I’m pleasantly surprised that the transition of our parental defensive scheme from two-on-one to two-on-two hasn’t been as scary as I originally anticipated. Don’t get me wrong, the level of difficulty definitely increased significantly. Fortunately, though, THE WIFE and I aren’t coming apart at the seams all the time … just occasionally.
With one kid, mom and dad are both guaranteed some down time to recharge during every nap (which is fairly often with a newborn) or in Greta’s case now about two- to three-hours in the afternoon. Those moments are ideal for house tidying, telephone calls without preoccupation or distraction, possibly a jog, or even a mini-house project.
Then at night with one, mom and dad get (at least if you’ve got a good sleeper like Gigi has been) consecutive hours first for some adult time and then sleep. Greta nowadays goes uninterrupted for about 11 hours, which has generally been the case since she was a few months old. Usually, THE WIFE and I would eat dinner, chat, and watch TV or use the computer during that time.
Nowadays, the only windows we have when both of the kids are down concurrently is maybe an hour in the afternoon and two stretches of three hours at night. It’s barely enough time to do anything.
When I get home from work and walk in the door, still numb from the commute home, all I want to do is decompress from the day. (Translation: not talk.) Usually, I'm assigned duty on Greta whose running rampant through the house. Then, THE WIFE fires questions at me without fail like an overcaffeinated machine gunner: “Who’d you talk to today?” No one. “Where did you go?” To work. “Did you find out what time that party starts that doesn’t take place until two months from now?” I sigh. She moves on to the next question and so on. But who can blame her? She’s been home all day singing along with DJ Lance Rock, eating Greta’s rejects from the high chair, returning from a doctor’s office possibly, and lucky if she actually showered.
But, like most parents, we manage. This is what we signed up for. We re-group in that moment when Greta is down for the night, Gus is snoozing on one of our chests, the house is quiet again, and we smile at each other. Maybe it’s only twenty minutes or so of calm for just the two of us defensive coordinators, but it’s a coaches’ meeting worth having. And then we press the reset button and start all over again.
As for the two little Ts…
Gus is snoozing next to me as I type. He makes more noise sleeping than any person I’ve ever encountered. And we love it. He snorts and grunts like a truck driver eating a whopper from the drive thru. Strangely, it soothes me and THE WIFE when we hear his chainsaw firing from the bassinette at night. When he’s actually quiet during sleep, it freaks us out.
As for his health, G-man is doing really, really well. He’s off the oxygen, eating a ton, and gaining weight. Giving him a bottle is so nice because he just looks at you with these beautifully innocent blue eyes. I don’t know if he can actually see me yet but I hope so.
Gus also does this thing where he puckers his lips and widens his eyes when we pause during a bottle. Suddenly, he’ll paw my t-shirt collar. I’m convinced he’s telling me to hurry up and get back to his bottle. He just melts me with that irresistible mug.
We watched “Hard Knocks” together last night and I tried to give him a little background of what it means to be a Jet fan. I think he’s keeping his options open.
Meanwhile, Miss Gigi is my other heart melter. I am stunned at how quickly her intelligence and personality are developing. I know I’m biased but she is the cutest little girl I’ve ever known. She mimics everything we say with a “sh” lisp instead of a “th” sound on esses. For example, August is “Augeesh.” “Ice” is “eyesh.” “Sue Sue” is “shoe shoe.”
When G runs through the house, she’s often on her tip toes holding her arms out to balance as her curly hair salad bounces around. I may be hiding out in a different room, trying feverishly to fix something (almost always unsuccessfully) on the DL. But within moments, I inevitably hear the patter of her bare feet coming and then she’s calling for me. She is my little shadow. And I love that.
Recently, my name has transitioned from Gaga to Dah-dee. She enjoys eating raw mushrooms, red onion, pickles, and olives. And the nicest most recent change is the occasional hug from G that comes unsolicited, complete with a gentle pat on my back from her little hand. It’s priceless. She’s learning how to manipulate me already!