It’s been one full week of having three kids in the house instead of two. As forecasted, adding an additional child has made things much crazier.
The baby is actually very easy. He’s generally quiet, eats pretty well, and sleeps a fair amount (though he was basically up all night the first three nights after he came home from the hospital). I’m sure he’ll become more of a challenge as he gets older but, for the moment, his complete inability to do anything at all is mostly helpful.
The older two kids are a handful. In their own sweet way, they always are, of course, but now their routine has been disrupted to the point of near insanity. The oldest refuses to take a nap until he literally falls asleep sitting up or, if he just skips his nap entirely, he has a complete and total meltdown from 6pm until bedtime. The middle child “plays” with her older brother by taking whatever toy he’s using and throwing it; if it’s a toy that can be broken, she attempts to break it. She also concludes every meal by throwing all of her food on the floor.
All of this would be perfectly run-of-the-mill stuff if either my wife or I was able to stand on two feet or walk around for longer than a few minutes without discomfort. We’re both doing better every day, but we’re not improving nearly fast enough to deal with everything that’s going on around here. With three kids, there is no sitting down; something always needs to be done and someone always needs something.
Happily, we’ve had a lot of help over the past week. My mother and both of my in-laws came to visit for more than a week, and my dad, my grandmother, my sister, and my niece came out for a few days as well. Having everyone here was fun and an amazing help; they did the vast majority of the cooking and the cleaning while I hobbled around in a bleary-eyed daze.
Now that everyone’s mostly gone back home (my father-in-law is here for a couple more days), we’re going to have to get down to the business of figuring things out for ourselves. I know we’ll get a workable routine established before long, but at the moment it doesn’t feel possible. For example:
Today, my wife put the baby down for a nap and then went to take a nap too. I gave the other kids their lunches, then put our daughter down for her nap, and then got our oldest ready for his. As soon as my daughter had fallen asleep, I’d finished telling my son a story, and headed back downstairs, the door to my son’s room opened and he began complaining that he wasn’t tired. I explained, quietly, that he should just rest for a little while, and not worry about sleeping. He complained louder, but went back into his room. I sat down. Then, apparently, he left his room, went into his sister’s room, and woke her up. She started screaming hysterically. The baby woke up, my wife went into his room and fed him; I put my oldest back in his room, where he screamed and yelled at the top of his lungs, and then I went into my daughter’s room to calm her down. She calmed down and almost fell back to sleep but if I moved to leave the room she started screaming again. In the meantime, the baby went back to sleep, my wife went into our oldest’s room to calm him down, and then came into our daughter’s room to help me. As long as one of us stayed in there, she didn’t cry but she also wouldn’t sleep, despite being exhausted. Both boys are now sleeping; my daughter is still crying.
I’m sure it won’t always be like this. But at the moment it kind of feels like it.