A newborn is wonderful. When Thomas looks at me with his big dark eyes, I could melt. There are instances when he is not eating or sleeping or wailing, but just watching. And then he looks around with what can be only described as a politely interested expression on his face. It’s as if he is just checking whether what the big people around him are doing is the way he likes it. And there is never a doubt that the expectation is that this will be the case. I will try to take a photo of that if I can.
Photos is a good subject anyway. I have been struggling a lot to take photos of him. What I did not realize is that when you have a second child, the main concern is not being again sleep deprived. Well: you are, but this is not the main problem. The main problem is that when you are done with taking care of one child, there is still another. So there goes the photo that you maybe wanted to take right there. And even though we are two (technically three with Agnes and practically four with Lamia’s mom still being around for a little while), I realize that before we had much more time for ourselves.
It’s actually funny that I think of this now as “much more time”. Before we had any children, I had so much time, I cannot believe I filled it the way I did (or more fittingly: left it empty the way I did). What a time wasting moron is a man without children! With Thomas the “me” time has again shrunk considerably, of course.
I am not complaining, and it will change again. But I feel horrible that I simply do not manage to stay in touch with family and friends the way I’d want to. Neither can I do the things I’d love to do (like drawing – hell, what would I give for a week where I could just doodle around on some ideas I had). Work does not help either, of course. While I have blown off those blasted night calls in the last 2 weeks, I won’t be able to do so indefinitely, which again means less time for Lamia and me, even if the kids are sleeping.
And we are sleep deprived. In that respect I have that uneasy feeling that I’m still spoiled and that other parents have it much harder: Oskar sleeps full nights and even though he is waking up more often at the moment, he always falls asleep again by himself. And Thomas? He does not sleep that long, of course, but heck: he is just 10+ days old and he gives us 4-5 hour stretches of sleep every night. The 1 1/2 to 2 hour bits before or after might be tough, but if you can sleep a stretch of at least 4 hours a night, I’d argue you can function.
It is still stressful.
I said it before in jest, but when people were asking me whether we are ready for the new baby I always said:
Leo: You’re never ready.
Which is based on the experience with Oskar and everything that you will and have to learn. But even though there is a lot of wisdom in acknowledging that one’s not ready, I was surprised that I was not ready.
Two children are two handfuls…
And it’s yet great in so many ways.
I love how Oskar is getting excited when he gets to see Thomas. He utters the name of his little brother and he waves at him and he wants to touch him and play with him. So far, he has taken the addition to the family well and we could not be happier about that. I do not know whether it will stay like that, but we try to balance the attention, so that Oskar is reassured his brother does not take love away from him.
What an adventure this continues to be…