf?!, put B in bouncy seat, swab peanut butter out with wet cotton wool, instruct D to close his eyes and drink his magic milk that makes it feel all better, meanwhile B crying now, decide to focus on D anyway – get his nappy changed, get his sleeping bag out, pick up B to feed him while doing stories with D on the couch, D hits B, comfort B, admonish D, put B back down in the beloved bouncy seat, take D to his bed, sing one song, say goodnight firmly, come back out to purple-faced hysterical B, take him to my room to feed, can still hear D calling out to me and crying as I feed B. At this point, I feel like I should never have had children and wish that I was backpacking in a remote hillside area with no loud noises. Nurse B for ages and he falls asleep on the breast. D also goes quiet at about the same time. Blessed peace. I spend the next hour lying in bed holding a sleeping baby and whispering softly “you’re the easy one”.
Actually the little dude is super easy and fun when he’s one-on-one.
Having number two reminds me of when I first went back to work. It’s a transition that is disruptive and requires me to find new rhythms. But once we’re through the transition, it will be fine. Next time I take them both out by myself (something I haven’t really done yet much), I need to make sure we get home sooner so that the little dude doesn’t need immediate attention on return. Or I could take more food with me, so he can eat lunch out. This is what I did on Wednesday, and it went much more smoothly. Wednesday was great! Our rates bill came on Tuesday and I was all *grimace* but on Wednesday we went to Tiny Town and I was all thank you Wellington City, I will pay all my rates happily!
As with going back to paid work after the little dude, having another baby is challenging but also somehow better, and I’m surprised by this. I enjoy each of them more by contrast with the other. Having two fits like a glove. But it’s a new glove, and it needs to soften up, and I think it will do that quickly as I flex and get used to it. It’s lovely having a newborn again. Bub is super chill and super snuggly, and he’s all big and healthy which gives me a deep sense of satisfaction. Love his fat little face. When the little dude was a baby, people kept telling me to enjoy it because it goes so fast. I didn’t enjoy it. I couldn’t. I was too preoccupied with figuring it out and surviving it. An easy birth and easy breastfeeding has made a world of difference this time, and knowing what to do with a baby means I can kinda cruise along and not stress about what comes next. When I’m trapped under him while he sleeps, I think “awww, snuggly snuggly bub”, this is so peaceful and nice (not “aghhhh, why do I have to hold a baby all day, when will this phase end?”). The little dude doesn’t sleep in my arms any more. When I watch the little dude do grown-up things like put on his own gumboots, or drag the step ladder to the sink so he can wash his hands, I’m struck with pride and wonder that two years can turn a baby into an independent little person. Or when I pick him up and he puts both arms around my neck and cuddles tight, it’s a reciprocal cuddle, and babies don’t do that.
When the bub is crying in the evenings, I put him in the baby carrier and turn on some music and sway and rock while the little dude stomps and runs and jumps. And I don’t even mind that we listen to the same three songs on a loop.