Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Babies and Bonks

My house has been more chaotic than usual the past few days with my parents in town and my brother and his family visiting. His two kids are almost-three years old and 15-months old, so things have been busy and loud and fun! The girls have had a blast playing with Curie, who is game for pretty much anything they want to do, especially because they dote on her and are willing to indulge her. She and Coco were especially good buddies, but then when Coco was at gymnastics last night, she and Zuzu played together that Zuzu was her mother and she needed to go to the doctor and it was pretty cute.

Curie is only a couple inches shorter than Coco even though she's two and a half years younger, and she has a ton of hair and is very smart and talks really well, so I think sometimes the girls forgot how little she is--she fell off the swing in the basement because she's not quite three, but she looks like she could be a four-year-old. (She was fine.)

Bucky is so cute with his big brown eyes and mischievous little grin. He also has an excellent set of lungs and tends to express himself at top volume when he feels he has been wronged, which is not infrequently. Last night the girls were running away from him and he was sort of enjoying chasing them but maybe feeling a little left out, too? Lots of complicated emotions to work though at any given moment. Sometimes he was sweet and snuggly with me, but in times of distress he only wants his parents and often just his dad. It is fun and kind of hilarious to see my brother as a parent. I think he's a great dad, even when he's visibly frustrated because a whining toddler is clinging to him and screaming for a bottle only to reject said bottle when it is offered. For someone who had maybe never held a baby before he met Zuzu, he's totally hands on with the diaper changing and milk warming and kiddo snuggling.

I have loved having them visit, and it's wild to think that the next time we see them (this summer) the babies will already have changed so much. I wish they were closer!

Vieves and Bucky are six months apart and not super interactive with each other, but Vieve definitely had her eye on him and was doing so much more standing and trying to take steps while holding on to furniture or the fireplace hearth. I felt like she turned into a wannabe toddler over the weekend! Oh the baby time goes so crazy fast. Six months ago, I could put her down and she couldn't move. Last night, she managed to crawl up on the bottom stair and I barely got there in time to catch her when she sat down and fell backwards off of said stair.

This morning I wasn't quick enough. She was fussing in my bedroom when I removed Clementine's raw hide bone from her fat little fist (oh! so sad!) so Zuzu picked her up and put her on our bed, where she and Coco were still lounging. The girls are usually very sweet about entertaining G in the mornings while I get ready. I had already done my morning yoga routine (only ten minutes today because it was hard to get out of bed) and I was in the process of getting dressed. I turned around to grab my shirt and next thing I know, there's a terrible bonk as Vieve tumbled off the bed and hit the hardwood floor.

I was NOT calm, cool, or collected and instead did all of the things you shouldn't do in the moment--panicked, yelled at Zuzu, swooped up the baby while shouting, started shaking uncontrollably, and yelled at David when he asked if she was okay. ("I DON'T KNOW IF SHE'S OKAY HOW WOULD I KNOW IF SHE'S OKAY IT'S NOT LIKE SHE CAN TELL ME SHE'S OKAY LOOK AT HER PUPILS ARE THEY OKAY???)

I really don't like starting my mornings with that kind of panicky adrenaline rush.

Anyway, she does have a bruise on her head but her pupils were equal and reactive and she quit crying fairly quickly. Her babysitter promised to keep a close eye on her, and G was all smiles when I handed her to the sitter, but then G cried when I left, which is only because she's been home for the past five days and out of our normal routine. Still, it's hard on the heart.

I drove my parents' car to work because my brother needs our bigger car to get his family and all their luggage to the airport today. We moved G's car seat base to their car and it seemed like it wouldn't be a big deal, except that my car has a mirror so I can see her and I couldn't see her in my parents car and she was so quiet (this is normal, but normally I can LOOK at her) so I was worried that she had lost consciousness in some kind of delayed concussed reaction to her fall. (She had not, but was happily sucking on a binky when we got to the sitter's house.)

ALSO my office key is on my car keys so I drove all the way to work and then couldn't unlock my office. Fortunately the director has a master key, but it was just one more way that Tuesday felt like Monday and I felt like a frazzled human who can't get her life together.

Things are settling with my new job. My hours are a bit longer, even though the commute is shorter, but the crazy thing is that I don't really think about work when I'm not there. I have always, ALWAYS been thinking about work. Teaching is exhausting and once the day is over there is prep for the next day and grading and specific concerns about students and other stuff on the departmental or university level. Now... I just show up. I do my job. I go home. I like it just fine in the moment--my coworkers are great, the students I work with are quite nice. It's just so different.

I do feel like I have more energy left at the end of the day, aside from this cold which has been lingering in my sinuses for over a week and is kind of sucking the life out of me (everyone at my house had the sniffles this weekend and we went through like seven boxes of kleenex). In general, though, I've realized how exhausting teaching is, when I'm basically putting on a one-woman improv show for two hours a day. Having one on one meetings and researching best practices for advising honors students is, like, way easier. But also I really miss teaching and reading (and rereading) great literature. I haven't read Hamlet in over a year. I miss it.

I'm honestly loving the bigger margin/divide between work and home in a lot of ways. It just takes some getting used to. I still really miss the flexibility and total autonomy of my old position. That's the hardest thing. Even though my supervisor has been great about any time I've needed to leave early or the day I came in late so I could be at Coco's half birthday celebration at school or the afternoon I ran G to the doctor over lunch because I was sure she had an ear infection (she didn't--but her eyes were goopy! That was always a tell-tale sign for Zuzu!). It's actually easier to be gone because I'm not canceling class or anything--I had to reschedule one appointment with one person. But it's awkward and annoying to have to check in with someone else and feel kind of guilty about leaving instead of just being entirely in charge of my own day. I don't love that part. (I also realize how privileged I am that I've never really had to do that before.)

I'm also sort of in denial about the summer all together, so we'll just see how that plays out. I'm not really letting myself look that far ahead at this point.

Here are a few things I've been reading:

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk. Super weird, but I ended up really liking it.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. I'm listening to this one and it makes me look forward to my drive to/from work. Fascinating. Google the blue people of Kentucky!

That's all I've got. Babies bonking heads and a couple of book recommendations. Sums up life around here.

No comments:

Post a Comment