Very slowly, things are falling into place as a newly minted family of seven.
Even though this is about the widest gap we've had between children, Severus never transitioned "out of the way" like our eldest children did, and I'm left scrambling in the wake of toddler and newborn demands far more often than I'd like to be. I feel like I'm neglecting the older boys, but there are so many moments that I have with just them - and this is even aside from Homeschooling - I know that I'm really not.
Tandem nursing is tedious, my God it is the most beautiful, tedious thing I have ever experienced as a parent, and I feel wholly fulfilled and drained at the same time.
The nights were hard, when one boy would wake the other, and I couldn't muster up enough energy to hold myself up and nurse them both. Christian would console one while I nursed another to sleep, and as soon as he unlatched, I'd usually end up dreamfeeding the other. But luckily that has gotten a little easier. Severus has begun to forego his daily nap, making his bedtime the same as his brothers he doesn't end up in our bedroom until the wee hours of the morning and as soon as he's asleep again, Christian will take him back into his bed. Thaddeus alone is cake.
The most difficult aspect of this transition is timing when I'm alone. Especially when it comes to making dinner.
We've ordered out so much since Thaddeus has been home and Christian has returned to work - because he's cluster feeding, or won't let me put him down, he has gas and it's bugging him, his brothers just stomped too close to him and scared him awake... again.
It's always something, and as I watch the minutes turn into hours with no hope of dinner being started anytime soon, I give up and order a pizza, Chinese, I don't care. Another hour later, everyone is fed and bedtime has been passed, Mercutio is in his glass case of emotions and can barely make it through Roses & Thorns, and it's time to set things right.
I set out to do that today, I was determined to make dinner on my own and on time.
Despite the fact that it has been raining on and off most of the day, the house is still sweltering. My allergies are turned up high, one eye is leaking profusely while the other feels like sandpaper and I could rub them until they popped out and wouldn't mind one bit. I'm unshowered, still wearing pajamas and my hair is absolutely atrocious.
The definition of "hot mess"? It is unequivocally me in this very moment.
I am so uncomfortable, but I am still determined.
The boys have woken Thaddeus up four times, and not just disturbed his sleep, I mean they have woken him up and he is inconsolable. I keep repeating to them "If he doesn't stay asleep for long enough, I won't be able to make dinner. Please be more considerate." I ask them if there's anything I can find for them to do, when really I want to find some duct tape and just adhere them to a wall.
I am still determined.
Amazingly, there is peace. Thaddeus is happily nursing in my arms, the music is playing in the kitchen so my motivation remains high, and it happens; the child poops. I have no choice but to change him, so I wait until he's finished and do so. This, naturally, pisses him off and he needs to be nursed back to sleep again.
I still have time, I am still determined.
Forty minutes later and the only one falling asleep is me, the bigger boys have abandoned their activity and moved onto another noisy game in the living room that involves jumping on the couch, I can't even with that right now. I won't choose this battle today.
I put Thaddeus in his chair and for just long enough to fool me, he is content. I try nursing him for another 15 minutes, now I'm getting close to dinner time. Back in the chair and his tiny cries start up immediately.
I am still determined.
I pick the chair up and set it in the doorway of the kitchen hoping the music and my activity will keep him occupied. It doesn't.
And I'm done. My determination is gone. I'm about to take Thaddeus over to the computer, order dinner and nurse him back to sleep when I see the light. The big boys have been granted game time, they are quietly taking turns. I give them a bowl of Goldfish to share and apologize for dinner being late. Again.
I grab the squawking bird from his chair, hold him close to me and put his playlist on.
I start to sing to Thaddeus and sway on the spot. His crying stops. I dance and sing some more, soon enough we're covering the entirety of our miniscule kitchen. Just him and I, the same way I soothed his brothers and sister, it takes no time at all and he is in a deep sleep, but I am utterly sobbing way before that as I remember dancing with each of my babies.
I place him back in his chair.
I wash my face, sit with my bigger boys for a moment, give them just a liiiittle extra game time and am finally able to make dinner.
It was late, but at least it was homemade this time.
I know that things will get easier, I'm not angry, or even sad, that it hasn't come together yet - but I am anxiously awaiting that precious day when I feel like I have it under some sort of control again.
In the meantime, we're going to take this show into the bathroom so I can sashay my way into the shower. Hot mess and I cannot get too cozy.