Drink: Jefferson’s Rye
Two months ago our son was born. We were at a routine, scheduled appointment with the OB when, suddenly, labor! Off to the hospital we went, Buttercup in tow, and worked together to welcome Seth to Earth. Everything was routine and normal except for the unusually short labor for a first-time mom (under six hours). After two days at the hospital, we brought him home.
Life has since been a haze of sleepless nights, exhaustion, general disarray, family visits, take out food, and joy. For the first few weeks I didn’t even know what day it was. Hours would pass stealthily by. The kitchen wasn’t getting cleaned (it’s the one room that I like to keep mostly tidy because it’s the room where messes grow most rapidly). The living room and our bedroom decreased in size very quickly. We were (and, to an extent, still are) on autopilot.
Wake up, shuffle through a quick morning routine, throw a lunch together, grab a Clif bar for breakfast, head to work. Hope all day that I don’t absentmindedly screw something up. Come home, shower (after up to an hour of distraction), get dinner ready if Wife hasn’t (which is usually the case; newborns need lots of attention). Give Buttercup at least a few minutes of undivided attention. Feed Buttercup, eat dinner (hurriedly, there’s still plenty to do before bed). Give Wife at least a few minutes of undivided attention. Try to empty the dishwasher if Wife hasn’t so we can fill it back up again. Laundry. Buttercup to bed. Clear and clean kitchen counters. Us to bed (after much deliberation and distraction, significantly later than we should). Repeat.
I thought we were slow getting out of the house with one child. If there were an emergency – say, the apocalypse, for instance – we wouldn’t make it. We’d forget most of the essentials, have to run in and out of the house several times, chase after runaway children (though, in her defense, Buttercup is very good about staying where we ask her to – unless she’s feeling playful). If we plan to leave by 9, we might be out by 11 but that’s probably wishful thinking. A breast feeding child who soils his diaper every 23 minutes adds a significant amount of lag to everything.
I like things efficient and streamlined. A few weeks ago I was able to make a trip to Target on my own. I felt like The Flash. I was gone, in, out, and back in less time than it takes us to get everyone and everything ready and in the car. It was amazing! I had forgotten how efficient I am alone.
But, amazingly, I’m willing and excited to trade in efficiency for lag again. I’m loving two children but it’s not enough. I want more.
I worked at a daycare for four years and was generally with at least ten children at a time. Three year olds, fours and fives, or kindergarten through second grade. I absolutely loved it! Every day was different. It was challenging and often stressful but a complete joy. For me, two children is too quiet.
Wife and I have both agreed that four is a great number. Whether we have more biologically or through adoption, we’ll see. Wife wasn’t too fond if being pregnant, but adoption is no walk in the park either. Each comes with its own challenges and rewards.
Life is beginning to move into a more stable routine, and each family member is discovering their new role and rhythm. Buttercup is a great big sister and Seth’s little smiles light us all up. More of this will be excellent.
In the mean time, I’ll cherish all the sleep I can get, and enjoy whiskey when I’m able (I still haven’t opened my celebratory bottle of Hedonism; I’ll get to it eventually).