“Nothing happens to anybody which he is not fitted by nature to bear.”
– Marcus Aurelius Antoninus
That’s the idea anyway. Or so the Emperor would have us believe.
I’m hoping he’s right.
I am now testing my mettle in the world of parenting multiple children. Are my knees quaking at the thought of entire days where I juggle the needs of my bright, beautiful toddler daughter and my sweet, relaxed, new baby boy?
“Oh yes !”, as my lovely little daughter has taken to saying.
Still, I’m sure it won’t be all that bad. Other people do it, and some of them with more than two kids. Good grief, what is there to be afraid of?
Perhaps it’s the ability of my dear toddler to wander off to any room in the house and potentially create varying forms of havoc on unsuspecting walls with her marker pens, crayons or chalk. Thankfully the chalk masterpieces that have previously adorned our various walls have been very easily removed from display. We have yet to witness similar marker or crayon art, but I suspect it is only a matter of time and inclination.
In the meantime, what has Master Oh Waily’s arrival meant for the Oh Waily family?
The main change has been sleep. Everyone’s ability to get some, the quality of it and the longevity of it.
The OWW parents are living in the land of sleep deprivation and are currently working on an evil master plan to counteract that particular side-effect of having a new infant in the house. Currently it mostly revolves around the toddler and the timeshare use of a grandparent and spare bedroom.
The most obvious change for Miss Oh Waily has been the alterations in her normally good sleep pattern.
Perhaps the disappearance of Mum & Dad in the middle of the night* and the non-appearance of Mum for a couple of days** spooked young Miss Oh Waily. We no longer seem to have a happy-to-go-to-bed daughter and have received a stupendous number of “curtain calls” some nights before she finally gives in and falls asleep. That would, in itself, be almost livable but for the fact that during Master Oh Waily’s first two weeks she also made an irregular habit of waking up some time around 2am and doing the same sort of thing – only instead of going back to the living room it became our bedroom.
Fortunately over the last week and a bit (fingers crossed, touch wood, throw that pinch of salt over the shoulder…) she seems to have settled out of the middle-of-the-night visits and the evening curtain calls have become intermittent.
I’m just hazarding a guess, but I am inclined to put this down to the often touted “regression” that toddlers go through when a new member of the family arrives. On top of that Miss Oh Waily appears to have been cutting all four of her back molars during this time – and that’s also interfering with her usually lovely temper.
Other than that, Ms Oh Waily is learning that she needs to add at least another half an hour to her prep-them-to-go-out-anywhere time. And even that may be a tad close when attempting to make an appointment time.
She also notes that there are only two choices with regards to everything else that isn’t directly baby or toddler related – you either keep working while the children are having synchronised sleeps until “stuff” is done, including using that precious little amount of time that belongs to you to wash the poopy nappies, or; you ignore it. Personally I find I can ignore quite a bit of stuff, for quite a bit of time. Then I find that ignoring it for quite a bit of time makes it even harder to catch up with and worse yet, to live with. So ignoring it is now a non-option in Ms Oh Waily’s daily life.
What that means in practice is – this blog entry is going be an even rarer species than it’s stablemates already are (unless my non-ignorance of “stuff” means I catch up and overtake myself); my “fun” reading time is cut to about 30 minutes once a week; my eyes occasionally take on the look of a panda’s and I may tragically find myself becoming a Mummy-Bore***.
As a result of this alteration in my daily life a little part of me is looking forward to and admiring this stage of motherhood where reading books while drinking good coffee is a possibility. I am particularly relishing the opportunity to indulge in such glorious in-and-on-the-bed reading sessions with both of my kids. Little Miss has had some of that – Hairy Maclary surely counts as much as Harry Potter for a toddler. 😉
This has to be the ultimate in family time.
So the upshot is – we’re tired, but we’re adjusting and getting used to the new rhythm of our family life.
And yes, I will become a bit of a Mummy-Bore with my blog entries. Mostly because I don’t get enough reading time. Honest.
* why did both of my children decide that getting down to the nitty-gritty of arrival should occur some time between midnight and sunrise ??
** despite visits to Birthcare (the very nice place our actual hospital shunts you off to within 3-4 hours of giving birth, complicated or caesarian births excluded) to see Mum and new baby.
*** these are the women you previously crossed the road to avoid. No conversation can be held about anything except children – their children specifically, and just how great they are and what they are doing that will astound and amaze you. 😉