It all started at 1am. After a nice four hour stretch, Sprout decided thereafter that he needed to wake up and be fed just about every hour. I think there is a growth spurt at three weeks if I remember correctly, but it didn’t stop me from muttering in exasperation at 6:30am, “Every hour! Really!? I’m just. so. exhausted!” By 8:30am when Bean’s laughter, singing and animal noises were no longer enough to keep her entertained and had instead turned into whining and cries for, “Nummy-nummy,” I realized any hope of meaningful sleep really had escaped me. So I was up.
Even though I was quite grumpy about it, it is hard to remain so when upon entering her room with Sprout in my arms I am enthusiastically greeted with a cheerful face and exclamations of, “Bebe! Bebe!”
Bean has become more and more interested in and concerned with her little brother of late. If he is crying and I can’t get to him right away she goes over to him with a very concerned look about her, sometimes she’ll try to pat his back or tummy and then proceeds to look at me with a very serious, “Aren’t you going to do something about this?” expression on her face. When I have him out in the swing or on a blanket, she parades around him pointing and saying, “Bebe,” or trying to point out the body parts on him that she knows the names for such as hair, ear, toes and eyes.
We’ve figured out that Sprout likes to be in a more upright sitting position and prefers bouncing to swinging. So yesterday I had scoped out some chairs at Target and talked over their prices and features with Stephen that night. I had decided on one after our discussion and planned to get it in the morning before the kids’ appointment with the pediatrician. The appointment was on the cusp of Bean’s naptime so I didn’t want to go afterwards.
There really wasn’t much to eat in the house except cereal, but we ran out of paper bowls yesterday and the regular ones are all packed because we are moving this weekend (crazy, I know because, hello, we just had a baby, but our lease was up and we didn’t want to keep living here anymore and we found a place in a better area that is cheaper and had a garage). So I packed up the diaper bag with diapers for each kid, my wallet and breakfast goods for Bean before heading over to Panera to get something for myself.
Ever the charmer, Bean quickly won over the affections of a really interesting couple in the next booth. She’s a former opera singer from Israel and he was from Australia. They had the most lovely accents. Bean kept flirting with them through the whole meal.
We made it to Target after that. I opened Sprout’s door, put on my sling and as I went to lift him into it I discovered that his pants leg felt warm and squishy. Gross. Because I very rarely have blowouts with cloth diapers, I of course had not packed a second outfit for my boy. So, I opened up the back hatch to the van, got set up for a diaper change and then delved into a very, very disgusting diaper and clothing situation. I used every single wash cloth I had and it still wasn’t completely enough. Luckily Sprout was wearing a jacket and I did have the sling so he was covered enough that I could still head into Target without feeling weird about my mostly naked baby. Since I planned the Target trip with just enough time for Target and then to head straight to the pediatrician’s office, I was going to have to get Sprout something to wear in addition to wipes and the bouncy seat that was the whole reason for the Target trip in the first place.
I found a few cute options in the clearance section including a vintage-y looking Star Wars onesie and a Dodgers outfit. Got wipes from the diapers and wipes aisle to further take care of cleanup when we got back to the van. Then I headed to the aisle where they had the seats. Of course, just my luck, yesterday they had two of the seats that I wanted and today both were gone. I thought about asking if they had anymore in the back, but really didn’t have the time for them to figure it out and so I decided against it. I went back and forth on whether or not to get a Bumbo instead, but decided that $40 for just a plain seat that really doesn’t do anything was not worth it.
So I left Target $20 poorer and headed back out to my van where I proceeded to dress my son and finish cleaning up his minor explosion.
Then it was on to the pediatrician’s office. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this yet, but since our last appointment I changed pediatricians again. I just felt the last one had a personality that didn’t mesh well with mine and found it very hard to talk to her or have my opinions heard. So, while she did have some similar opinions as mine (homebirth is OK and breastfeeding is great), those we disagreed on (like the AAP vaccination schedule) I just couldn’t get my point across easily. This other doctor was also recommended to me by the same parenting group that recommended the other one as well as one of my real-life friends. We were able to get into his practice because of Sprout since he only accepts newborns and their siblings.
There were a ton of sick walk-ins when we got there so even though I was on time for my appointment I waited nearly half an hour past that time before getting called back. Got the kids undressed, weighed and measured. Bean is still “petite,” but moved up from the third to the fourth percentile. She managed to grow two inches (now 28 3/4″) and gain about a pound (now 19lbs 12oz) since her last checkup in September. Sprout, on the other hand, is in the 75th percentile, gaining three quarters of an inch (now 21 3/4″) and 17 ounces (now 10lbs) since birth.
When the doctor came in to check them both out, Bean started crying and screaming as soon as the stethoscope touched her chest. He wanted to see her walk and said she pronates a bit (which I do too). Upon reaching the side of the room I was on, not being diapered or clothed and more than a little upset and stressed out, she grabbed onto my leg and started peeing on the floor next to me. Lovely.
He said we could go without the flu and MMR shots because of her egg allergy, but he did want her to get two other shots today as well as a TB test and another anemia test since she was slightly anemic at her last checkup. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it though since now that she’s weaned it isn’t as easy to calm and comfort her and she was already really upset from the examination.
I did manage to get her calmed down during our conversation about shots, but then as soon as the doctor started examining Sprout and he started crying she lost it again. Usually when she cries she also says, “No!” or “Mama!” over and over again and we usually say something along the lines of, “I know sweetie, I’m sorry,” while we are trying to comfort her. Well, lately she has started saying, “I know, I know” over and over while she’s crying about something, parroting back what we usually say to her. It’s so sweetly sad. She picked up the doctor’s reflex hammer and became enthralled with it and calmed down on her own while her brother continued to be examined during which he also peed all over the examination table.
The doctor left the room, I quickly nursed Sprout a bit to calm him down and then got him dressed. The nurse came back in the room with Bean’s shots. I think the thing I hate most about shots is that the nurse usually needs your help as mom to hold down your child or hold their arm steady, etc. I’d honestly prefer it if they could spare an extra nurse to do all of that and then I could just give cuddles and loves afterwards instead of being associated with the pain, too. We found out right there that Bean is no longer anemic, which is good.
Afterwards when we got back to the waiting room, Bean whined when she tried to use the hand that got the finger prick for the anemia test to touch any toys and just about lost it when the band-aid on that finger came off, but was happy again when I put it back on. We made our way back out to the car. I put her in her seat and gave her the snack trap from earlier in the morning with the rest of her cereal and then went to the other side of the car to put Sprout in his seat. During which time, Bean dropped the snack trap so that it was wedged between her leg and her seat, but she would only be able to get it by picking it up with the hand that had been pricked. She also lost the band-aid again. So she started crying again. After buckling Sprout I went back over to her side of the car and placed the snack trap between her legs and convinced her that since her finger was no longer bleeding she didn’t really need the band-aid anymore.
Back to the front seat. Then a FedEx truck drives up and blocks me from getting out. Bean and Sprout start crying again because it has been far too long since we’ve been moving. So I pull out the iPod and blast Raffi’s “Down by the Bay” and everyone is happy again. The FedEx truck finally moves and we can pull out of our parking spot too.
Made it back home. Bean throws a fit when we get to the strip of grass that runs along the walkway to our apartment because I won’t let her sit in it (I never do because our neighbor has dog, even though we’re not supposed to have dogs in our complex, and he always takes it to do its business on that strip of grass). We finally get back inside after the tantrum. Sprout is asleep so I place him in the swing and proceed to fill Bean’s sippy cup with milk prior to her nap.
She gets mad and starts throwing another fit because I won’t give her the sippy before we get upstairs. Then when we get upstairs and she finishes the sippy she starts crying again because she’s finished it and she knows that means I’m going to put her in her crib. So I indulge her a little bit and keep rocking with her in the chair until she calms down. I get her into her bed and she closes her eyes immediately, exhausted from a stressful morning.
I realize I haven’t peed all morning and of course, just as I get into the bathroom Sprout goes from peacefully asleep to full blown hysterics in a matter of seconds. After I’m done I head back downstairs, pick him up and start nursing him while calling Stephen because I just needed to talk to him after all that. So, after I’m done telling him all about it he says, “Sounds like my morning, minus the urinating.” Things have been pretty stressful at work lately too because several projects they’ve been working on are coming to a close all at the same time.
This is what we keep telling ourselves: I wasn’t pregnant forever and just like that came to a close so will the other uncomfortable/painful/stressful things in our lives. We won’t have a colicky newborn forever, there won’t be nighttime feedings forever, the stressful projects at work are coming to a close and won’t go on forever, we won’t be moving forever, etc. Seasons come and go in our lives. God gives us strength, patience, grace, children that nap for 2-4 hours several days in a row, and anything else we need to get through them.