It’s official. I have kids. Plural.
I don’t exactly know what I expected but so far having two kids looks like my husband doing all the things. (Thank you, cesarean section for rendering me nearly useless as a partner but keeping me undeniably alive not once but twice.)
He manages all the things with minimal complaint and impressive restraint until he is temporarily freed for an overnight work trip and I finally get a taste of parenting two alone.
I’m two weeks postpartum and have been off pain meds long enough to know that I can survive without them. Progress.
I’ve scheduled a lunch date with a girlfriend to distract me from the evening to come. (Okay, she called me and I happily accepted. I love my girlfriends.) She comes over to catch up and meet the newest. She brings açai bowls. They’re delicious.
Before picking up my daughter from daycare, I take my son to run some errands. I park next to the cart corrals each time so I don’t lift him too long. He’s heavy but he sleeps.
I pick up my daughter from school and she shows off her little brother to all her of her friends. I introduce him to the teachers. One of the women helps me carry Emma’s car seat out to the car. My hands feel full (literally and figuratively) but I’m handling it.
Dinner time goes off without a hitch and we even find time to play Candyland and put together a puzzle before bed. I’m basically a super hero.
Both kids are in bed by 8:30 PM which is earlier than my husband and I have been managing together (#blessed). Having not much else to do (combined with a deep loyalty to my husband which prevents me from watching ahead in our Netflix series), I go to bed.
At the 1 AM feeding, I reach for something on the baby’s book cart. The cart is metal, on wheels, with three grated tiers. It’s repurposed from another room in the house; we have too many bookshelves already.
I forget about the open water bottle. Its contents chug-chug-chugging all over the books serve as an unwelcome reminder.
After a few choice words, I conquer my freeze-reflex, put down the baby, and grab some towels. Several books need to be wiped down. The floor is soaking wet. I recognize that this episode would have destroyed me the first time around but I’m feeling even-keeled and postpartum anxiety isn’t consuming my thoughts. I’m grateful.
At the 4 AM feeding, my daughter wakes up crying. She wants to sleep in my bed. I’m tired so I oblige, patting myself on the back for making it this long though I know I’ve set us back. She waits for me while I feed her brother. She talks the whole time.
Morning comes and I try bribery to get her dressed. She dillydallies. I renege on my bribe. More tears are shed but we finally get out the door. I grab the full trash on the way out for a quick stop at the garbage can. It’s icy but I can’t tell because of the snow. I fall.
Inside, I grab some ibuprofen, anticipating incision pain, and my daughter grabs a Band-Aid for me. I feel bad about reneging on my bribe so I issue a new one.
All in all, I’m pretty proud of myself for making it this far without any breakdowns but the house will stay a mess. Even super heroes need a break.