Ah, Julian. Let the love-in continue.
It's Day 11 with our son and we are all adjusting very well.
From Day 5 to Day 10 Julian gained 10oz. He nurses and sleeps and poops and nurses some more and sleeps some and...poops some more. Actually, he nurses and sleeps a lot more than my other babies did at this age. I was starting to worry that he was sleeping TOO much, but on Thursday night he managed to stay awake for 2 1/2 hours, so I guess the sleepy-baby phase is pretty much over. And his weight gain proves that he is definitely nursing enough, so I will put my worry to rest. Even when he fusses around or has a hard time falling asleep or poops the minute I get a clean diaper on him, I have no complaints. When he sleeps for 4 hours I LONG for him to wake up so I can start taking care of him again.
Anna, Holly and Jasmine have more-or-less accepted Julian into the rhythm of their lives. Anna pointed out to me today that she has not yet touched the baby. This is the same Anna who didn't acknowledge the arrival of Jasmine for over 3 months. I'm not concerned. Anna's head is very busy with the business of growing up and she will pay attention to Julian whenever she is ready. Holly held Julian on the first day and has pretty much ignored him since then. She occasionally asks me questions about him (like, when is he going to be able to sit up, or smile, or talk) but she too is very busy with her own life.
Only Jasmine is interested in Julian on a daily basis. She asks to hold him whenever he is awake and she is very complimentary about him. "He have nice belly button." "This baby have nice warm head." She even says, "I like that baby." But the sweetest thing she does is to play with her dolls, mothering them like a perfect little mother. She calls her dolls 'Pink Babies', which she pronounces as "minka-beebies". She wraps them in blankets and rocks them to sleep and nurses them and fusses over them and sings them songs. It is really the cutest thing ever, and since her only experience with a baby has been the last 11 days with Julian, I hope that she is mirroring what I am doing as I take care of him. Truly, it would be an enormous compliment to me if her 'mothering skills' reflect what she sees here in her own home.
In case you were wondering, my house is filthy and I have laundry piles so high they pose a danger to small children. But the children are (mostly) happy all day and everyone is eating healthily and playing outside every day and spending some quality time with Daddy. Jasmine has been to the outdoor public pool 3 times with her dad since Julian was born, and Holly and Anna have plans for a Daddy-Day at the Zoo. We have hired Partner-Guy's 15-year-old niece to come over 2 days/week to play with the girls and accompany them on little outings and do light housekeeping (like hanging out laundry and unloading the dishwasher). She has been away with her family for the past week, but on the days that she has worked so far we have have really appreciated and enjoyed her presence. I'm very happy that it is working out so well.
So far so good! Life with four children under the age of 6 is both manageable and pleasant. I admit that I am not joyful all day every day, and my patience is sometimes pushed as far as I think I can go, but I am trying to remember everyday that love is practised through kindness and patience and that there is always joy on the other side of every conflict or disappointment. If I can only remember to open my mouth MORE to say positive things, and LESS to say negative things! I'm working on it.