I have had a shower- my hair is still wet, but I have had a shower.
Husband was on call last night and I kept the two youngest while Mom had the oldest. We went to bed early, but I still felt a bit like a rockstar.
Slowly- very slowly... okay, maybe not- it's barely been two weeks... but, slowly for me- I am starting to grasp parenting three. And let's be perfectly clear: I could not do half of what I have done without my mom. I have only had to manage two while she picks up one of the girls- if not both- more often then I should admit. Yesterday, Bennie was quite pleased with herself about most everything. Husband was actually the one who called mom and asked if she wanted to adopt a middle child for a few hours in order to save her life. She readily agreed.
I feel like I am constantly neglecting at least one child. The one that should take up the least amount of time as he is currently a glorified paperweight takes up the most. My days are diaper changes, My five hours are broken up by pumping and pouring up the white gold that sustains his life. My nights are feedings.
My children are blessed with my skin. Sensitive, terribly sensitive and probably allergic to everything- kind of skin. Currently, Fuzzy is in the throws of a wicked diaper rash. And let's not go straight to passing blame on the mother or offering up dietary suggestions. I do my part with all those dang ointments and creams, but the rash is so bad- that sticky, messy Desitin or Boudreaux's or whatever anyone deems the best will not physically stick to the rash as the skin has wept away, leaving these pathetic open sores that hurt to merely look at.
Remembering that Leenie had the same kind of rash, we went straight to Chlorine Free diapers, but skipped the gDiaper route. Chlorine Free are more expensive and they might be a placebo effect, but they work for us. I have also foregone wipes and changing pads. He gets his diaper changed in the bathroom and gets dipped-- yes, like a flea dip. Every diaper change has him getting shucked from the waist down and dipped under warm water to rinse off. After the dip, he gets a few minutes of tummy time while he air drys or I pull out the hair dryer to expedite the process. It's a debacle. A wet, drawn out, time consuming debacle. This is great- because typically, after he gets a diaper change... it's time to pump. Again.
We are working to put weight back on his little body. It takes too long for him to latch and I am committed to giving him the best that I can (except at night- then he gets formula. A girl's gotta get her beauty rest.) Bennie was my nurser. Leenie- poor Leenie- we had no idea I was starving her until she was about six months old. The doctor patted me on the back and said I was making a valiant effort, but it was time to supplement those efforts. A case of ready-made Enfamil later and I discovered just how easy feeding a baby can be.
When a child is well-fed... they don't cry nearly as much. The things our first borns teach us.
If I am not heating up chicken nuggets for the girls (and promising myself that this is temporary), I am holding Bennie's hand and taking her to time out. Middle children teach us a lot, too.
She just doesn't listen.
Not even a little bit.
Today, I started registering some of the phrases that come out of my mouth with her.
Bennie, pat your brother. Don't hit him.
Bennie, pat mommy. NO! No hit! Pat... pat... OW! No hit!
Get off the trash can.
Bennie, please take the spoon off his head. And pick up the Cheez-its you spit out.
Bennie, it's sweet of you to offer your cracker- but he doesn't want it.
Yes, that is Baby Fuzzy's pacifier. He doesn't need it righ-- oh, he does? Okay, well- let's try and not jam it down his throat.
My personal favorite? Just today, I said...
Bennie, get the knife out of his face. NOW.