Oh, ho -- not the sleeping. We're still up every 2 hours like clockwork all night. But Matthew is going to bed a little earlier (Jackson goes down by 7:30 and we're putting Matthew to bed by around 8-9 or whenever the closest feeding to that time is done). Which means we have some grown-up time not spent juggling a baby in one arm and eating late dinner or dessert one-handed with the other. We used our grown-up time last night to watch part of the 12-12-12 concert (I finished watching the fifth hour of it today). (I can summarize thusly: The Boss, yes. Bon Jovi, no. Roger Waters and Eddie Vedder, yes and yes. The Who, please die so we can miss you already and also put a shirt on Daltry because your waxed orange chest is fucking gross. The Stones, yes [side note: is Mick's hair real? We love playing a good game of "real, plugs, or piece" and he is an enigma; same question for Jon Bon Jovi...]. Kanye, is Hefty paying you to wear their garbage bags as clothes? because you've worn Hefty-bag inspired clothing too many times now for it to be a coincidence. Billy Joel, yes [and the tip jar!]. Chris Martin, dapper [love or hate Coldplay, that chap is fucking charming] and also thank you for giving Michael Stipe something to do on a Wednesday night. Macca, always yes. And Nirvana reunion, well I only saw 2 minutes of it because that's where TiVo cut off the recording. KB and I also kvetched a great deal about how all the quality seats up front near the stage were obviously comps from corporations, as everyone in those seats is clearly in their peak earning years and wearing polo shirts. Shame.) So our family evening routines are shaping up and causing less stress. The morning is still tough, trying to nurse one and help KB get the other fed and clothed and ripped away from his toys (I WANT MY GUITAR! he yelled as we dragged him to his room to put on pants), not to mention finishing the school lunch packing and ensuring all school items make it out the door and trying to avoid the need for bribe treats to get the toddler into his carseat (I WANT FRUIT BUNNIES! he yelled as we nudged him into the car and buckled him in). It's coming together. It feels like KB and I are gritting our teeth a little less, and snarling at each other a little less, too. Parenting both a newborn and a toddler is like learning a new job in a foreign language and there is no training (or pay) (or time off).
I am figuring out for myself how to parent two children a little better. Jackson is letting me reintroduce myself into his routine (I got some painful "No, Mommy, I want Daddy!" pushback for a while). Jackson is also being pretty patient about Matthew needing hands-on attention and approaches him across a spectrum from adoration to indifference; but there's no animosity (yet). I'm trying to invent Jackson-centric activities he and I can do together over the holidays, like decorating felt ornaments with stickers and cutting out sugar cookies, without having to completely switch with KB to cover Matthew duty (we're both trying to find ways to manage both kids so the other can have a break...it's not easy when the newborn needs to nurse and the toddler is Krazy). Pretty soon (after Christmas) I will need to develop a routine for dropping Jackson off at school that includes schlepping Matthew with us, in the Michigan winter, and across a busy parking lot in the mornings. And then some time in February I need to start thinking about picking up freelance work again (maybe just one or two projects to start) and will have to decide whether to keep Matthew home with a part-time nanny (up to 2.5 days per week of coverage, but on specific days which can be a challenge when clients can call/email or try to schedule meetings whenever) or send him to the Montessori school. For the latter, I can send him part-time (say, MWF) and that would be on par with the cost of the nanny. I could also send him full-time, but I don't see a need for that with me only working part-time and him being a relatively easy baby (so far). But to send him to school, I also would have to pump to keep him breastfed. As long as he's at home with a nanny, I can take a break to nurse him every couple/few hours. BUT...I also admit it would be nice to have the peace and quiet of working in an empty house sometimes. I'll have to see what wins the day on balance. They both seem like perfectly fine options.
There I go, getting ahead of myself. For now and the coming weeks/months, I am doing my best around the lack of sleep to enjoy this squishy little baby and my moppet of a toddler.