So there was some good stuff and there was some bad stuff, but somehow, we find ourselves having survived to week 8, the age by which many people, from experts to my expert readers, agree that things should begin to get easier. And I suppose that is true. Some things have gotten somewhat easier. Some things seem largely the same (“Screeeeeeam. Screeeeeeeeeeeeeeeam!!!” says Henry…). And some things seem harder. Or perhaps just more tedious (see above re. screeeeeeam), I don’t know. I do know that the highs are really high:
but the lows are maddeningly low. I feel like a broken fucking record (and I wouldn’t blame any of you for rolling your eyes and clicking away) but, it’s hard. Really, really hard. H does so much to help out around the house and he’s very responsive when I tell him exactly what I need, and delightfully accomodating, but at the same time, I find myself getting really steamed because I feel like he’s not helping enough. But when I try to quantify exactly what ways I feel short changed, I find that I can’t really make heads or tails of it. And that is incredibly unfair to seethe about behavior that you can’t/haven’t asked to be corrected.
I just know that I about bit his everlovin’ head off yesterday as I sat with one baby nursing, while cradling the other (screaming) baby in my arms on the other side of the nursing pillow, with my tray of crappy fast food alternately getting cold/warm/watery (the baked potato, Frosty and salad, respectively…), and (dramatic pause) the mothereffer had the audacity to reach across the screaming baby as he was casually working his way through his salad to PICK AT MY FRICKIN’ FOOD. I’m starving, as I have been nursing all day, and I’m forced to pause three bites into my meal to unlatch a (screaming) baby and balance him on one arm while keeping the other happily latched and feeding so that he doesn’t start screaming, too, and waiting, waiting, waiting patiently for my molasses husband to eat his fucking salad already. I didn’t mean to snap, but I really, really tersely said, “Excuse me? I’m not even CLOSE to being done. I CAN’T eat. I’ve got my hands and boobs and laps full of BABIES.” And he looked genuinely stung. And I didn’t apologize, either, even though I did feel badly for not just calmly telling him that I needed him to take the baby so I could eat.
I keep finding myself wanting to scream, “Come the fuck on, Bridget!”, and though plenty of people would take that well and laugh at the movie reference, my molasses husband would not. But that is what I find myself thinking more often than not.
Shuh. Knowing that there’s still that shithead lurking out there, probably looking for any reason to cause me grief by further outing my blog writings, I should probably delete all of that. But in truth, I would gladly say most of this to H’s face. I love him. I cherish him. And I know and fully recognize how much he really does and how hard this is for him. But it’s hard for me, too. It’s no easier for me to pour myself a glass of water while holding a (screaming) baby than it is for him, but it seems like an insurmountable task for him. I need to really stress here that he is incredibly accomodating– he gladly agreed to watch the boys while I soaked in the bathtub last night– but that “soak” turned into ten minutes of “relaxation” while both boys screamed their fool heads off, followed by several hours of H acting shell-shocked and completely depressed/overwhelmed by the experience of dealing with two babies in full-meltdown mode which meant several hours of me feeling like shit, and trying my hardest to cajole H into a better mood (which made me feel like a failure because it totally didn’t work).
It just seems unfair to me, but it’s also completely unfair to feel resentful toward him when I haven’t even let him in on what, exactly, needs to be different to make me feel more supported, and that is mostly because I just don’t know what I need myself.
I have no business writing about any of this right now. Today is proving to be a little rough. I’d love to write about it in more detail, but as it involves H’s workplace tangentally, I really can’t say what I want (though it’s got nothing to do with any person or one person’s decisions or behavior or whatnot, but rather with administrative policies that I think are stuuuuuuupid). So, I’ll just say that H had to leave quite early this morning, and I’m not expecting him back until 6:00 p.m.-ish and I got up with (screaming) Jack at 4:00 a.m. and never went back to sleep (after getting up with him at 3:00 a.m., 1:30 a.m., midnight, etc.). The boys are screamy* (surprise) and I am tired and my back hurts and my fuse is short and all I can manage to do is to shove a boob back in their mouth and hope that 6:00 comes soon. I love these boys, but my GOD, I’m exhausted.
Yeah, I need to draw a line under that and move on. Happy eight weeks, J.ack and He.nry.
I’ve been twice now to our local Book Babies meeting, and while the first time wasn’t all that great, the boys did seem to get something out of it, and so we went again this past Friday. And this time, I met a few moms who I actually could see myself enjoying meeting up with from time to time.
I feel like I may have sort-of found my tribe (maybe) and here is why:
Let me preface by saying that boy names are hard. HARD. It’s actually why I suspected that I would have two boys, because I could think of thousands of awesome distinct, unique-without-being-weird, traditional, culturally-appropriate girl names, and it seemed like that would be something the universe would find amusing, to leave me with two boys for whom I cannot even begin to find appropriate names.
I knew when I chose J.ack and Hen.ry that these names were quite popular among a certain progressive-ish socioeconomic subset…, but that they were not generally popular names. The fact that the older generation and/or friends that fall outside of that subset would reply with a pinched smile, and a “oh, that’s nice.” when told of their names, told me that I was spot-on in my assesment that these names were not broadly popular. And, for the most part, this community where I live is full of those pinched-smile-that’s-nice replies when the boys are introduced. Others (here’s an example) provide a pinched smile because these names are so common as to be completely passe (possibly even gauche) by now among whatever group they fly in.
So. Brief side trip over– the point being that this past Friday, prior to the start of Book Babies while waiting outside the meeting room, I was introducing Jac.k and Henr.y to 12-week old Stella, and Stella’s mom commented on how very common the name He.nry had become (she is the first person to have mentioned this to me in person). And a few moments later, another new baby and mom pair came along and I introduced the boys and was recieved with, “Oh, another J.ack!” as she sweetly patted her boy’s head. And as we walked in the room and gathered on the rug in the circle, I asked a particularly precocious 14-month old’s mother on my right what precocious 14-month-old’s name was– “Hank,” she says.
Yeah. So clearly, I’ve found the group among which these names are common, and that likely means I’ve found the group whose members obviously think somewhat similarly to me. Maybe, maybe not, but it’s worth another trip to the library again next Friday to find out.
*”Babies at this age enjoy being held. Simply hold them close if they do not want to be put down,” I am so helpfully told by my infant development book. Ah, YES! Why had I not thought of that myself?! I’ll just HOLD THEM 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I’ll just pull out that extra set of arms and HOLD THEM both. And then, I’ll pull out that other set so I can manage the occasional snack or bathroom visit (or blog post… this post brought to you courtesy of the nursing pillow and two babies with nipples jammed down their throat…).
Oh, and yes. I have Happiest Babies, and the 5 Ss do work, but only after 20-30 minutes of “Shh”-ing and swaddling and swaying, etc., etc., and once the baby is quiet, the peace lasts for all of 2-3 minutes before the screaming starts again. And of course, meanwhile, Baby B isn’t sitting patiently with his hands folded waiting his turn, but is rather losing his flippin’ mind wondering why I’m ignoring him for so long. That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped trying to get it to work, but rather that it’s an awful lot of screaming to listen to in the mean time and I just wonder what the fuck is wrong with me or these babies or whatever that I cannot seem to calm them. It’s maddening.