A cute, well-dressed, soft-skinned, lovable little bomb. But a bomb nonetheless.
This bomb only wants 4 things:
1. To be held
2. To be fed
3. To be changed
4. To sleep
Now read in such an innocent order, I'm sure you're thinking "awwww how cute! That isn't that bad."
Keep in mind that all of those numbers have limitless subcategories with such things as
1. To be held
-for burping purposes
-for cuddling purposes
-for a softer place to violently spit up
-for gloating over the toddlers purposes
-for protection from the toddler purposes
-for head strokes and kisses
-for a comfier position to pass a lot of gas
-for a place to chill out while your siblings get blamed for your gas
-for keeping a panicked look on mom's face when you know she needs to be doing ten million other things like washing a clean sleeper for you to sleep in that night
....and on and on the list could go
And there's no giving up and handing this baby back to the mother when the crying just won't stop because you can't figure out exactly what the baby wants. YOU are the mother and the problem solving stops with YOU. The responsibility involved in this is daunting.
Those of you who are adjusting to life with a newborn right now or have gone through this in the recent past- you know that this cute little bomb who loves to cuddle can be quite explosive and demanding in nature.
If any of those 4 things (with limitless sub categories) are denied him in the split second that HE decides that HE needs them: BOOOOOM! Screaming, crying, sounds that break the hardest of hearts- this baby knows how to get things done. Fast.
The key is to juggle through these 4 to figure out which one is the one needed (or if anything is really needed at all)- keeping in mind that you are juggling explosives.
Since this is my 3rd baby- you might think that I have this down pat.
No. No. I don't. Because the truth is- each of these adorable little bombs are wired completely differently. And even the same bomb will change wiring overnight and the tricks that worked the day before all of a sudden are useless when you most need to keep the explosives calm until you can get to a contained environment.
Not to mention- it's hard to give the baby 100% attention when the two tots still need so much attention themselves. "No, PUT DOWN THAT KNIFE. You can have juice LATER. Do you want to rot out all your teeth? SHARE. Who put this roll of toilet paper in the bath? Is this pee on the floor or did you spill some water? WHAT HAPPENED TO YOUR DIAPER? No- all that laundry on the couch is CLEAN! Please stop spreading it all around the house to cover your newly made piles of crumbs. Where did you get those crackers anyway? CHOCOLATE CHIPS!!! OK, who broke the lock on the pantry?????" and on and on. It's amazing the masterful parenting that can go on from the rocker while holding a newborn and tracking tots all around the house by noise alone. (ha)
This bomb doesn't care about your other children's schedules and needs- in fact the more disruptive to these carefully taught schedules- the happier it seems to make the gas driven bomb. The bomb doesn't care about your need to leave the house. The bomb pretends not to notice that you're supposed to be putting big bro in a timeout right then. The bomb doesn't come with a countdown device to let you know exactly when you will be needed for cleanup duty. Explosions just happen. Frequently and with reckless abandon.
For me- the hardest part about leaving the house with a new baby who hasn't been around long enough to truly figure out is not knowing when these explosions will occur. I hold my breath through the grocery checkout line. I sit on pins and needles through my church's preschool mom breakfast knowing that he will sleep until the moment I load him back up in the car to get Addison from school- THEN he will explode into indignant shrieks- when I have no time to stop and feed/change/hold him. I wonder at what awkward moments I will have to whip out a boob in hopes to keep the explosive tantrum as short as possible. And- he will be an angel at Grandma's house when there are extra hands to hold him, but the minute we get home and I need to set him down just for a minute- THAT WILL NOT DO AT ALL- and I sit with my delicately wired explosive device- held prisoner while the toddlers do the work of an actual bomb around my house.
So yeah...my little baby bomb.
We are adjusting. We are taking it one day at a time. But if you see me out in public and I have a bit of a shell shocked look on my face? No doubt I am coming off one explosion and preparing for the next.
Transitions can be hard. But we are surviving even though we are a schedule driven family thrown completely off our normal schedule. Surviving one day of explosive adventure at a time. It's a good thing that this lil' ol' bomb is so cute. And cuddly. And lovable. It makes this whole 2-3 kids transition thing totally worth it.
p.s. giant shout out to my awesome husband who has been SO patient and amazingly helpful through all of this so far. I really don't know how we would be doing this without him!
p.s.s. I am super thankful for my baby. I promise. Just in that awkward sleepless stage where half the day I'm trying to remember what my name is while the other half I try to figure out why I put the milk away under the counter instead of in the fridge. How does my brain get back on track? By writing about my baby like he's a bomb...of course...
p.s.s.s. If you are flying with a new baby soon- while the explosive nature comparison still holds on those confined airplane spaces- I don't suggest mentioning the "b" word out loud. Never a good idea.
Oh yes- he can also be a froggy. This is a super versatile baby.