It’s been less than two weeks since we were able to head home with our newest member in tow, and a lot has changed. To take a quote from Jim Gaffigan (one of the funniest men on the planet), “You want to know what it’s like having a fourth kid? Imagine you’re drowning and someone hands you a baby.” Of course, he’s got five kids—and we’ve only got three—but you get the idea. As with anything, you get more and more comfortable with time and experience.
That’s the goal. We’ve got 10 more weeks of L at home on maternity leave. I’ll be done with work at school (during the day) in three-and-a-half weeks, which means she has that much time to wrangle these three farting machines to get N to school until I’m there to assist. This past week I took off from both jobs because I knew we’d all be exhausted. We likely will be for a few years to come, but I’m not complaining. We made our bed (though we actually don’t), and we’ll lie in it (usually when we try getting a minute of rest while “hiding” with our eyes closed as the boys search for us in hide and seek).
I set up an old bassinet that was my wife’s when she was a newborn, but after two nights it was apparent it was a waste of time setting up. Sure, it only took a few minutes, but now it’s basically a storage bin containing diapers, wipes, creams, ointments and other newborn baby needs. Yet there it is, next to our bed, even though our new addition, Austin (yes, you’re getting his actual name), slumbers between the two of us, as was the case with the other two. We’ve got a big enough bed to not worry that we’ll roll over on him, and because we both practically sleep on the edges of our respective sides, this kid is living the life.
He wakes up a few times a night but has been giving us two solid stretches (read: two-and-a-half to three hours) of sleep pretty much since we got home. We’ve been fortunate in that the other two boys were good sleepers as well. And speaking of N and G, they’ve been surprisingly receptive to having a new baby in the house.
While G wasn’t interested in getting within four feet of his new brother the first few days, he’ll now lie next to him on the floor repeatedly saying hello—despite never getting a response. Our oldest on the other hand, he was super pumped to show off his new brother at school drop-off in the mornings. He requests to hold him while they sit on the couch and has even been getting along with G a lot better. I mean they’re still brothers and roughhouse plenty, but he’s way less malicious. As parents it makes us both smile and shake our heads in amazement thinking about what our lives have become.
It’s pretty awesome, and it kind of validates the job we’ve been doing as parents despite sometimes second-guessing ourselves.
So for now, life is lived waking minute to waking minute and, with three boys, quite unpredictably.