Here we stood for awhile, a mother and son. I can do this.
Three pans left to wash and the sweet sound of a little one's cries filled the air. Oliver had awoken from his slumber in his pack n' play in the adjacent room.
I let the water out of the sink lest Elijah washed the dishes without me, causing my cottage cheese ceiling to crumble. "Oh, Oliver is upset," I said to Elijah and I left my spot at the sink to comfort my youngest son while my eldest followed close behind. "Should we change his diaper?" I asked Elijah as I grabbed a diaper and wipes. Elijah stood at the edge of the pack n' play with a sly smirk on his face watching his little brother. I can do this, I thought again.
Oliver was now clean and happy so I crouched down to Elijah's level and held little Oliver next to his big brother's face. Elijah leaned over and gave his baby brother a big sloppy kiss. My heart swelled so that it no longer fit in my chest and I thought, I'm doing this.
It was noon and the three of us headed to the kitchen. I gave Elijah two choices for lunch. Holding each item in front of Elijah while juggling a baby, I asked, "Do you want chicken nuggets or a turkey sandwich?" Elijah looked at both boxes, smiled and slapped the chicken nuggets box. "Chicken nuggets?" I said, "Of course, chicken nuggets, what else would it be?"
While prepping Eli's lunch, Oliver started to fuss and tried to latch onto my face. I had two hungry boys on my hands. How in the world am I going to do this?
I helped Elijah get into his chair with my one free hand and made sure we had all of our necessary lunch items ready on the table. "You're the big brother, Elijah. Oliver is hungry too, so I need you to be patient and wait while I take care of your little brother," I said. Elijah, who is not known for his patience, sat in his chair and waited with a smile on his face, occasionally peering at the baby in my arms. I started nursing Oliver and then feeding Elijah with my free hand. "Nuggets, cherries, or coconut milk?" I asked, giving Elijah the choices that help him feel like he is in control of his own destiny, therefore reducing his temper tantrums. "Milk? Okay," I said and I tip the cup so that milk pours into his mouth, my pinky finger giving his chin support. This isn't easy, but I really am doing this.
Parenting two kids, one with special needs? I've got this. I think...
Edited to add: This was one of the first times I was left alone with the boys. I've been fortunate in that I've had a lot of help this first month, but now Andy is back at work.
I'm linking to Just Write, where we're encouraged to...just write.