Tuesday, February 13, 2007

No Rest For the Weary Parents of Nutmeg

Before dawn this morning Epu turned to me and said, "When we brought this new baby home, I didn't think it would be my 2-year-old keeping me up at night."

But it has been. Actually, both girls are keeping us up at night. But when Nutmeg keeps us up, she also wakes up her grandma and grandpa, who are staying in the next room, and probably everyone in the building and possibly neighboring buildings. We know it's not too surprising that she's emotional. Not only have we shattered her princessdom by bringing home another daughter, but her whole life has been changed -- she's stayed with one set of grandparents, and now we tried to put her down to sleep in the living room last night. She said she wanted to, but she kept calling out to us to bring us a specific blanket, etc., so eventually we put our feet down and moved her back to her own bedroom, where Epu and I are also sleeping. The result: The biggest, longest tantrum she has ever had. I eventually abandoned all efforts at being firm and rocked her in the rocking chair for about half an hour, and she finally cried herself out. Then around 4 a.m. Filbertine's crying woke her up, and she cried again until Grandma showed up and offered to let her sleep with them, and after an excursion to the kitchen for one specific sippy cup that it took two of us to find, she finally went back to sleep. Filbertine and I were back asleep by, well, 6.

With the Filbert, it's all the normal newborn stuff -- taking a long time to latch onto the breast, me not realizing that she's crying because she's wet or has to burp instead of needing to eat, etc. We'll iron it out. What worries me is that all the coddling Nutmeg is getting will have permanent effects on her behavior. We have tried so hard NOT to raise one of these toddlers who runs the home, a la every family on SuperNanny. And no, I don't want to have overly high expectations for her during this difficult time. I understand that it's emotional. But what can I do? If we keep doing everything it takes to stop the crying and screaming, I can see that we'll be her permanent slaves by the end of the week. Nutmeg's getting lots of attention and love, including from mommy, since I have lots of help around right now to hold the baby so I can play with and help the Nut. But obviously no amount of love and cuddles is enough to make this transition pass smoothly. So I'm just crossing my fingers that it will blow over. Hopefully by the time Epu goes to San Francisco for a week next month.

On the upside, Filbertine is mostly still in that easy, sleepy infant stage, where all she wants out of life is a warm lap most of the time. More housecat than baby at this point. We had our first check-up yesterday, and she is close to her birth weight, which is good, and just a little jaundiced. We're going back on Friday so the doc can eyeball her skin for yellowness.

And more upside: I don't think I will cook another meal for the rest of 2007. My in-laws came with boxes and coolers of provisions and have cooked a scrumptious feast for every meal so far. Now they're off taking Nutmeg to the library and tumbling class. It snowed all night and the snow is blowing all over the place, so better them than me. Me, I'm gonna take a hot shower and watch "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" The shower is easily accomplished because Filbertine has developed an instant and deep love for the portable Fisher Price Aquarium Swing. Hooray*.

* And don't worry, Dr. Sears, she also loves the Baby Bjorn that Kori so kindly lent us, and the new sling that my cousin sent.


Kori said...

Hugs and naptime wishes headed out your way.

Notta Wallflower said...

My heart goes out to you guys. I can certainly understand the frustration. It's a good thing you've got some help and that you don't have to worry about cooking. :-)

Bert said...

Oh, poor Nut-head. You're doing a bang-up job at making sure she feels loved. The return to regular expectations will come in time. Pretend she has PMS... :)