I just spent the last hour and a half in the McDonalds (dont judge me) parking lot. It was not the worst hour and a half of my life.. but it was NO PICNIC... People try and warn you about the difficulties that arise once you give your only child a little brother or sister.. but you really have NO IDEA.. After spending the morning debating with a 3 year old about why I could not put the baby down and rock her to sleep instead, I decided to bolt. After 5 weeks in the house I thought.. why not venture out with the two of them on my own? "Lets go get ice cream", I said! Bad idea. Lets just say, I'm back at home 2 hours later, they are napping (silver lining), I'm pumping, and no one got ice cream.
Listen - I have told my 3 year old time and again that there is no "real chicken" in McDonalds nuggets (which she refers to as the "circle nuggets place"..) she still prefers them to Chick Fil A. Probably has something to do with the fact that I ate a happy meal every day of my first trimester (well not everyday..) while pregnant with her.
But I digress.. Here is how things went down...
I only had to take the newborn out of the car seat 3 times and feed him twice in the garage (in twenty minutes) to get him settled down enough to get buckled in. I got out of the car twice in the drive thru to put the pacifier back in his mouth. Then I pulled into a parking space to feed him, burp him, change him (twice). I scarfed down some fries, let the 3 year old pee in a plastic cup (I was not about to pack them all up to go inside). Picked the newborn up two more times (after much hand sanitizer) to feed him again and then put him to sleep before putting him back in the car seat to go home ( 5 minutes away).
Listen, I've done my best to involve her in "taking care" of the baby as much as possible. Touted how much of a "Big Girl" she is and all of the wonderful things she can do that only big kids can do. Created all sorts of special charts for good behavior and rewards. At the end of the day.. she still wants me to carry her up the stairs after I carry him to the nursery..
I know (I hope) this will not last forever. My goal everyday is to:
1. Keep my cool. If I feel myself getting overwhelmed, I just leave the room (so they dont actually see ME cry).
2. Dont sweat the small stuff.. Right now, I'm just doing the best I can on 2 hours sleep.
3. Make sure my kids know how much they are loved. I tell them often.
4. Spend some special alone time with each of them everyday. A snuggle, a movie, a book.
5. Reward myself everyday for a job well done (with an episode of The Young and the Restless - again.. dont judge me).
I'm sure this is exactly what I looked like to my three year old.. Its surely how I felt..