Outnumbered

The funny thing about pregnancy and childbirth is that you spend SO LONG waiting for your baby to be born – and then as soon as you go into labor time somehow shifts into hyper-speed and suddenly you’re home from the hospital with a newborn and a toddler and your husband is back to work and your family is gone and holy shit what was I thinking?!

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This hyper speed thing happens to everyone, I think, but it happens especially to people whose husbands work in foodservice and return to work 3 days after the baby is born.

So here we are, the Saturday after Lucy’s birth. She’s not quite 5 days old and I’m facing my first day alone with 2 kids.

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I’ve always believed that God/Mother Nature/Fate only gives us as much as we can handle – and it must be true because Lucy slept a 4 hour and 3 hour stretch last night – leaving me feeling like a new person this morning. Mia slept until 645am, and Lucy napped from 6-730am so thanks to Daniel Tiger I was able to shower and get dressed in relative peace.

My recovery from this birth has been light years easier than my first – thanks to a slippery little noodle baby that “left no trace,” so-to-speak, on her way out. Not so her older sister who made sure to leave a mark, and a couple of stitches.

Because I’ve been feeling pretty much my regular self, I got ambitious and decided that on my first day with two kiddos I would take Mia to her regular gymnastics class. My motivation was two-fold. One – it would tire Mia out, resulting in a longer, better nap (for both of us). And two – I have to pay for the class whether she attends or not and it’s just shy of $20 bucks a class and I hate to waste $20.

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Originally I thought we would stop by Dan’s work on the way in for breakfast, but it turns out getting two kids dressed, fed and out the door takes more than twice the time as one kid. Who knew.

Thanks to some very adept parenting skills (“Mia – hurry, the gym is going to close if you don’t put your boots on and get in the car RIGHT FUCKING NOW!”) we managed to make it to gymnastics just in the nick of time. My plan was to wear Lucy in the Solly wrap, which worked well for about 10 seconds until she realized how close she was to my boobs, without proper access.

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Commence screeching.

Trying not to panic, I bounced her around and smiled apologetically at all the other parents who were frazzled enough trying to keep their own kids seated and stretching, within sight of about 15 trampolines.

No dice.

Since there was no turning back now – Mia was already running wild and I had zero back up – I pulled out the only weapon in my arsenal, boobs.

Even for a non-modest person like me, trying to latch a 5 day old baby onto your boob inside a wrap, while holding your toddler’s hand on the balance beam is less than comfortable. Luckily, everyone else in the class is also a parent, and has presumably seen boobs before so it was likely nothing new for them. But they definitely all got a show.

Once I got Lucy settled and latched she remained calm for about 15 minutes before she was ready to switch to the other side. While shifting her around and giving another free show, Mia decided to roll off the somersault mat and smack her head on the floor. Another parent picked her up and calmed her down before I even noticed she fell.

I’m still waiting for my parent of the year award. Maybe it’s lost in the mail.

Gymnastics continued in the same fashion for another half hour – and I was humbled by the kindness of all my fellow parents, many of whom had “been there,” and were happy to help by corralling Mia, putting on her shoes, and engaging her in conversation about becoming a big sister.

Once we got in the car Lucy immediately fell asleep, and Mia was consumed by a bag of Pirates Booty. The momentary calm made me think I could actually handle another outing so we head over to Dan’s work for lunch.

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Even though it was crazy busy, Dan was able to help me out a little bit and watch Mia while I changed Lucy’s diaper and shoved a few bites of sandwich into my mouth. Mia ordered a ham and cheese sandwich and ate none of it, which is so out of character for her (cue sarcasm music).

To keep her from running into the kitchen and asking for more pickles, I packed up her sandwich to go and gave her a lollipop while she watched Jake and the Neverland Pirates on my phone.

Seriously it’s so weird that my Parent of the Year award hasn’t arrived yet.

Anyway we made it through lunch, Dan helped us into the car and we drove home for naps. Mia was not happy about hers, and Lucy only wanted to sleep attached to my boob but we’re home, we’re safe, we’re fed (except for Mia), I’m watching Grey’s Anatomy on Hulu and Dan is due home from work any minute. I even managed to wash the dishes and put our sheets in the laundry.

It’s not a glamorous life but it’s mine now – and surprisingly, I kind of dig it.

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