Making the rounds at bedtime tonight, I was reflecting on how well this month has gone. When Britt first came along, I was in heaven. But, it wasn't a cakewalk to adjust to this very demanding, high maintenance small dictator that had taken over the house. I NEED my sleep, I can remember one night about 3 weeks old, during the fellowship meeting, where he woke up to eat every hour and a half. I didn't enjoy nursing him AT ALL, and I felt like a milk cow with no personal space. I can't remember much about the first six months after Ruth was born. It's a real haze. I remember alot of phone calls to Gary crying, wondering when he would be back from various things he had going on campus. I remember being terrified to take them both out of the house alone anywhere. I remember looking at her and feeling like she was a little alien, and I couldn't figure out where she came from. Looking back, Gary and I strongly suspect that I had some post partum depression going on with her. Before Rebecca was born, I was a little nervous about coping with three. We love all the kids, and think they are the beautiful gifts from God. We want more of them, but there's always a bit of nervousness when you add another one. All that self doubt about not being a good enough parent, and trying to hit that perfect standard, that we never quite make. Nothing makes you over analyze and second guess yourself like parenthood. Sometimes I'm not real decisive anyway. I hate picking out meat in the store. I know Gary's so particular, I'll try to pick between a half dozen things, and then debate what size I need, and then debate if I should even bother, so I always just let Gary buy the meat. If I'm like that about something fairly not important you can see how I could be about something that actually matters.
The first one to check on was Ruth. She's a light sleeper, so I turn on the light on the stairs, just enough to not trip and die on anything that might have been gotten back out after bedtime. I have to sneak in there and cover her back up, and no doubt she'll be back out of the covers by the time I'm out of the room. She alternates between snoring and sucking even though her thumb isn't quite up to her mouth. She's still got all those adorable rolls of baby fat everywhere, hands that almost seem too big for her, and that cute round nose. She's got crazy hair, with ringlets everywhere at all angles, in her face standing up, stuck to her neck and her pillow. The best part is her squishy eyes, and the way they crinkle up in the corners just like her Daddy's eyes. They are his best feature, and it thrills me to death that she has them too. It's hard to believe that she's not the baby anymore. Her speaking has gotten so much clearer in the last two months, that she seems so much older now. And this month she has finally hitting that "terrible two" stage, right as Britt finally appears to be coming out of the illogical, emotionally unstable toddler stage. Everything is "Me do it. BY. MY. SELF!" or "Me too!!!" or "But I want to?" Britt still rarely picks out his clothes, or cares what I dress him in, but all of a sudden this month, she has become the fashion diva, needing me to give her multiple options for the day's outfit. She has an opinion about everything, and a bit like her Momma isn't afraid to share it. Even for all of the teenager in a 2 year old body thing she's got going on, she's quick to throw away diapers, and tonight, I found her rubbing soap all over the shower stall glass door. (The same door I scrubbed with some new cleaner for an hour to get all the soap scum off of just 5 days ago.) Her explaination, "Me help you cwean. We go to Vania now wiff Da-ee."
Next, I head into mine and Gary's room, to check on Britt. Sprawled out, taking up 2/3rds of the bed, the boy never wakes up after he finally crashes for the night. He's matured so much in a month, it's shocking. I told Gary the other night on the phone that he might not recognize him. He has been incredibly helpful, the daily spankings have decreased drastically. All I have to do is ask him to recite Ephesians 6:1 and then ask him what obey means, and he straightens up considerably. His attitude still needs some work, but he is complying more and more as well as quicker and quicker these days. He's been such a helper. He's insisted on helping me clean the bathrooms lately. Of course he always wants to help in the kitchen and with the laundry. He's also tried to be comforting. I had on a singing cd with Gary leading one day last week. He asked why I was listening to it, not on Sunday, and I told him it was always good to sing to God, but that I also like to listen to Daddy lead, because I miss him. Since then anytime I do something that he perceives as missing Daddy (such as drinking Coke or sleeping on Daddy's side of the bed) he comes up to me, pats my arm, and says, "It's ok, I miss him too." He has been such a big boy, but wrapping the covers around him tonight, I can't help but notice his long, long eyelashes, and his full lips. I remember when he was a baby thinking that they were almost more suited for a little girl than for a little boy. I love what he calls his "curls" in the front. When I got into the bed he snuggled up closer and mumbled something about cuddling with me "all night long."
Finally, I had to feed Rebecca and try to get her to sleep. I love the way she lays her hand out flat to "hold" me when she's nursing. The way she stops every so often to grin big at me. After she nurses herself to sleep I like to hold her on my stomach, and I love the way her arms stretch all the way around to the bed now. She's so adorable when she's dreaming about eating, and her mouth is moving almost like a dog laying on a rug chasing cats in their dreams. I've noticed that her hair is thinning on the sides over the last few days, as I found some all on the carrier after the zoo trip, and in the car seat this afternoon. She's batting at her toys now, though she doesn't have much aim yet. It's hard to believe how fast they change and grow. I've had an easier time adjusting with her than with any of the others.
This month has gone surprisingly well. We've managed trips to the grocery store, landscapers, Church, library, and even the zoo. I've juggled feeding Rebecca watching Britt play outside, and Ruth napping upstairs. I've cooked at least 5 nights a week, and creatively at that since I'm trying to eat everything in the freezer. I've managed to even squeeze in my Bible reading (some what uninterrupted) in the mornings while they watch their morning tv show, and some reading just for fun in the afternoons here and there. We've found a little bit of a routine. It's almost been fun to be on our own at times. These little moments I guess have given me some confidence, I can do this parenting thing, without resorting to hiding out in the bathroom with the door locked. I love these heathens to death, I want to save these little moments. I completely get why Daddy has joked that if they stayed like this Mother would have had alot more kids.
All the same, I'm excited, only 3 more days till we get to be with Gary again.