|Sure thing, Mom.|
This is good news, as Susannah is exactly a month old tomorrow and that's a rather long time for a hazy, crazy bit of whirliness.
It's also juuust about long enough for Nora's panic/insanity/full-body-tantrums-every-time-the-doorbell-rings to have run its course. Some might say it's actually a few days too long, but we try not to judge, overmuch.
We're beginning to discover what the New Normal means- which is way different from the New Normal of Oct. '09 (and waaaay different from the New Normal of Newlywed Oct. '08, triple sigh)- and it's actually pretty nice.
Sometimes Susannah sleeps for five or six hours at night, letting us get more rest than is actually allowed at this stage of the game. Other times she keeps us guessing and wakes up every hour just to say hi. (Hi! Go back to bed!)
The two year-old gets up each a.m. with her Dad- unless, of course, she's spent a solid three hours berating or laughing with her Beanie bears at positively awful hours of the early morning- in which case she awakens at 9am. Or 8:30. Or 6. (Keep 'em guessing, that's her motto!) Then the team of gals waves off Peej, sometimes from the picture window, sometimes from the stairwell, and proceeds to list/negate every breakfast choice offered. Unless it's bacon.
Sometimes "breakfast" consists of the smallest member of the team getting nursed on the kitchen floor by the biggest, with the middle debating whether or not she needs a straw/a diaper/a shoe. Martha Stewart Living, it ain't.
Then there's writing, some paid, some not so much. Nora does her part during these interludes by coloring, puzzling, and stickering the baby. Suzy generally sleeps on me/near me or poops on me/near me. A surprising output of work comes from these sessions.
Occasionally we go out, bringing slightly more stuff than would be needed for a Transatlantic crossing. (That's ALL Zuzu- Nora and I had it down to the science of a wallet, some wet wipes, and Doc Bullfrog. My youngest apparently needs three pairs of jammies to accompany us to the grocery store.) Sometimes we go to a fabulous playgroup. Other times we jaunt to the Middle Eastern bakery to get scolded about how I am carrying the baby.
Lunch is the same as breakfast, with slightly more clothing. Usually. Occasionally I'll try to clean a room while we are still using it. This yields mixed results; sometimes I get depressed at the non-change in the area, other times I'm thrilled its dirtiness is remaining status quo.
Some days are way harder than others, what with varying temperaments (mine included), varying activities, and varying degrees of unmatched socks. The best days, obviously, are those with a minimum of activities, a decent amount of agreement, and a maximum of easily put-away-able laundry.
Then there is mandatory naptime. People always say "nap when the baby naps." Dude, I've been napping- with or without babies- since day one. Sometimes I'll try to squeeze in about twenty more minutes of writing immediately after Nora's book/book/book/song/snuggle/bed routine...but not always. Once Nora is in bed, the baby and I are in bed. (And that is why this will always be the best job, ever, anywhere, Amen.)
Upon waking, there is Jeopardy. Laundry. Glitter. The eight thousandth diaper change- per girl. Books books books. Frequent attempts to kickstart an Arena Rock dance party. The park, the playhouse, harvesting of green tomatoes, and forcefeeding the pacifier to the baby sister.
We make/defrost/order dinner, since the dinner train has pretty much left the station. (Okay, I really miss that part of the Old Normal.)
P.J. returns home and, after waiting for my turn to have his attention (it can be a whiiiile, what with dancing, hugs, and re-enactments of Strawberry Shortcake and pals' escapades), we have dinner. Bathe the girls. Pretend to clean the kitchen. And on nights when N goes to bed at 7:45 and Suzy settles into her room for a lengthy nap...we find that we have a smallish window of time.
In which to fall asleep on the couch.
Okay, so perhaps the New Normal looks a bit like the Old one.
Only with way more socks.