So while Dustin was covering the house in towels and trying to placate the patient with nonstop Sesame Street, I was left to do my daily grind, with an extra layer of worry heaped on top. Fin still isn't eating much at daycare (more on that another day...long story short- sister doesn't care for a bottle), and I'm still finding my work "sea legs", adjusting to a new office and the demands of our busiest season after being out of the game for 3 months. Our stress level was already at a high (which has become the new baseline), and wasn't helped by the fact I've been fighting (and losing) a nasty cold for a week.
The pressures were mounting, and I started to feel like I was drowning. Eventually a straw fell on the camel hump of my terrible day, and I texted Dustin to tell him. His response:
So, yeah. We've seen better days.
Somehow we both made it through. I used the ride home to call my mom to vent, and voice-to-text a working-mom friend a long winded panic attack about how we were going to manage this large, messy life. I fed a sleepy baby (who actually had her best eating day to date. Thank heavens for not-so-small miracles.) Piper was on the upswing and Dustin and I took turns sneaking bites of makeshift dinners in the kitchen to avoid making her jealous. Or sick.
The night actually wasn't much worse than usual, with the exception of the point when the baby crying/my incessant hacking woke up Piper and Dustin had to spend 40 minutes soothing her back to sleep. (I estimate the time because though I was awake too, I've long lost track of when the middle of the night feedings occur, generally referring to anything between the hours of 2 and 5 as "dark o'clock"). I had an early morning that I was dreading (we had already decided that Dustin would stay home again to get her through the 24 hour quarantine daycare requires) and I learned the hard way that "do not disturb" mode on my phone will cancel my alarm clock.
It's the combination of big and little crisises like this that lead to me posting Facebook statuses like this:
(And at that point, the day was still young!)
Somehow we made it through Tuesday, and the considerably less wild, but still not awesome Wednesday. Dustin kept the netflix on repeat, and I continued to drink cough syrup like I was Little Wayne. And by the time I got home last night things were looking up. We ate dinner as a family, (Piper practiced her burrito rolling skills, and I managed to not drip any taco sauce on Fin's head while she nursed.) and then headed upstairs for bathtime.
Piper has been going through a "I hate the bath" phase recently, so we've had to bribe her a bit to get her in. I had the bright idea to tell her she and Fin could take a bath together (all things involving Fin, or selling the "helpful big sister" angle typically go over well with Pips) and while Piper wasn't entirely sold on the situation, I was (Fin desperately needed a bath too) and had her stripped down before Dustin could question if this was smart.
My strategy was to put Fin into her bumbo seat so she could splash her feet and keep Piper company. What I didn't count on was the bumbo floating (it is a giant piece of foam.) Dustin did his best to stabilize it by getting as much air out of the bottom as possible, but in the end it was still more of a bum shaped raft than a chair. But I could not be deterred. I plopped Finny in, supporting her only-barely-ready-for-the-bumbo head, and declared it family bath time. And what followed was the five cutest minutes in my recent memory.
(Note: no need to email me about the danger of this idea. Our eyes and hands
weren't off of her for an instant. Except for when we let Piper watch her.
This is not a great photo. But the moment it captures I will cherish for a lifetime. As I looked at my two girls, splashing around in their birthday suits, I realized this was what we wanted. When we wanted two kids, when we found out it was another girl, these were the moments we had in mind. It latest only a few minutes, because it was after all, a pretty terrible idea, but in that brief time my heart was full. I looked at Dustin while we leaned over the porcelain edge and held our girls, and I kissed his shoulder and told him I loved him. And that we were actually going to make it.
If Tuesday was a nightmare, then Wednesday evening was a dream. Not the "it was so weird, our car could talk and the streets were made of chocolate" kind, but a "real life glimpse of our plans and wishes coming true" kind. In a sea of responsibilities, fiascos, and mistakes, this evening was my bum-shaped raft. Not perfect, but not a bad ride, and a glimpse of even better times to come.