Monday, May 16, 2011

Life with Four: An Early Assessment

So here we are. Seven weeks after baby girl made her entry to make us a family of six. I still turn around in the ole minivan daily and am shocked to see all those little people for whom I am responsible. (And God help us all--for whom I am required to get places on time.)

It will never happen.

I digress.

So how is life with four? She was my easiest labor, oddly (?) enough. Perhaps by this time, you know that even such excruciating pain is bearable because it is temporary, a form of expectation management. Or perhaps it just hurts less because your body knows what to do. Regardless, I was grateful.

I would say the hardest thing is, not surprisingly, the lack of sleep--and the inability to make it up elsewhere in the day because you have others that need attention, dinner that needs to be planned, homework to be monitored, t-ball practice, ballet, etc.

Welcome to life in the suburbs, baby girl.

Truthfully, the assimilation has not--yet--been as difficult as baby #3 was. Our first three were 16 months and 19 months apart, and for the first four months, we had THREE IN DIAPERS. Our third baby was our easiest baby and yet, I distinctly remember crying alot in the shower at that time. When I was able to take a shower, I mean. I have yet to cry alone during these first two months with #4, so I suppose that is a good sign.

Aside from the sleep, I think meals are the hardest--also not surprisingly. When we arrive home from preschool, everyone is about to DIE of hunger and well, I can't fix lunches and nurse at the same time. I have learned over the past few weeks to pack snacks with us for preschool pick-up to satisfy the "big" kids until I can get SF fed and hopefully cozy in a chair so she can watch the chaos. My friend Steph says I could also fix lunches before pick-up and have them plated and waiting in the refrigerator, which sounds like a great idea, but one I have yet to actually accomplish.

I also have a tremendous husband who is on duty the second he walks in the door. There is no way that we could do this without his partnership and "all hands on deck" attitude. Unfortunately, he has a paying job for which he has to leave the house everyday.

So far, none of the big kids (ages 6, 4, and 3--sort of amusing to call them "big") have asked to send her back or been unkind to her at all. As a matter of fact, they are more likely to kill her by smothering her with kisses or trying to pick her up to love on her than by drop kicking her off of any low slung roof. Almost-six year old BB was acting out at school last week, so that may be attributable to New Baby, by way of general attention-seeking or it may be that we are getting to bed almost an hour later because of juggling bedtime with newborn (not to mention tball practices in the evening twice a week).

So, my assessment thus far is that Four seems to be easier to assimilate than Three, although I reserve the right to change my mind next week. Or after lunch.

Ciao a tutti.