Thursday, July 16, 2009

Family of 5

My girls came back today. Life went from calm and sleepy to chaotic and overwhelming all at once, but damn, was I glad to see them.

They had a fabulous vacation with their Grammy and Grampy, and both they and my parents were full of stories of the waterpark they'd been to, the cabin, fishing, swimming and the campfire they'd had. They were both all over the baby -- Nutmeg wanting to hold him and coo and Pebbles being, as toddlers will, a little more grabby. She wanted to move his arms for him as if he were a doll, and, as I expected, she really, really wanted to see him drink a bottle. I don't know what it is, but she loves seeing babies drink bottles. Sadly, we couldn't grant her this wish because you are not supposed to introduce nipples to breastfed babies for the first few weeks, to avoid that phenomenon which may or may not exist called "nipple confusion."

Now that would be a good band name, wouldn't it?
Pebbles was fascinated by the baby's swing -- she climbed in it, she wanted to push the baby in it, and she REALLY wanted to twist around the mobile that hung above it, which I know from experience will break a baby mobile. When I tried to put a small patchwork quilt she'd had as an infant over Toth, Pebbles flipped and said it was HER blanket and belonged in her crib. I didn't think she'd even recognize that one, but I was wrong. Later, at bedtime, though, I wanted to put a little somehting over Toth as he slept on the bed while we read a story, and after a little resistance Pebbles DID agree to let him borrow a doll quilt of hers. So that's progress.

Once my parents headed home and we had our dinner things were calmer. Toth went to sleep, I gathered my ignoring skills and ignored the thousands of peas scattering the dining room floor (in just one week I forgot what a spectacular mess these two little girls can make in one hour) and we gave the girls their baths one at a time, which seemed to be just what they needed to chill out and reconnect with us. I managed to get Pebbles dried off and into a diaper and pajamas all with one hand, while supporting a nursing Toth on the other arm (Epu was cleaning up from dinner). I read to Pebbles with Toth sacked out on the bed, then Epu came up and read to her some more while I helped Nutmeg shampoo and condition her "golden locks" as she called them.

Nutmeg seems to have no mixed feelings or insecurities at all about the baby. She was happy to get home and especially happy to get back to her books, and she sincerely hugged me and the baby and told us how much she loved us, and gave me the dubious compliment that I was "so pretty again." Pebbles was a little more tantrummy and high strung than usual, which might have just been because she was tired and making a big transition after a week of grandparental care (my mom says she called her "Mama" a couple times), or maybe it's her little toddler concerns about playing second fiddle to a new baby. When I put her in her crib she fussed a bit about wanting this or that, and when I said, "Pebbles, what do you need," she said "I don't know." I lowered her railing and asked if she were sad about the new baby, and she said yes. I gave her a hug and told her Mama would always love her, that she was still my big baby girl. That seemed to help and she went to sleep pretty quickly after that.

Nutmeg TOTALLY went back on her promise to flick off the light right after she finished the chapter she was reading, and when I emerged from a bath at 20 after 9 she was still reading the original Boxcar Children book. But that is another story.


Bert said...

A few things...

1) How cool that Nutmeg loves her books so much and can't comply with rules because she must keep reading. Bad for parents, but I totally get that feeling! Woo!

2) You are the best mom. Seriously, Pebbles must have been so comforted by your empathy. What a beautiful moment.

3) Little Mr. Sleepyhead sounds delightful, despite the up and down at night.

Notta Wallflower said...

Your face in the picture says it all. My hat's off to you. Can't wait to see everyone soon!

Unknown said...

I absolutely loved the Boxcar Children when I was young. Like Nutmeg I was always staying up past "lights out" to read.

Becky said...

OMG, while I was out of the loop, you had your baby! Gotta go catch up. Congratulations on that beautiful boy, and I hope everybody continues to adjust!