Thursday, September 10, 2009

Don't you forget about me

Today was the second first day of school for 3B. His first first day was last year and involved anxiety and tears from his parents and him. This year involved more props than a convention of jugglers and magicians and some screaming. Seriously, what you can't see in this video is that I was carrying his laptop, headphones, Eeyore, a lovie, and his school bag with his lunch, spare set of clothes, diapers, wipes, and so forth. Oh, and a pink pick in my back pocket.

The screaming you can see and hear.

And no, he's not going to a music school. The guitar is like his pinkie finger--he's not always using it, but it's always with him.

His class is smaller this year--nine kids rather than the 14 or so last year. That's almost enough for each one of them to be a brain and an athlete and a basket case and a princess and a criminal.

And he's still got one teacher and one aide, so the odds of the adults making it out alive are much, what I meant to say was that the student-teacher ratio is better. A few of the kids were in his class last year, which is good news, especially for us parents, who have a harder time meeting new people than our three year olds do. Of course, it will take a few weeks to figure out how this year will go, but the pink sand table in the room was a good omen.

Speaking of pink makes me think of our little pink bundle, 3B's baby sister. (Yes, she needs some sort of online handle like her big brother has, but I'm still waiting for my moniker muse to stop by for a visit.) We've gotten some questions about how it is with two versus with one, and while it's only been a week, and it keeps changing, minute to minute, here are my thoughts right now.

It's much easier the second time around because you realize that the child will likely survive all your attempts at parenting, allowing you to relax and...hey, if I'm here on the couch, watching Top Chef, who's got the baby? Oh, thank goodness for Grammy.

There's much less bullshit the second time around. You know what's important and what to ignore. The best two hours we had was when we sent our girl to the nursery right after she ate and told our nurse that we were resting. For all I know, the nurse put caution tape and landmines on our door because nobody, and I mean nobody, came into our room until we called her to tell her we were awake again two hours later. When has that ever happened to you in a hospital?

I'm sure the thought of that freaks out all of you baby wearing bonding begins at conception types, but really? C'mon now...when I was born I'm sure Mom followed standard practice at the time, which means that I lived in the nursery and only visited her for nursing, during which time she was encouraged not to make skin-to-skin contact with me, so as not to infect me with her pestilence. No, I'm not kidding; I have the proof. And, despite all of that, I somehow still managed to bond with Mom, so I'm thinking two hours in the nursery is no big deal, especially because baby girl was already eating like a champ.

It's totally different the second time around. This is the hardest part to wrap your mind around until you get to this point and it's just the way that it is. Being relaxed and focused allows you to see how unique your kids are from the outset. For us, 3B had a hard time figuring out nursing, but his sister latched on right away; 3B had a hard time sleeping initially, but his sister already goes for four hours at a stretch; 3B peed on us a few times, which his sister has attempted in vain to replicate, but more than made up for her inability by projectile pooping on me two days ago.

Many, if not all, of these changes are due in part to changes in Mama and myself. It's not just our more mellow mindset, but also our tactics. We kept trying to put 3B into a bassinet before giving up and, in desperation, cosleeping. With his sister, we started off cosleeping.

Then again, it's only been a week, so what do I know? But, for those of you asking, those are my thoughts so far. And now, on with the movie...our life on this second first day of school...

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  1. His life has a soundtrack, and we all know who is singing it. I am glad he has the screaming outside thing under control, at least for the moment.

    What a cute little sister 3B has. I am glad to hear that the second child has more relaxed parents. That initial bonding is much more for the parent than the child, and you know you love her already. I am glad you and Mama could take a nap. Reality hits when Grammy goes home.

  2. Anonymous3:38 PM

    Two really are endlessly fascinating. And when she's old enough to interact with him it gets really interesting. But everything you've bought him? Get ready to buy it two or three years earlier - she won't wait!

  3. Your skills as a cinematographer will now shift into high gear, with two-camera split shots à la 24 or Woodstock. With 3B and mini-ME being simultaneously adorable in different places, you're going to need to add a second unit. I'm looking forward to a long run.

  4. My second went right to sleep in the bassinet. She would even wake up and make noise, "Mom I am up and would like you to get me now please." and then lay there and amuse (self soothe) herself before asking for attention again. She was and still is a good eater/food processor.

    You have from now until they are teenagers for bonding, it does not all have to happen in the hospital. I only got the break from my kids with the first 2. #3 was taken away at first for a very long while but then she was with me and they did not want her back. #4 was with me constantly from the moment he was born