December 13, 2004

Six Weeks

Yesterday the kids were looking at our photo albums. They'd pulled out the one from Fairbanks and were flipping through it. The Boy was really excited to see the pictures of him in North Pole sitting on Santa's lap. The Girl was interested in all the pictures, but kept asking, "Where me?" She can't fathom the world before she began. I hardly can either. Sometimes I look at those pictures and wonder why we didn't get any of her, until I remember she didn't emerge from the womb until a few months after we returned to the Lower 48.

Six weeks ago today, I was in the hospital having another baby. I already am beginning to forget what the world was like before we had three children and officially became outnumbered. There are moments when the big kids are playing quietly and the baby is snoozing that make me think I wasn't insane and that life is rich and full. More often, the older ones are bickering, the baby is screaming for food or attention and I'm pulling my hair out.

I can't say things are back to normal. I know a new normal will have to evolve as I get used to life with three kids. Right now I'm generally too intimidated to get out of the house with all three kids. I can take two into a store and do just fine, but three is still beyond my ability to cope. I know I would have a meltdown and turn into the screaming, crying, spanking woman in public which would be bad. It's not a good thing to be at home either, which is why when it is not raining, I make the kids play outside as much as possible. They get along better in the yard, and I get a few moments of quiet. A fenced-in yard is a wonderful thing.

Although things are crazy and loud around here and although there are times when I want to sell all the children to the nearest band of passing gypsies, I love them like mad. In a few years, the baby is going to flipping through the albums asking, "Where me?" I'll have trouble remembering that she hasn't always been around.


Ahhh, every mother's tale, whether they'll admit it or not. I didn't realize six weeks had already passed for you. You're supposed to be back to normal now, right? Sheesh. It sure takes longer than that, doesn't it?

Posted by: Melissa at December 14, 2004 08:48 AM

I was trying to remember the "typical" leave time that a company will give mothers after the baby is born, and 8 weeks seems to be running through my head.

I hope this encourages you: think of the alternative of having to drop off your babies at daycare and going back to a job. I don't know how some moms do that. I realize that some are not cut out to be a 24/7 mom, but I'm sure you realize (starting your third) all of the special moments you would miss if you went off to work.

I was blessed with six months of being a stay-at-home dad with my youngster(baby), and I will always treasure that time in my heart.

[PS You could make a trip to the store if you got two harnesses/leashes for the older ones. That way they could not stray too far, and maybe you could hitch them up to pull the cart.]

Posted by: MarcV at December 14, 2004 11:38 AM

I know what you mean. it is hard to imagine a life before a child; I can't quite picture them not being there...I know intellectually they weren't but still, to actively picture them not there...

Posted by: Rachel Ann at December 14, 2004 12:17 PM

WOW!! Six weeks? It doesn't seem that long. Hmmm. This is a great post. I could've written it myself! Of course, I have a 6 MONTH old for my most recent "hatch". And don't worry. You WILL go in public again. And you KNOW that everywhere there are kind strangers to help you with doors and shopping carts and all sorts of unsolicited advice! Never fear!

PS-Those shopping carts with the two seats up front (with loads of strappable buckles to keep the kiddos tied up) are a wonderful thing.

Posted by: angie at December 14, 2004 01:22 PM

Wow- I feel the same way with one. Babies are WORK! Of course, at the moment mine is sleeping soundly on my lap, looking sweet as a powdered donut!

Posted by: Lenise at December 14, 2004 01:33 PM