Matthew has made it to FOUR weeks. And I say made it because we have done things with him so far that I NEVER would have done with Everly, I think I would have had a coronary!
We let him have soothers that fall on the floor. I remember when Everly was first around I would have disinfected the soother with soap and water and then put it in a pot on a steady boil for 5 minutes if the thing even grazed the floor. It didn’t even have to fall nipple down, it went in the sink and pot regardless. Matthew’s soother was also introduced two weeks earlier than Everly’s was. Being a second time breastfeeder, I knew our latch was established enough to do so.
He sleeps in our bed. Yes, already. I was originally very committed to him sleeping in the bassinette and then he wasn’t sleeping at all and I was so freaking tired he made it into the bed. And no, he doesn’t really sleep all that much better, but it is easier for me to just roll to my side and pop a boob into his mouth and fall back asleep. Oh and might I mention that there are, (gasp) PILLOWS on our bed. I remember our bed with Everly when she was co-sleeping. We had one very breathable blanket and ZERO pillows on the bed. Towards the end of her co-sleeping our regular blanket and two pillows had made it back on the bed, so this time I knew it would be okay. Oh and I actually sleep when he sleeps at night, I don’t lay awake “on guard” watching him to make sure that he is still breathing.
I lay him on the ground to play; yes, I lay him, all by himself. He has this fancy pants activity centre thing and he goes under it so that I can go pee by myself. I never went pee by myself with Everly. I perfected the bathroom routine with one hand. I didn’t want to leave her “unsupervised” even for a minute, after all, she might die if I was not looking at her.
Sometimes he naps in the vibrating chair. Sometimes he just sits in the vibrating chair and stares at the drapes and I am convinced that he loves it! Our drapes are a black and white damask print and they are semi-opaque so the light makes them sort of glow. I am pretty sure I could make something smaller and sell it to parents telling them it will make their kid smarter because of how intently he stares at them. I remember being so concerned that Everly was bored when she was a baby and would have not allowed something like this to fly, until a friend told me that she is new in the world, and that everything she sees is new. I likened it to being in a new city, you can just sit in a café and stare out to the streets because there is so much to take in and it’s all new! So I sat him in that chair and said, Matthew meet the drapes, drapes meet Matthew… enjoy your fifteen minutes together while I make Everly lunch.
I once made him ride home in the car seat with a poop filled diaper because he pooped just as I was clicking the car seat into the base on my way home. With Everly I would have taken her out and changed here there on the backseat; horror of horrors! Neither of my kids seem to be bothered about sitting in their own crap. Obviously Everly really isn’t bothered because she still craps in her diaper at 27 months. Gross.
Things are different with your second kid. I know everyone says it, but I don’t think I was so prepared for how blatantly true it is.
Having a second child has also changed the way I parent Everly, of course it has to. We have a motto in our house now “she’ll only do it once.” I use this motto about 10 times each day when Everly is doing something that could lead to a minor bump or scrape. I wasn’t a super bad hovering mother, she didn’t live in a bubble, but I definitely rescued her. Now I can’t. If I am nursing her brother (which I spend 70% of my day doing, I am not kidding the kid is a tank with two hollow legs), I can’t immediately rescue her; so if she chooses to not listen to my warning… well, she will only do it once. I am thinking that some very significant childhood lessons are coming her way as she has reached the point in her development where she must test absolutely EVERYTHING!
Adjusting to our new child being at home has of course led me to think about what it was like when we were adjusting to Everly’s arrival. B took two weeks off work to help me out; he changed more diapers than I did those first two weeks. I was in a lot of pain for 3 or so weeks and it hurt to move around, so I didn’t. I took it easy and relaxed at home, letting her nap on me while I read or watched hideous television programs. B and I would just sit there and watch her in the evenings. We would take her wherever we went, our lives didn’t really change all. She slept. It was babymoon bliss.
This time not so much. Aside from the hideous television which is now even more hideous… ahem Caillou (barf). I have been up doing things right away, things have to get done. B didn’t have the ability to take the same time off. The pain, well, meh… I just tell my body to shut up and I take a Motrin. Going anywhere is a gong show right now, juggling a toddler schedule and a 3 week old with an unpredictable schedule. In the evenings B and I make dinner, feed the kids, he does her bath, I do his bath, he puts her to bed, I feed him and then Matty and I go to bed and B usually falls asleep in Everly’s room. And Matty doesn’t really sleep. He tries, but it only lasts for two hours before he wants to eat again (like I said, tank with two hollow legs).
I am feeling a touch of loss with not getting that same time with Matthew that I did with her. Sometimes B takes Everly to the park or to the swimming pool in the evenings and I stay home with the baby. I am instantly filled with “gotta get it done” mode and feel like I should put him down and get a whole bunch of stuff done that I can’t do when I have the two of them by myself. But lately I am phasing that mode out of my operating system. My nana told me to enjoy this little miracle, because he won’t be little for long. You are right nana. So enjoy I will do. Matthew meet mommy’s chest, we are now going to snuggle as your sister has her nap.