Newborn Fatigue Syndrome

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Indoctrination

1049 1049_ () 1049 1049 Charlie came to me holding a large plush Spiderman doll. Spidey had a bandana wrapped around his entire head.

“This guy,” said Charlie, “is Chuck Norris. And there is a rat in the bag. Chuck’s gonna bite the rat and then the rat is dead.”

Does this make sense to you? Sadly, it does to me. And also, upon reading this, Paul will be very, very proud. 1049″ . ,

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Getting Back In The Saddle

1048 1048_ () 1048 1048 I went on my first official I Have Five Boys outing today, complete with stroller and paci and lots of extra diapers. This isn’t the first time we’ve all left the house together, but the other trips were simple errands that involved returning dishes to meal-makers and then hitting Happy Hour at Sonic.

Today, we went to the pool. I decided it would work because a) the boys would be totally occupied, b) we would stay for only two hours and c) I could sit in the shade and nurse the baby the entire time.

Things went very well; Henry slept for the entire first hour (even though he was due to eat) and then I fed him for a good part of the second. When it was time to load up, the boys came the first time I called and everyone got themselves into the car with very little ado. I was so proud.

As part of the adventure (I was so! happy! to be out of the house), we hit a drive-thru and ate lunch in the car. Clearly, I’m out of the habit of having a tiny baby because we sat and ate and enjoyed our time. So much so that I lost track of it.

Just as we were finishing up, Henry woke up. He awoke and made his presence known.

“Will you see if his paci is there with him,” I asked Elliott as I pulled out of the parking lot. No luck.

“Look in my purse,” I told Ethan. Wasn’t there.

The baby kept crying, a sweet little newborn er-rah er-rah that was quickly getting louder.

Do something, Mom,” said one of the boys in a worried tone. I explained that it wouldn’t hurt the baby to cry a bit. But I’ll admit, it was terrible.

“Make him stop,” said someone else, and I too was feeling a similar pinch — we were in the car with an individual that we could not help. He wanted to eat and he had to wait.

Henry wailed his way down the highway, the boys and I equally unnverved. I reminded everyone (including myself) that this sometimes happens with babies, and that each of them had similar moments as newborns.

Of course, about five minutes before we pulled in the driveway, Henry wore himself right out and fell back to sleep. He’s a precious sweet little pea.

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Two Weeks!

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Henry is two weeks old today. In some ways, I can’t believe it’s only been two weeks; haven’t I known him my whole life? In other ways, those two weeks feel like an eternity.

“How long does this whole ‘going-on-almost-no-sleep’ thing last,” I have asked several friends. It is really amazing how many things I’ve forgotten in the years since my last baby. Because the four older boys all came in such quick succession, labor and childbirth and having a newborn were just a normal part of life.

And then things slowed down. And boy did I forget a lot.

I am assured I’ll be feeling a bit more normal within a few weeks, a few months tops. I’m mostly concerned about the tremendous bags under my eyes. Even when I get decent sleep (read: three whole hours at a time) my face still looks like Puff Mommy. (Note to self: google some good eye-bag remedies.)

But the love and joy and gift of new life far outweighs the little inconveniences of this (very, very short) season. I look at this baby and am overwhelmed — in a good way. And I know that instead of counting the minutes to when I can fit into some normal clothes, I’m going to treasure every second of having Henry’s tiny hand grabbing my finger.

One thing I do know now, that I didn’t appreciate before, is that these precious little creatures grow up and become real people with real personalities. And they are so fun and wonderful. But not small, never again. There is something about that fact that stings. Seeing my newborn Henry makes me miss my newborn Ethan. And Elliott and Charlie and Augie. I love who these boys are now, of course. But who they once were is gone forever.

“I love Henry,” Charlie says almost every time he walks past him. And then he adds, “I wouldn’t trade him for anything, Mom. Not even a thousand dollars.”

Elliott asked me today if I had to choose between having Henry and getting $2 million, what would it be. “Henry,” I told him, “of course.”

The boys, it seems, are trying to figure out a dollar amount, how high a person would have to go, to equal the worth of this new life in our midst.

I think they’re learning they will never find that amount.

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