Sunday, October 9, 2011

...and then there were four

Griffin is 19 days old today, and I must say that our transition to a family of four has been shockingly seamless (knocking wood, pt-pt-pt over the shoulder a la my little Russian mother-in-law). I spend a lot of time feeling incredulous and waiting for the other shoe to drop, for all hell to break loose, for Carter to become a little demon.

As is, Carter is handling Big Brotherhood like a complete champ. When we brought the baby home, Griffin immediately presented his big brother with a present - a BIG, YELLOW BULLDOZER (all caps necessary, as any and all machines are VERY EXCITING in this house). Carter was overjoyed, and thanked the baby profusely. Perhaps Griffin's initial gesture of generosity helped to secure a special place in Carter's heart, because the Roo is remarkably chill about the new arrival. So far his interactions with the baby are limited to watching me nurse ("Mommy's boobie is leaking - like a cow!!) and to trying to calm the baby if he fusses in the car ("It's okay, baby - we'll be home soon."). Otherwise, Carter goes about his business as usual and pays little attention to his little brother, other than to immediately notify me if the baby is waking up or needs to be fed ("Mommy, the baby is crying!"). Happily, he has shown absolutely no aggression toward the baby, or toward Mommy (halle-freaking-lujah). I suspect this is because Carter's a very verbal kid and is therefore able to tell me exactly what he wants and needs - "Mommy, put the baby in the swing and come sit with Carter!" - so he doesn't need to get frustrated and lash out...? Or maybe I just have a really chill toddler. Either way, I'll take it.

Griffin is a dream baby (more frantic wood-knocking, pt-pt-pt). Throughout my pregnancy, I joked that he would no doubt be a demon because Carter had been such a mellow baby, and you can't get lucky twice, right? However, in the past couple of weeks I've come to realize something - Carter WASN'T easy. As my mother and mother-in-law reminded me, we had to swaddle-shoosh-swing-etc-etc and generally Harvey Karp the crap out of him to get him to sleep, he loathed the car and screamed incessantly when strapped into his car seat, and he reduced my boobs to bloodied shells of their former selves for the entire first month post-partum. Both grandmas vividly recall babysitting experiences in which they frantically bounced a swaddled, screaming Carter on our birth ball, desperately hoping for sleep baby, sleeeeeeep...

It seems I'd forgotten all of that. I'd forgotten that he was swaddled for each and every nap and night until at least five months old, when I was beginning to suspect that I would send him off to college with an adult-sized Miracle Blanket. I'd forgotten popping him into the Moby Wrap and suffering for the initial five solid minutes of screaming until he finally conked out. I'd (almost) forgotten the excruciating pain with every latch-on for four solid weeks.

...and then there was little Fin (Finn? Can I include an extra 'n' at the end of his nickname that isn't in the name itself? I have yet to decide). And in good, easy, second-child tradition, he doesn't require ANY of that madness. I swaddle him at night in order to get him to sleep longer, but he doesn't need it. We cruise to and from Burbank (30+ minutes each way) twice a day to take Carter to school, with nary a peep of protest from the car seat. I can count on one hand the number of sizable cries he has had. And nursing - nursing has been SO EASY that I am quite certain it's a gift from the gods to compensate for the initial post-partum hormonal hell that was month one with Carteroo.

I have no doubt that chronicling my good fortune in this manner is sure to tempt fate and send worlds of chaos showering down upon my weary (oh god, so, so weary - another thing I'd forgotten. How is it possible to be this tired and remain upright?) head, but I'm willing to risk it.

I have basically spent the past 19 days wandering around in a dreamy, joyous state, mumbling "I feel like I'm living in a dream" and other such hokey things, because I am just really, really happy, and so in love with my little family.


Erica said...

So great to hear. And yes, Carter is very verbal which is great but he is also mellow. As the mom of a not so mellow verbal toddler I can tell you! Keep up with the over the shoulder spitting! But I think you're just going to cruise through this whole thing. Thrilled that Finn is doing the whole out of the womb thing with so much style. Love the pictures. You keep it up, you awesome mama lady!

Katherine said...

WHO knows what they're doing? That's right, YOU! Glad to hear that you are loving it. And yes, I too recall you would report that Carter had "a meltdown" in the car to the likes of which I've never experienced. You said to me, "I used to play static radio stations in the car" and I thought, yikes, what? So...yes yes and yes.