Transition #4

I think I’ve been pretty clear that I am not a great housekeeper. Christian’s actually much better at it than I am. For the last ten days while I have languished in the land of pulsox, heart monitors and fluorescent lighting, he was home with the kids, along with people who came to help during the day: my mom, my sister, uncles, aunts, cousins and friends coming in and cleaning like crazy people. I felt a bit guilty, but also a bit smug, knowing that my house was going to be clean when I got home, without any input from me to make it so.

Christian & the kids were at a concert on Saturday night when I walked into my kitchen and stopped dead, staring at the piles of papers waiting to be filed, gifts and school projects no one had had time to sort and put away, and toys—the toys that are supposed to stay in the basement—on every level of the house.
“Oh…my…gosh,” I said.

My mother went upstairs to start folding more laundry. My dad pulled Michael out of his car seat and started goo-goo-eyeing him. I hung up my coat and tore into the mess. It didn’t really look any better when I had to cease and desist for the night, in part because of the extra clutter my homecoming had brought into the house, but I did as much as I could.

What a difference six days can make. Every previous baby homecoming has involved a two-hour drive on a very sore abdomen, every bump causing me to wince and hold my incision. It’s involved the panicky not-feeling-good of engorgement. This time? This time I lit into the household tasks with an energy that amazed even me. All I could think was I had to do as much as I could before the kids came home and I needed to minister to the people in my household instead of the household itself.

I am way more interested in nesting now than I was in the last two weeks of my pregnancy.

Transition is tough every time. Thirty-six hours in, I’m already almost wild; Nicholas looks hurt when I shush him—because he never, ever, EVER shuts up. He just keeps repeating the same things over and over, right in my face while I’m trying to concentrate on making sure Michael is actually nursing and not simply tearing my breasts to shreds without getting anything out of them. Why is it that every baby is a stellar nurser in the hospital and then decides to be a fit-and-start-er upon arrival home? Julianna wants to breathe her runny nose and phlegmy cough on him, and everybody wants to hold him all the time. And ten days of hospital stress and nursing in a cramped corner beneath a vitals monitor that was beeping every minute and a half finally took their toll; I woke yesterday with the crick in my neck to end all cricks. Splitting headache, agonizing pain in my back.

Let’s just say it’s not conducive to house cleaning.

Transition, I whisper to myself. Just keep your cool. This, too, shall pass.

Besides, there’s this to counterbalance it. I just have to discipline my attitude.