He's the dearest thing.
He's bright and chatty, a good sleeper, a cranky teether, and sweetheartedly content. (Teether - crazy, I know! He already has one tooth, and another is just about to break through the gums.)
I totally thought life with three kids would be insane. I pictured harried evenings with Patrick and I stressed as we took turns juggling screamers, pukers, and poopers. I thought their neediness would increase as they needed to compete for attention and time. I thought it would be a lot harder right now.
It was a little tough at the beginning, when Kachi was still getting up in the night. But we have wonderful little sleep-lovers, and all three of our kids slept through the night early. I think that might be the life-saver ;).
We have our busy moments, where I'm rushing from one need to meet another need and yet another is calling out for me - but overall, the kids are learning to be independent and patient, and I'm learning to prioritize ;).
Most evenings find us kissing Sam and Vava goodnight quite early, feeding Kachi his last bottle, then enjoying a few hours of solitude and rest. It's awesome, and I'm so grateful for every moment.
Tonight though - tonight was one of the nights I'd worried about.
Kachi woke up five minutes after I put him in bed for the night, jamming his little fists against his gums and squirming. Patrick left for a meeting, so I turned on a show and just cuddled and paced with Kachi (his favourite soothing technique). After a few angry screams, I realized he wasn't settling as he usually does, and it finally dawned on me that he was hungry - half an hour in his jolly jumper had really worked up an appetite. So I mixed up a bottle for my squirmy, out-of-sorts boy and we wrestled our way through a bonus feeding. Finally, he let out an enormous grunt and I realized he needed a fresh diaper. Just then, I heard a huge wail from upstairs.
Sam occasionally has nightmares. He has a recurring one where Spiderman takes him away and I don't come for him. So I left stinky Kachi in the livingroom and ran as fast as I could up the stairs, hoping to interrupt the nightmare before it got worse and woke up Vava as well as Sam.
I dashed across the room and leaped onto the bed, wrapping Sam in my arms ... only to realize I wasn't leaping, I was skidding, and slipping, and sliding - in an enormous puddle of vomit.
I squawked, and woke Vava, who somehow had managed to sleep through the puking and wailing in her room ...
And so I found myself running a bath, changing my clothes, stripping a bed, spraying a mattress, washing two toddlers (Vava couldn't sleep anyway) all at the same time - and then finally changing that longsuffering bottom and popping the baby in the tub too, because why not?
After a few stories, cuddles, and kisses, all three of them fell back asleep.
It's the silliest thing - and I wouldn't want my nights to usually be like this, because I'd be an exhausted wreck - but I loved feeling so needed and capable. Taking care of them makes me feel so much more family-y. I love that Sam was sobbing for Mama, that Kachi lit up with delight to join Sam and Vava in the tub, that Vava didn't want to sleep without "my boy, my Sam." I loved seeing her hug him gently and kiss him goodnight. I loved Kachi smiling at me as his eyes grew heavier and heavier, and he cuddled closer in my arms. I love that there were fresh sheets and blankets folded in the cupboard, diapers stacked in Kachi's room, cozy clean pyjamas to dress them in, and stories to send them contentedly off to sleep. I love that they're all sleeping soundly, the washing machine is humming, and the scent of Burt's Bees Baby wash still hovers in the air.
I know that they will grow and their hearts will break and their lives will grow complicated and there won't be anything I can do to make it all go away. It will take a lot more than fresh bedding and a hot bath to make everything all better. But right now, I get to be the one who comforts them, cleans them, makes them cozy, and sends them into peaceful sleep.
For this messy, brief moment, I'm enough.
And oh -
it feels good.