Friday, October 22, 2010

Holy shit---three is a lot more than two. Who knew?

No drafting. No revising. No time to make this sound nice. It is what it is on a first type:

I always yell at J---- about cursing. But in the end I probably curse as much if not more than he does. Oh the irony of it all. Call me cocky; call me arrogant; call me naive. Call me just about anything right now and I really won't care at all. I won't even fight back. I probably won't even give you a second glance. Or if I do, it will be with a well of tears in my eyes and no strength whatsoever. You'll be looking at an entirely different lady than from just a few weeks back.

A few weeks back I was just a tired lady. I was a lady carrying around about 35 extra pounds and wondering when I'd no longer be pregnant. In fact, the idea of not being pregnant was blissful. In my mind it meant shedding not only the cumbersome belly, but time away from the classroom, and the start of an entirely new chapter in my life. Yet, for all the books I've read, studied, and even taught, I wasn't entirely prepared for where this narrative was actually headed. I guess in retrospect that's pretty cool. It would actually be a bit lame if I could have, in fact, predicted or determined the course of things to come.

So, here I am right now learning to do what many, many women before have me have learned to do. Here we are as a couple again navigating those first few months of newborn land---a land with no determined schedule, no rest for the weary, one that is so isolating at times that the end is far from see-able, or more grammatically correct recognizable/evident/clear/obvious. Arghhh I don't think see-able is a word. Is it? OK---I KNOW it's not a word, I haven't lost my entire mind. But you know what? For today, in my world, it'll just have to do. OK? Throw me a bone. OK? Here my two older guys have been thrown into a world that requires them to be patient, sometimes quiet, wait, and be without mom for a great deal of time (at first). That's a lot to ask of little people. But regardless, I'm asking, pleading, yelling, and unfortunately demanding it of them quite often now.

All of this inevitably brings with it a mountain of guilt, questioning, insecurity, indecision, and of course random tears. All of which are truly frustrating and annoying to a woman who normally runs her life much like the bell schedule at school---up at dawn, out the door on the dot, slave to the clock at work, and the evening rush of pick-ups, dinner time, bath, stories, and then bed. Take all the factors from above (minus work) and throw them up in the air, and let them fall where they may---now start. OK---so that's pretty dramatic, and not quite or even close to how things are running. But that's how I feel a lot of the time.

But as I type this out I realize how petty, self-absorbed, and dramatic I must actually sound. Because in the end, while there is a lot of crying, whining, acting out (even by me---the 37 year old mom!) each day we all fall asleep together under one roof. And I can go late-night (since I'm up) from room to room and see the chests of each my most beloved people rise and fall in complete peace.

With that said, I vow to stop drowning as my sister wisely tells me. To order pizza, let C----- ride his bike around the block with wild abandon, let C---- and K------ watch Nick Jr. until bathtime even if they watched it while I nursed C--- again, kiss J----- before I fall asleep at 8pm, again, and to delegate, ask for help more.

It will all come together. It did the first time. It did again the 2nd time. So, it will this time too. And it's not a measure of me or my family as to how long it takes and what roads we go down to get there. We will all pile in together. And along the way there will be yelling, story-telling, singing, laughing, giggling, fart noises, fast food runs, pee breaks, bitching, accidents, moments of bliss, cursing, smiling, and finally the peaceful sounds of sleeping from my fantastic four. And before we know it we will have figured out how to be a party of five.


  1. You can do this; you said it yourself.

  2. I think you describe your situation so perfectly, I feel like I'm looking over your shoulder and feeling your pain. I can only imagine...

    You neglected to talk about one important change - and a change childless couples may never appreciate - growth. You and your suddenly shuffled family will grow together. My folks used to say that with each new family addition, they'd look back a surprisingly short time later and wonder how they could have possibly been such a cool family without that new kid, what's his name.

    A luminous and illuminating post!

  3. What WS said. Remember that, besides the chronic sleep deprivation, your emotional fragility also stems from huge hormonal changes. This chemistry is beyond your control, which is particularly aggravating to the organized and left-brained person who likes, wants, NEEDS to be in control. This is your moment of Zen — in the sense that you may as well cede the illusion of control gracefully.

    I'm sure it helps to have been through this before, and so know how it will play out eventually. I recall asking my mother how soon it would be before my firstborn slept through the night. There was a brief hemming and hawing, either because she genuinely did not remember or because she knew better than to be honest with me right then, and then she said it didn't matter, since long before then I would have adapted to interrupted sleep. All of you are adapting.

    One more thing: now that you have so much more time with your first two, it must feel especially bittersweet to have to put them off and ignore them so much. But they, too, are growing from this: becoming more patient, more empathetic, less self-centered — whether they like it or not. Growth is painful at times, but we might not ever become better people without that short-term pain.

    Brava to you (and your sis) for taking on these challenges!

  4. I'm sure you're doing an amazing job. I know I can speak on behalf of a lot of people, a lot of people who really miss you and know what you are capable of. And that is strong, funny, witty, and a great parent to us all, so I am sure that you are an even better parent to your biological children. I cannot imagine what it is like, but I'm sure you, of anyone, is cut out for it!