Saturday, September 18, 2010

thus far

I celebrated my due date yesterday by nursing a very hungry baby boy, saying thank you thank you thank you for already being here.

On Thursday evening we headed to Fahaheel to walk around and pick up a few groceries. It was the first family outing, all four of us. We ate a small dinner at Paul, the French cafe we usually visit for fruit salad and croissants. The wait staff were happy to see Grant. Later in the evening we saw a woman who works at a Caribou Coffee near us - she knows me as "milk chocolate iced mocha" - and she was excited to meet Grant too.

So before Grant was born, I asked other moms with two what it was like. Kind of like I'd ask what Toronto was like, very casual: So, what's it like to have two little ones? And then, nearer the end of pregnancy, I began sounding a bit more desperate. More like: what is Toronto like when you arrive with only a toothbrush and five thousand pesos? Another mom at a play group Claire and I attended is due with her second one in December; we both wondered why you can find loads of parenting books for babies and toddlers and teenagers, but so little is written about managing two little ones at once. Maybe a chapter here or there, but not a definitive volume that says: This is how you do it. (And not go nuts).

That would sell.

What moms of two told me was (bear with the paraphrase, mashed from a few mouths): It is difficult for (two weeks to three months), but you figure it out.

Thanks. I neared the end of my pregnancy feeling very prepared to just keep both Claire and Grant alive until three months out when (hopefully), we'd all be sleeping through the night again. A few days after Grant arrived, I began thinking that it'd be at least three years before the volume of parenting (read: diapers, nursing, diapers, messes, food throwing, diapers, laundry, potty training, laundry, diapers, potty training) eased enough to think a third baby might be nice to have around.

But it is true, what these moms said, and I am starting to figure it out. Right now I need to not make my list of Onces: once my body is fully healed, once Grant is sleeping through the night, once I am able to get my usual runs in the morning, once I fit into my pants again, once I have time and energy to commit to potty training Claire. All those onces deprive me of my here and now. And the here and now isn't so wildly difficult as I'd imagined. I have energy reserves I dredge up from somewhere. And when I don't have the energy, a good cry settles me. I nurse my baby. I read books with my toddler. I understand that this is a short time in my life and that soon my two kids will be pouring their own milk on their cereal and whispering secrets or bickering at the breakfast table.

And that leads to a bit of advice from a mom of two that I am trying to heed: Be nice to yourself, she said. Be patient with yourself. Especially right now, I gather, while I am figuring it out.

Friday, September 10, 2010

grant nael

Look who joined our family on September first! Grant Nael, surprising me by arriving two weeks early. He weighed just under six and a half pounds and measured nineteen and a half inches. Such a sweet boy!
We've been enjoying quiet days, getting to know Grant and settling into a new normal for our family.