The Supers

The Supers
Our growing superfamily

Thursday, July 15, 2010

You Know I’m Being Facetious When I Call Myself “SuperMommy”, Right?

I just wanted to clear that up. Just want to make sure that all you other mommies out there know that I am over ¾ mortal and fallible. My house is clean today, but only because I paid somebody to clean it. I’d go ahead and espouse my long list of parenting mistakes, but I’m sure that wouldn’t make either of us feel good. I haven’t fooled myself into thinking I’ve got this thing fully nailed. I do, however, really, really enjoy being a Mommy. I’m having a great time with my kids right now, and that’s half the battle.

I had completely mentally prepared myself for the first six weeks with the newborn to be the fifth dimension of hell. I’ve had numerous people say to me, with only the two kids, “Wow, you’ve got your hands full!” I didn’t consider that to be the case, but I thought, “Wow, I’m going to REALLY have my hands full with three!” I had a friend mention that she overheard a co-worker talking about how the transition from one to two kids was crazy, but the transition to three kids was just stupid. And I can see how that would be the case. Think about it: while Mommy is trapped nursing on the couch, there are not a lot of hyjinx just one kid can get up to. Sure, they may chase the cat, dump out a box of cereal, or throw a toy or two into the toilet, but there’s not much they can get up to that is irreparable or requires immediate attention. Now, picture nursing on the couch and hearing, “Just eat it. Mom won’t know,” or “Don’t worry, we can just ride it down the stairs,” or even just, “Just do it. C’mon, do it!” These are phrases that could strike terror in a mommy’s heart. With three kids, you could end up with one chasing the other around the living room with a belt, or talking the other into sliding down the stairs in a laundry hamper, all while you’re sitting helpless on the couch nursing.

Fortunately, that’s not what’s happening here. Now, these are still early days, but I honestly am feeling like the transition from two kids to three kids is not a lot of a transition at all. Talia is (bless her) a very easy baby so far and she mostly just sleeps. It does take me an extra hour to get out of the house in the morning, so don’t expect to see me before 10am, but other than that, things are surprisingly easy. Maybe it’s a matter of perspective. Our first week and a half was rough. Talia had some feeding issues that took a few days to resolve—days in which I had to top her up after every feeding by pumping milk and then feeding it to her through a tube held against my finger. This required constant pumping, sterilizing, finger-feeding, sterilizing, breastfeeding, etc. Two solid days of constant “feeding the baby”. Then, as soon as that all got resolved, David came down with strep throat. I can’t even blog about it, it was so utterly terrible. He was sequestered in the basement and I was upstairs with my four-year-old, two-year-old, and one-week-old. I was still hurting from the birth and I was an emotional mess, but fortunately after a couple days of constant mini-breakdowns I wised up and phoned my mom, who came and rescued us. I can’t believe I was able to ask for help and I am so enormously grateful to have a mom that would drop her life with an hour’s notice, hop a ferry, and take total care of us for three days.

So now that life is back to “normal”, this all feels really easy. That, and since Talia is gaining weight like a champ now, I have no problem interrupting her mid-feed to stop the kids from giving each other haircuts. I sure hope I’m not eating these words in a week!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Day at the Lake

I should have been wiser. I know there will come a time in my life that I will begin to use the good sense I know I must have been born with. I should have been wiser.

It did not start out like any day. There were omens all around, and I didn’t heed them. When I woke up and realized that what started out with David in the bathtub at 3:30 in the morning had turned into him wrapped in blankets and shivering on the living room floor, I should have kyboshed the plans. I should have known then to cancel our plans to go to the lake and have a nice quiet day in the backyard instead. But I had this picture in my head, and sometimes those pictures become so enticing that a gentle push in that direction is all you need to be convinced. Everything will be okay.

I even tried to tell the kids that I didn’t think we’d be able to go to the lake, but my honey-tongued son ASSURED me that if we went to the lake, “You can just sit on the blanket and watch us play!” (picture him smiling divinely and batting his eyelashes). That sounded fantastic! I’d just sit on the blanket and watch the kids, nurse Talia, relax in the warmth.

Omen number two: Sweet Marcus, the aforementioned honey-tongued son, was leaning into Talia’s face to coo at her or kiss her or love her in some other gentle, brotherly way and she THREW UP IN HIS MOUTH. A look of shear horror and panic enveloped his face and he brought his hands up to his chin to cover his mouth but it was too late. Milk was dripping off his nose, out of his mouth, down his chin. She got him GOOD. He started scream-crying and ran to the bathroom and I swear I tried SO HARD not to laugh. I really, really, really tried. When he finally emerged from the bathroom he was still crying hysterically and he was looking at her and at me trying (unsuccessfully) not to laugh and he was GLARING at us both like we were the worst traitors in the world and EVEN THEN I did not call off the trip to the lake. Of course, how could I, now? But I should have known, because whenever there is a traitorous act, there needs to be a reciprocal act of revenge.

So we got to the lake, after Marcus ASSURED me that he would be my big helper. I let the two out of the van, and Marcus starts running for the water. Beelines. And I am standing at the van, with at least three loads of things to carry PLUS the car seat with baby Talia, and Marcus is hoofing it as fast as he can for the water. Then I am hollering at him in my best trailer-park mama voice, “MARCUS!!! You get back here IMMEDIATELY!!!” He stops, turns around, and yells back, “WHY?” The answer, my friends? Yes, of course, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!!!” After about ten minutes of back and forth, I convinced him to come back and wait for me, and even to carry something.

It actually turned out to be a pretty good time at the lake, besides Skyler's little temper tantrum getting back into the van, but holy smokes I need to be a better planner the next time I leave the house with all three. Like, always bring a picnic so that when you get home you will not have three kids all squawking at you for food at the same time. Insert panic attack here. The snacks just didn't cut it, those kids needed to have lunch on the road.

Talia enjoyed her first day at the lake by lounging in her car seat in the shade. It was HOT but she stayed pretty cool. I was grateful to have friends there so that I was free to feed her while the kids played in the water.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Welcome to the World

Talia Rose Davidson-Dumas, born 6:32am, Tuesday, June 29th, 2010. Weighing a tidy 7lbs 9oz and measuring 19.5”.

Her birth was uneventful. What a wonderful way to describe a birth! No induction, no panic, no hurry, no paediatrician hovering outside the door, no obstetrician taking over the show, and quiet nurses that came in at precisely the last moment and then just as quietly slipped back out of the room. For the most part, just David and I and a bathtub, with a midwife coming in every once in a while to poke at my belly with a heart rate monitor. I love an uneventful birth. My first one, and my last.

Now she is here, and she sleeps and sleeps and sleeps. Brother holds her, and she sleeps. Sister holds her, and she sleeps. Mommy tries to get some sleep, and she wakes up. Good morning! No rest, Mommy, need, need, need.

These first days are easier the third time around, but certainly not easy. I’m tired, and emotional, and have trouble dealing calmly and rationally with the other two. Their needs pile onto the new neediness and I lose my temper too quickly. I send David to the park with the other two so I can rest and recoup my sanity. I think it is easier the third time around because I don’t take it personally anymore. I don’t take the crying personally, or the nursing issues, or even the short fuse I have. I know it’s the hormones, the lack of sleep, and the new overwhelming sense of responsibility. I say I know, but more importantly, I KNOW, I’m not just saying the words.

I’d love to write more, but I should get my rest.