Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Greater Sense of Now

A quick catch-up on the last 5 weeks: we brought #2 (to be referred to as "Toodles") home from the hospital. She's doing great. My wife and I are tired but trying to avoid being cranky. A shout out to the many people who have helped us one way or another. Especially my Mom who stayed with JD for 4 days while we were in the hospital and then 2 more days after our return home. Now that she is gone, I don't have extra hands to cook, clean, give attention to JD, pay bills, etc etc.

And that is where I find myself. Looking out at my kitchen, which was never consistently spotless, I see what the addition of a second child has done. Dishes and counter-tops are found clean less and less often or with greater and greater piles.

While JD still sleeps 2-3 hours in the afternoon, I find that I only have about 30-90 minutes to accomplish things.

The good news is that my wife and I are learning to share responsibilities. As she heals from c-sect surgery, she is more able to take on chores. One problem I face is relinquishing the control over how the chores are done. If she takes on, say, kitchen duty, as in cleaning up counters, etc. I can't expect her to do it to my specifications. In a perfect world, she's going to ask me how I want it done because in seven weeks' time it will all fall back to me. But that is a lot to expect. Just be happy they get clean! I tell myself.

The many many things I was able to accomplish consistently have become a list from which I have to choose. Do laundry or download, organize, and email pictures. Cook from scratch (or semi-homemade) or help JD with oral motor exercises. Tend to the lawn and flowers or sleep. Change Toodles' diaper or shower.

But maybe they're not choices I have to make, but rather a list or a routine that needs to be reorganized. That is the optimist talking. Nevermind that I am the type of person that tries to pack 25 hours of activity into 24 hours, leaving time for neither inefficiency nor error (of which many are made).

Remembering back to my adjustment to having JD, I believe it took around three months to establish a routine. Then I could make small adjustments whenever his schedule changed.

And that's what we've been doing - waiting for a routine to emerge.

Waiting for a routine to emerge will be death, so to speak. If the routine creates itself, it will be chaos. There is a way to create a structure, be it rigid or loose, by which we can guide our days rather than letting our days guide us. That was good for summer vacations when the most I had to do was wake-and-bake, but those days are long gone.

I am not the only one who needs the reassurance of structure. JD is happier when he knows what's coming. My wife certainly is a person to whom uncertainty is an unwelcome guest.

When I mentioned creating a schedule she said that the idea was thoughtful, but could I really follow a schedule? The answer: not to a T, but having some structure is a much needed step away from the chaos that has begun to take over.

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