On New Years morning I woke up to a really embarrassing notification from Pandora — something like “You’ve listened to 8,423 hours of Enya Radio in the last 8,760 hours, keep the streak going in 2018!”
I have Enya Pandora on from the time I wake up to the time I fall into bed, for exactly two reasons.
One, without constant music coming from my phone I would never, ever, EVER be able to find it. Two, piping spa music into my house is my last line of defense between sanity and insanity.
A week and a half into life with three kids, and I can already tell I’m going to need something a little stronger.
Lottie is easy. She sleeps all the time and when she’s not sleeping she’s just looking around like she can’t figure out how she landed here, with these kids and that dog and that constant new-age noise coming from Mom’s phone. (I’m completely aware that now that I’ve said out loud how good she is, she’ll flip a switch and turn terrible. Probably tonight, and probably between 11 pm and 3 am.)
Everyone in our life has been so wonderful and helpful. My parents took the two older kids for two days while we were in the hospital having Lottie. My in-laws came down the day she was born and cleaned our house top to bottom so I didn’t have to worry about that when we got home. There are friends and family bringing us the most delicious meals. Evelyn’s preschool director walked her to my car last week so I didn’t have to unload the other two kids in the sub-zero temperatures. Her speech teacher is coming to the car to get her so I don’t have to unload the other two and schlep them inside (yet). A friend came to stay with Lottie so I could grocery shop and pick Evelyn up from school by myself.
It seems the only people that don’t seem to care about making things any easier for me are my two older children.
In fact, the hardest part of this adjustment answers to the name Alexander and is available for immediate home exchange.
When we brought Alex home from the hospital Evelyn was 18 months old, and while she was certainly no angel, she was a delight compared to what my darling son has turned into in recent weeks.
Every time I nursed Alex as a baby, Evelyn knew that “Feeding time is Reading time.” I had similar expectations this time. In my head, I’d be nursing the baby and something like this would be unfolding quietly next to me:
Instead, three minutes into feeding Lottie this morning I heard the ice-maker at work in the kitchen and walked in on this scene:
I realized then and there that something’s going to have to change, and that something is probably going to be me.
I like to run a pretty tight ship around here. I’m big on schedules, boundaries, enforcing consequences, etc. It keeps the order, and order is the only way I can get from sunup to sundown without eating my young. I mean there’s a very fine line between myself and Captain VonTrapp. You know, with the whistles for each kid.
But it turns out I may have to learn to relax a little bit while we adjust to this new one.
Exhibit A — the kids current favorite toy:
In Evelyn’s hands you’ll see the stick for our sliding door. Alex likes to push it around like a vacuum, Evelyn likes to swing it around like a sword, and I’m stuck on the couch with a one-week-old attached to me and no free hands to take it away from them or put them into time out if (when) they refuse to relinquish it.
Exhibit B — the toy room:
When Evelyn was a baby, I’d clean the toy room at nap time so it was pristine when she’d wake up. With Alex, I took to cleaning it at the end of the day only, knowing how trashed it would get all over again in the afternoon. With Lottie, I’ve yet to clean it.
I’ve started dry-heaving when I walk past it, but I left the energy to clean it up back at the hospital.
Exhibit C — My appearance:
Today was my second day in a row in this shirt. It was 3:00 before I noticed these stains. I have no idea what they are or how long they’ve been there. If I had to guess, it’s drippings from the cool whip I’ve been eating straight from the tub — which, by the way, you can eat in its entirety for only about 6 Weight Watchers points. Hypothetically.
Exhibit D — the pantry.
I have a strict “no helping yourself to food from the pantry rule” that Alex broke yesterday when he casually strolled up to the couch with his hand in a box of Pop Tarts I didn’t know he could reach.
Next time I looked, he was in there getting a treat for Pippa …
… which, after letting her lick profusely, he took back from her and took a bite of himself.
Whatever, kid. You do you, and if you want to eat dog treats, go nuts. They’re probably better for you than Pop Tarts, anyway.
If you need me, I’ll be over here drinking all the wine. And listening to all the Enya.