Well, believe it or not, I’ve actually been working on this post for more than three weeks. Lots of clever ideas paraded through my head as I sat and nursed Tess in the middle of the night, but when I sat down to type them out the next morning, it turned out they were nonsensical.
But they were so ingenious at 3AM! What happened??
In the same way dreams make sense to us as we slumber and then seem ludicrous when we try to explain them to anyone who’ll listen over breakfast the next day, I was finding that all my brilliant late-night ruminations were pure crap upon waking up and consuming a small dose of caffeine.
I’m going to go ahead and attribute that disconnect to sleep deprivation. Or “mommy-brain.” Or maybe I’m just an idiot.
So, instead of some very Dali-esque depiction of our home life seen through Tess’s innocent eyes—which is what I originally planned—I’ll just give you a basic, factual update on our lives. Boring, I know. Except that with Sam around, it’s never boring.
Let’s start with Sam—you know, to really hook the reader.
Sam loves being a big brother. When prompted, he’s super helpful and prideful. He’s fetching diapers and dispensing doses of vitamin D and trying to make her smile while I do something imperative to our continued existences. Like make dinner. Or go to the bathroom.
But he also misses his share of parental attention.
“Hey Tighe, I’m kickin’ your daughter!” He taunts from the other room as we’re trying to see through our sleepy tears and get breakfast in the kitchen.
Don’t worry, he’s not actually kicking her. He’s just fishing for some sort of panicked reaction from us.
A stream of visitors processing through our lives combined with a fluctuation in our daily routines really threw Sam. Like, it was painful.
“Sam, we’re just trying to watch The Crown on Netflix and eat our ice cream in peace. Please go back to bed.”
“No! You put my covers back on!”
So, one of us would stumble upstairs to put his covers back on and remind him to stay in bed. Weak with exhaustion, he’d slide out of bed, throw his door open, and stand at the top of the steps and screech again—often before we reached the bottom of the steps.
“Sam! If you get out of bed again, I’m going to fine you a dollar!” Tighe loves to levy taxes and fines. He’s a regular President Roosevelt. I’ll let the reader decide which one.
“No! Don’t take my dollar!” Works every time. Except when it doesn’t.
There were many nights one of us climbed the steps four or five times before Sam finally surrendered to sleep. Though we complained at the time, I really have to credit him with helping me lose that baby weight—my glutes have never looked better.
Now to Nate.
Like a proud parent, his Highness views Tess as an extension of himself. He gazes at her lovingly as he tells people that “she looks like Sam, but she acts like me.”
In fairness, I did say that. Once. And Tess does have blue eyes like Sam and sleeps well at night like Nate did, but he’s projecting all of his talents and genius onto her. Note: he views himself as very gifted.
But these tender, proud moments are largely infrequent, as Nate has very little free time anymore.
You see, while Sam comforted himself with donuts and cookies and ice cream in the aftermath of Tess’s birth—thanks friends and family and hospital staff!— Nate comforted himself with Lego’s. Lots of Lego’s.
Some were birthday gifts, some were acquired with birthday money, some were hand-me-downs, and some were just “hey, sorry your mom had a baby” gifts. In less than three weeks, our Lego collection suddenly went from about one million to one trillion.
He darts around the house doing…well, whatever it is he does with Lego’s…with the urgency of a squirrel stashing away acorns as winter approaches. From the office to his perch on the couch to the dining room table, he’s constantly transferring the tiny pieces from one locale to another. I assume he has a method or some sort of master plan, but I have no idea what it is. And I really don’t care as long as he’s leaving me alone to bond with Tess.
And all the while, he’s barking orders, like Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross at Sam, his faithful disciple.
And believe me, as soon as I get some free time on a day when Nate’s in school, I’m going to impose my own organizational system on the storage of those damn Lego’s. I’ll fight the growing urge to throw them all in the trash because I know they’re great toys for imagination and spatial ordering and fine motor skills and other educational buzzwords, but we at least need some bins from Ikea.
As for the rest of us—Tess, Wally, Tighe and I—we’re all doing very well. Tess is eating, sleeping, pooping, gaining weight, and farting. Lots of farting. Blame the baby.
Wally has surrendered his floor space to all the paraphernalia that comes with a newborn—bouncy seats and tummy time blankets—and begrudgingly plops down on injurious piles of Lego’s. Fortunately, his primal instincts have recently been recharged by two raccoons who tease him in the evenings as they scamper across our front yard. He seems to enjoy growling and flirting through the window.
Meanwhile Tighe and I renew our vows to never divorce and abandon the other as a single parent every night at dinner. It probably sounds like a beautiful heartfelt moment, but it’s usually frazzled and desperate.
So that’s us in a nutshell. More weekly stories to come as hysterics erupt and tempers collide!