Today we ate:
- Breakfast: Smoothies and toast for Dad and LP and a banana muffin (from Haley House!) for Mom
- After music class LP snacked on some crackers dipped in vanilla soy yogurt (to each his own!)
- Lunch: LP had leftover stir fry, Dad had leftover curry and Mom had a tofurkey sandwich with avocado and tomatoes from the garden. Mom also snacked on some chocolate chips!
- After nap time LP had some cherry tomatoes and he got to lick the spatula after Mom made chocolate mousse. Lucky guy!
- Dinner: Cabbage and potato skillet with tempeh “bacon” bits, along with biscuits.
- Dad and Mom enjoyed some chocolatae mousse after LP was asleep and while we hung out with IP before she headed off to dreamland (for a couple hours at least.
Today we only went out to music class, and then we pretty much hung out at home and read a lot of books to LP! No outings = no money spent!
Yesterday I got to sleep in a bit while IP slept past 7am and the G-man got up with LP. Around 8:30 IP started to stir, and I knew she was due to be fed. I went ahead and hopped in the shower, but I didn’t stress or rush. After I got out of the shower I turned the bathroom fan off to see if IP was crying. She was a little, so I got myself dressed and together and took her downstairs to eat.
This little anecdote is nothing special, but these twenty minutes really stuck with me because they stood out in such stark contrast to my experience with LP when he was an infant. I remember many similar times when I was trying to take a shower before it was time to feed LP. I would feed him, get him back to sleep, and then maybe try and rest myself, but always with an eye on the clock, thinking about the next time he would need to eat. Then, if I was going to take a shower, I would get LP out of his bassinet and put him in a bouncy chair and move him in front of the bathroom door so that I could see him the whole time. Every thiry seconds I would peek out of the shower curtain and make sure he was still their and still ok. The minute he started fussing or crying at all I would leap out of the shower, throw on a robe and pick him up to feed him, or walk him around until he calmed down. This was the reason there were some days where I stayed in my bathrobe until noon (or three pm in the case of one day that I remember all too well).
Things have certainly changed (for me) in two and a half years.
Round two of baby care feels like a whole new experience in some ways, but not because my two babies are drastically different. In fact, I think there are many similarities in terms of how quickly they figured out breastfeeding, how alert they are, etc. But I am totally different. There were so many things I worried about with LP that I just don’t worry about anymore. I have learned that letting a baby cry for a minute while I put clothes on probably won’t scar them for life. I have learned that if my baby is gaining weight well enough I can let them tell me when they need to eat – and we will all probably be happier for it. I have learned that putting a baby in a swing or carrier to sleep while I do something else is not only acceptable, but also 100% necessary when you also have a toddler to care for.
The bottom line is I have learned to chill out a bit.
As I remember how busy and crazy my life felt when LP was born I laugh at myself a little. That was nothing compared to now, where I not only have the baby to care for, but also LP. But if I could go back and tell my past self this, I don’t think it would matter anyway. I needed that experience to learn what it meant to have a baby. Having LP changed our lives completely, and turned everything I did on a daily basis upside down. With IP it’s more like we are adding some chaos, but also simply folding another piece of the puzzle into our already chaotic (but wonderful and miraculous) life.
I still carry IP around to calm her, and just today we were doing stair steps (they seem to help her calm down) just like I used to do with LP. I still feel a little bad when I put IP in a swing so that I can check some e-mail or write a blog post. Some things don’t change. Still, the second round is both crazier, and also simpler, than round one. This time I’m embracing the chaos and uncertainty instead of fighting it. Babies will do that to you!