NOTE: As I write this blog post, I have a sweaty six-week-old baby sleeping on my chest as I sit reclined awkwardly in my computer chair.
The past six weeks since Maeve was born have been hectic and awesome. I rarely get dressed before 2pm, and I don't remember the last time I wore my hair down. Bras are optional these days, and I maintain my hygiene by bathing with my kids. Glamorous, I know.
I'm not complaining though, not really. I'm enjoying my time at home with them both, even though it can be incredibly exhausting. Especially since my toddler still wakes up throughout the night, which is awesome. Thankfully, my newborn is kicking ass in the sleep department (though she turns into a grunty beast around 3am and keeps me awake 'til my toddler calls for me at 5:45am). Yawn.
Thank goodness for a live-in Nana (my Mom) who lets me nap most mornings. Oh and coffee. I fucking love coffee.
Since it's hard for me to write complete sentences right now, let me create a little list of awesomeness that summarizes what my life has been like lately:
Alright, I'm building up a massive amount of sweat on my chest from Mave's hot little head.
The good news is, she's starting to exit the ugly phase of infancy! If you missed that post, you can read about it here. Or if you want to look at some drawings I made a while back, check them out here (random link, but like I said, I'm not thinking clearly).
It's week five, and we have officially entered the ugly phase of infancy. My doting mother denies this, "No no, she's beautiful!" I can't tell if she's a compulsive liar or if she's just looking at my daughter through her "Nana goggles," but I'll be the first to admit it: Maeve is going through the ugly newborn phase. Cole went through it, and so do most babies.
You know the phase: it's the time when they get their baby acne, and cradle cap, and they can't quite hold their heads up so they always look drunk. There is constantly a little pool of spittle in the corner of their mouths, and their eyes can't focus 100% so they're constantly cross-eyed. I'm sure at 5 weeks old even Audrey Hepburn looked like a drunk old man.
So instead of trying to deny the fact that my daughter is going through this phase, I've embraced it wholeheartedly. She has recently lost all of the hair on top of her head, so I've started calling her Mr. Burns (with absolute love and affection, of course). I think she likes it...
Although, I'll admit to you that I've deleted a few photos where she has one too many chins (I draw the line at five). I don't want to totally horrify my daughter when she looks back on baby photos of herself. But I should probably keep a few around for bribing material in her self-conscious teen years (this is parenting advice at its best people!)
"No Maeve, you can't go to that party with that older boy, or I'll post this (insert embarrassing photo) to your virtual-friend-conversing-photo-sharing platform (that will likely exist in 3D and include some sort of time-travelling element)." Yes, I do believe technology will develop that quickly. Yes, I'm 80.
Alright, someone is crying, I better go.
She probably just caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror...
(NOTE: Maeve, if your future-self is reading this, please know that I'm just kidding and I can already see how incredibly beautiful you are, despite the baby acne and temporary double chin. Unfortunately for you, being my daughter means being subjected to a certain amount of teasing. I hope you're okay with that. I promise to divide the teasing equally between you and your brother. xoxo, Mom)
If you'd like to read more about my commentary on ugly babies, check out this blog post I wrote before Maeve was born. And on the contrary, you can read about how my first ugly baby turned out to be pretty gorgeous...
When I first found out I was pregnant with our second child, my first feeling was one of excitement and pure joy, shortly followed by a genetic emotion in my family—guilt.
But this feeling isn't unique just to the Schlumberger clan, I'm pretty sure it's a common feeling amongst many to-be-mothers of two. As much as you're excited to bring another human into this world, you're also sad that you're one-and-only will no longer be your one-and-only. You're sad at the thought of your first child having to share you. They're going to have to open up their house and their hearts to a wrinkly little alien baby. Their whole world is going to turn upside down while everyone is saying things like, "Wow, you're a big brother now!"
And really, they probably don't give a shit. They just want all their toys back. Their space back. Their Mommy back. They're probably wondering how this new little screaming ball of flesh has jumped to the top of the priority list even though they lack seniority. If your first born is savvy enough, they'll probably vote in a Union and file a grievance.
Maybe not everyone thinks this way, but I was certainly worried about what our lives would look like once we brought our second baby home. I also wondered if I'd have enough love in my heart for a second child, even though I knew deep down that was a silly thought.
Well, here we are, 3 weeks into being home with our second baby. And guess what?
The world hasn't completely fallen apart! My son has instantly accepted his new sister, and hasn't tried to eat her. Amazing. Also, I have nothing but pure love for my newborn (pheuf!) and I still have the same amount of love for my toddler (what?!?). I guess it's true, love multiplies it doesn't divide.
However, it hasn't been smooth sailing all the way. No no no. That would be boring, right?
One thing that I'm finding really difficult is trying to meet the needs of both of my babies when they need me AT THE EXACT SAME TIME.
I've always tried to respond to my son's needs with patience and love. I want to do the same for my new baby girl. And now, when it's nap time and my son wants to cuddle and dance (which we always do) and my daughter needs to eat (cuz she's a baby calf), what am I supposed to do?
I find myself in very complicated pretzel-like positions trying to feed and cradle my newborn on one side, while snuggling and rocking my toddler on the other side. I'll finally have them both almost asleep, and then my daughter will crap her pants and start to fuss. It wakes my son up. Then I have to put him down, change her, and start all over. This is when I begin to sweat. I know that it's only a matter of time before he has a meltdown, and there is nothing I can really do about it.
I try to explain to him, "Mommy is trying very hard to look after both of you at the same time. I know this is hard. It's hard to share Mommy. You're doing such a good job. Thank you for being patient..." He sort of understands and tries to hold back his tears, but really he's probably just thinking, "Shut up and hold me! I don't want to wait, I'm TWO!"
Sometimes, I can avoid the tears. Usually, they're both crying. Sometimes, we all cry. Once in a while, if I stub my toe in the midst of all this (which is what happened today), I'll lose my patience and scream, "F*CK!" (Not a super proud moment, but it happens.)
How did Octomom do it? Seriously. I think I'd have to just pick a few favourites amongst the bunch and sell the rest on ebay. There is no way I could imagine caring for 8 newborns at once. A toddler and a newborn is more than enough!
So, seasoned parents out there, can you offer me any expert advice on how to meet both the needs of my children when they both need me at the exact same time? Any tear-saving tips are greatly appreciated! Oh, you can also send me wine...