Today is the day Sam was supposed to be born. At least, this is the due date the infertility doctor gave us based on the date of our intrauterine insemination. Sam has filled out quite a bit since we brought her home last Sunday, and she’s finally started opening her eyes. I suspect they’ll stay blue, just like her father’s and Cassie’s.
The ratio of adults to children has changed in this house. My parents, who came up to help us out after Sam was born, headed out yesterday, off to see my aunt for her birthday. The amount of noise and chaos in the house immediately dropped the moment they left, but so did my sense of security. There’s no way this household can handle more than two adults for any real length of time. There’s just not enough room, even in a place this big. We were tripping over each other and driving each other crazy. Still, having Grandmama and Papoo around meant Cassie was constantly entertained and I never had to worry about the laundry or cooking. Now the place is strangely empty.
There are pluses to having my folks leave. I really was starting to go nuts with them around. Dad spends all day sitting on the couch reading, or else lying in bed taking a nap. Those times Cassie could get him up to play, he’d chase her around the house until she was screaming, and then aggravate her until she was hopping mad and crying, leaving Mom and I to deal with a hysterical and hyper-stimulated child as he headed off to take yet another two-hour nap. This did not do good things for Cassie’s mood or behavior, let me tell you. My dad’s an expert at how to upset people, and at the age of three, Cassie’s a prime target for his teasing. The night before my folks left, he threatened to sneak up on Cassie while she was asleep and “get her” in her bed. To a child who constantly worries about monsters in her closet, you can imagine how this came across. I told Dad if he ever teased her like that again, I’d put his butt out on the curb with the week’s trash and he could go to the dump where he belonged. Not nice or respectful, I know, but the man also worked hard on pissing me off all week long too, so he got as good as he gave in my opinion.
My mother did her best to intervene between Papoo and Cassie, but she also got ticked off with him, which only raised the stress level in the house. When Mom wasn’t fuming over Dad, she spent her time cleaning and cooking and shopping. This wasn’t so bad, except that the post-partum hormones have really made me OCD and Mom doesn’t clean the way I do. I’d go into the kitchen to grab a cup of coffee and wouldn’t be able to find the mugs because they were all jumbled up with the sippy cups and the glasses. I’d go to get dressed in the mornings and I wouldn’t be able to find any of my clothes because for some reason, Mom can’t tell my stuff apart from Michael’s, or else I’d find things, but in the wrong drawer because Mom isn’t familiar with my system of sorting. What really drove me nuts were things that were put away in a haphazard manner. Mom moves fast when she cleans, so corners aren’t always squared up and things aren’t always sorted according to size and type. I know, I know. Crazy and stupid to complain about all the help I got this past week, but I tell you, I hate opening cabinet doors and having everything fall out and hit me in the head because stuff wasn’t stacked properly. Kind of negates the point of putting it away in the first place, you know?
In any event, my parents left bright and early yesterday morning. As soon as they were gone, I started cleaning house – picking things up, putting them away, finding stuff out of place, sorting and reorganizing like some crazy demonic whirlwind of domesticity. Michael took Cassie out grocery shopping. Sam slept through all my cleaning and cussing. In two hours, I got a lot of stuff back to the way I wanted it, except for the lonely anxious feeling I still can not seem to dispel.
The good news is Michael and I survived the first day on our own just fine. Sam is settling in nicely, feeding on a regular schedule and sleeping just fine. Cassie is a little whiny and wants to be constantly entertained, but she’s tolerable and has been very helpful any time I ask her to do something for the baby. Michael and I are snapping at each other as we try to pick up the tasks my mother was handling, but we’re not tearing each other’s throats out, and that’s a good thing.
My parents drive me crazy, but I love them. In spite of the misplaced stuff and the aggravation and the way they spoil Cassie, I do manage to think of them fondly. I hope they have a good trip to see my aunt and a safe trip home after that. I know I’ll look forward to seeing them again… just as soon as I can get my house back in order.