In the wise words of Love Actually: “To me, you are perfect.”
Can I say, so far, I’m enjoying the whole newborn-in-May way more than newborn-in-October-during-Hurricane-Sandy routine. Better for moral! And cluster feeding at night is easier when the nights are shorter. (I have a feeling I’ll be singing a different tune status-post week 4 of life. And this is not to say that I haven’t had many personal meltdowns, mitigated by a kind husband, patient friends, and ridiculously generous neighbors.)
Unfortunately, in John’s line of work, one doesn’t really get paternity leave, and I might have picked the worst time to deliver, as most of his colleagues were at a huge conference in Texas at the time. So, just like last time, he was back to work 48 hours after the birth of our child. And I, completely panicked, tried to figure out how to manage this weekend, keeping Ari happy and Evie alive (big sister just wants to crawl into the rock-n-play with “Eee-vah,” as she calls her), all the while still moving slowly and occasionally dribbling breast milk in my wake. I am so appreciative of the friends who’ve dropped by, brought chocolate and other goodies, watched my daughters as I brushed my teeth, and read books to my eldest as I fed the younger.
Early Sunday morning, John got home from an overnight shift just as Ari was waking. Evie had fallen asleep after dinner #11 (she is, in fact, a barracuda), so he gave me an extra 30 minutes to snooze while he started Ari’s morning routine. He then retreated up to bed. Normally I have until 8:15 am before Ari starts beating down the door, urging on the next adventure. Unkempt, with teeth a little fuzzy, I strapped Ari into her stroller, and tried to finagle this sillily long wrap thing-y I had once attempted and failed when Ari was a newborn. I’m sure it could have been more masterfully and efficiently executed, but the wrap seemed secure enough, and Evie slid right in. With both girls in tow, a few diapers, wipes, sippy cup, and wallet stashed in the crevices of the stroller, I made it down our porch front steps without my pelvis prolapsing and felt a huge sense of accomplishment. (Seriously, hats off to all the parents who make this parenting thing look easy, or at least routine…I am constantly a “hot” mess [those hormone fluctuations are no joke!], and I’ve already had some of my med school friends tell me that I’m an excellent form of birth control.) I barely made it 8 steps when my lovely neighbor waved from across the street…at which point I took my opportunity to hijack her entire morning. “Oh! What beautiful weather! We were just going for a walk. Please, join us. JOIN US!”
All I can say is thank goodness Evie makes cute little squeaks, smells good, and sleeps well in arms that know how to hold babies. I think that was what convinced this sweet unassuming neighbor that a walk-turn-into-coffee-and-pastry-run-to-keep-the-hubs-asleep-and-the-toddler-entertained, which might have last 3+ hours, was exactly how she wanted to spend her morning.