Two kids, two months in

Two months in seems like a good time for an update. Which means nothing, really, in terms of understanding what life with two kids will really be like but it feels like we’re getting our bearings.

There have been, of course, all of those incredible moments when Skyler smiles and my eyes water with love. And I could dwell there. But there have also been plenty of ridiculous acts of juggling.

For example: Aron went back to work and, on that first day, I handled the school drop-off and pick-up and the naptime and was feeling pretty on top of it all so I decided the three of us (Hudson, Skyler and I) would walk to the store for some milk. Hudson rode his balance bike and I pushed the stroller. When I got to the store, the dilemma suddenly became obvious: we had a bike with no lock and a stroller with a baby crying to be picked up—and I, out of practice, had forgotten to bring along a hands-free carrier. I had pictured putting Hudson and the carseat into a grocery cart, but then what to do with the stroller base and the bike? I did what I do a lot of these days: I asked for help. The grocers kept the balance bike at the front of the store. Hudson pushed the stroller. And I carried the baby in my arms and called out “Watch out!” to Hudson as he raced past and nearly knocked over end-caps full of wine, just hoping he wouldn’t do any damage.

‘I did it!’ I thought. Hudson stopped halfway home and decided he was too tired to ride any further, and wanted to be carried, so I used the threat of biting mosquitos to finally inspire him to push on (terrible, I know). But I did it! And dammit if we didn’t bring home some milk. One day down.

There have been more challenging moments (and certainly louder ones), sure. But that’s pretty much what the majority of challenges have been like: Comedies of errors. Acts of juggling. Sweaty afternoons of bouncing while chaperoning at the playground. Small victories. And enormous gratitude for people who say “What can I do to help right now?” (Or, for example, “Let me hold her while you go to the bathroom/chug that glass of water.” Seriously—offer a bathroom break to anyone holding a newborn and I bet they’ll thank you.)

I think the biggest surprise for Aron and me is seeing just how much Hudson loves Skyler. I mean, he LOVES her. It’s crazy. We’re really not sure why. I mean, she’s cute and lovely and all, and we coo over her like crazy people, too. And maybe it’s owing to those baby genes that make most of us like babies (big eyes and such), but she really hasn’t done anything for him yet except maybe make his life worse. But he loves her.

He gives her gentle hugs and kisses her head. (She’s already been sick twice, so I usually look on a little aghast, but I figure their relationship is more important.) He asks to say goodnight to her if she’s in another room at bedtime. And he reminds us if we leave and forget to say goodbye to Skyler, too. He thinks about her often and tells people he has a baby named Skyler. (They never understand him when he says the name, so I stand by to translate.) When my dad said “your baby sister sure cries a lot,” Hudson didn’t miss a beat, replying: “She’s a baby.” Like, geez, grandpa. Get with the program. “She’s got no words.”

The other day, when he wasn’t feeling so great and wanted to be picked up, he did tell me that she wanted to go back to sleep (and fortunately she often does want just that). And sometimes he asks “She out now? Baby sister out now?” like he has the faintest memory that there was a time when she wasn’t there. But then he’ll look at his baby pictures and ask “Where’s Skyler?”

He wanted to read one of his books about becoming a big brother the other day, Hello Baby!

, like he was trying to focus on that sense that life had changed. I can almost see the memory of being an only child slipping away. It’s the strangest thing.

And yet I have a feeling that our memory of his being an only child will grow fainter, too.

P.S. More Family posts. Including, Thoughts on having an only child,  Skyler’s first week of life, and taking monthly baby pictures.

Update: the blanket is the Auggie Cross-Stitch Quilt- Grey

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