People always ask me how it’s been, going from 2 to 3 kids. Overall, I really do have to say that it’s been the easiest transition of them all. With your first kid, it’s obviously a nightmare. You feel like don’t know anything and you’re exhausted and you react to any and every movement/sound/look (or lack thereof). With your 2nd, you realize how fucking easy newborns are because they aren’t toddlers. But you’re also trying to figure out life with a baby, who does need things on a fairly regular basis, and a toddler, who needs things whenever the fuck he decides he needs things. With the 3rd, I think the biggest difference is that I’m not nearly as bothered by things I was bothered by with the other 2. I’m more willing to let her cry while I take a goddamn shower. I’ll let her fuss a little longer during tummy time before I get up and move her. Plus, when my 2 boys aren’t trying to kill each other, they do play together or play independently really well. I’d like to think this transition would be easier regardless, however, Tori is the best baby in all of the land. Seriously. This chick is super laid back, she eats well, and (most importantly) she sleeps All. Night. Long. (cue the angelic “Hallelujah” chorus). And I don’t remember my boys being bad sleepers at all. But this little lady is awesome. I like to remind her of how awesome she is by kissing her face constantly. I specifically like kissing the space below her nose, right above her lips. Don’t ask me why I’m obsessed with kissing that specific part of her face. But I am. And I will not stop. You can’t make me. Sometimes, I will also whisper sweet nothings to her to reinforce her awesomeness. This usually happens when the 2 boys are shrieking at each other because 1 wants the toy the other has, which is so fucking ridiculous because they have more goddamn toys than they know what to do with. And while the wrestling match begins in the playroom, I look into this fucking adorable face and whisper, “I love you the most. Shhhhh. You’re my favorite.”
While Tori has made life with 3 kids a fairly seamless transition, I’ve still had plenty of moments where I feel like I’m fucking it all up. All of it. At her 2-month appointment, I went in super confident. I just knew the doctor would praise me for doing all the right things. Tori would be on track with everything. She wouldn’t even cry after her shots, she would just look up with her tiny angelic face and smile as if to say, “Thank you for protecting me against disease. I love you.” However…we went in and she got weighed/measured. And let me just say that I think I set myself up for failure by birthing such fucking ginormous babies. Because they start out in like the bazillionth percentage for weight and then when they settle into a more average weight, it looks like this huge drop and a potential cause for concern. So, when the pediatrician sees this drop, she starts asking me about breastfeeding and how it’s going and if she’s eating well. And instead of taking a step back to understand why she would be asking this, I immediately get defensive. As if she’s attacking my personal character. I want to say, “bitch, this is my 3rd goddamn child and I am a breastfeeding champion. CHAMPION!!” Thankfully, I don’t, but I try to explain how the drop in weight has happened with all my kids, blah blah, blah. She still makes me schedule a follow-up appointment at a time when the lactation consultant is there to make sure Tori’s maintaining enough weight. Which, in my hormonal mind, translates as, “you’re unable to sufficiently provide for your child, so we’re going to have someone shame you into pumping every 5 minutes to get enough milk to make your baby fat and healthy.” By the way, the follow-up appointment went fine and did nothing but reinforce that if I wasn’t one of the super lucky moms whose body and babies’ bodies took well to breastfeeding, I would totally be like, “Fuck you. I’m out.” (mic drop…head to the store for formula). So after I almost tear up at the thought of not being as good at breastfeeding as I think I am, the doctor does her physical exam of Tori. After which she points out that one side of her head is flatter than the other. I think this is pretty common and, in all honesty, I probably have her on the ground or in her swing more frequently than the boys (#thirdchildproblems). But again, in my hormonally-charged crazy brain, I hear, “Stop neglecting your flat-headed child or I’m going to call CPS.” To top off the appointment, baby girl gets her shots and loses her shit. Now, all my babies have cried when they get their shots. That shit hurts. However, they usually get over it within a matter of seconds. Tori, on the other hand. Tori has some fucking stamina. She screamed at me while I put her clothes back on, while I put her back in her seat, while I walked to the check-out desk, on the way down the elevator, in the parking lot, until I clicked her in the car and started driving. Something tells me that for being so sweet, home girl has some serious sass just waiting to surface.
The boys continue to be pretty cute with Tori. Adam, especially. I think he likes the fact that he can make her smile and interact with her more now. He will get right up in her face and touch her little cheeks. Sometimes I can’t even handle it. He’s starting to seem more like a little man each day. For one thing, we’ve started applying for kindergarten next year. Which is fucking crazy. He has such a crazy curious brain, I love watching him try to sound out words and put together creative Lego creations. He’ll also try to use some deductive reasoning skills. The other day he told me, “honeydew is slippery because it has dew on it”. I’m not sure how he knows what dew is, or why his honeydew is slippery, but I feel like that’s a pretty advanced explanation.
Nick is just doing his thing, living up to the “terrible twos” stereotype. Yes, he can be very sweet, but goddamn that kid pushes boundaries. Naptime continues to be a struggle, although he had a really good stretch for a month or so when he would nap by himself, no problem. But when he doesn’t nap…I don’t know if there’s anything more frustrating to me. He’ll get out of his bed and just stand at his door like a fucking zombie. Sometimes he won’t fall asleep because he has poop in his diaper. But he won’t tell me he has poop in his diaper. So he will just be awake, chillin’ in shit, until I figure out that’s why he won’t lay down. The longer he resists, the more enraged I get. Sometimes, if I figure out the right strategy, he will give in. For example, I started telling him I would start a timer and come get him when it’s done. I’m not setting a fucking timer. But he doesn’t know that. And for some reason, it seems to work. When nothing seems to work, though, I start in with the threats (that I will probably never follow through with). “If you don’t nap, we are NOT going to nana’s.” (ya we are, my life is easier when my parents are helping with my children). “If you don’t nap, I am throwing away all your toys.” (oh, you mean the crap that occupies my kid’s time while I binge watch “Gilmore Girls”? ya right). “If you don’t nap, I’m calling Santa.” (spoiler alert: I am Santa). While these threats can be effective, sometimes Nick still looks at me with those cold, dead eyes of his, like he’s flipping me off with his face. He gives no shits. And I wonder what would get through to him. I think about holding his favorite toys hostage. Of bringing up Chase from “Paw Patrol” and just cutting off his tail, right in front of him. What would he think of that? Huh? Maybe he would close his fucking eyes and nap if Chase’s life was on the line! And the unreasonable behavior doesn’t stop at naptime. One morning, Nick threw a fit because I put his plate down in front of his chair, but he wanted me to put it down in front of a different chair. As if I was supposed to know that. Or if I fill up his milk cup and dare to hand it to him directly. You know I’m supposed to set it down on the counter so Nick can bring over the stool and get his cup himself. How stupid can I be?! When he’s not being a stubborn little asshole, he is pretty funny. His speech is becoming more complex and he will mimic phrases that other people say. Like Adam, he will also come up with creative ways to play. He likes to put koozies on his hands and pretend they are gloves. He will use my little monster wine markers as drivers of his construction vehicles. And he uses my wine preserver pump thing as some sort of tool he calls his “power”. And yes, I just now realized all of those things are booze related and perhaps I have a problem…
Although Tori is a perfect little angel baby, I still feel like I’m sometimes losing my brains with 3 kids. I knew I should probably take a breather when Nick kept shrieking (god, that kid can shriek), and Adam was “shhhh-ing” him, and I was so annoyed at all the noise that I yelled at Adam to stop “shhh-ing” and my yelling was so loud that I set off the dog’s bark collar. So, ya. I have my off days. What’s funny is when I will be out in public and just have Tori with me, or have Tori and Nick, and someone will say, “Oh, you have your hands full.” And I always smile and say, “Oh, ya.” But what I want to say is, “Oh, you think this shit is crazy? This isn’t even all of them! I have 3 fucking kids! I’m a walking disaster!” Trying to get places with all 3 is a process. When the weather was nicer, I would walk to places, which meant I would put Tori in the baby carrier while pushing the boys in a double stroller (the kind where Nick is sitting in a seat facing forward and Adam is sitting on a little stool facing backwards). If I was feeling extra ambitious, I would take Lola, too. I try to imagine what I must look like to people driving by, and I feel like it has to be something like this… I’m the Dick Van Dyke of moms. And I’m still unsure whether or not 3 is the end for us. Some days I definitely think, yes. Like when the winter weather gives me PTSD from the morning sickness I had last year and I’m like, ya, I’m cool not being pregnant again. Pass me all of the beers, please!!
Since the election, and especially with a new year, I’ve been thinking a lot about things I want to do or change about myself and in my community. And trust me, I’m serious about getting involved and advocating and volunteering and making goddamn sure our ass hat future president doesn’t ruin all of the things. But I also have some more personal, smaller scale resolutions for 2017:
- Go to church regularly/join the church choir – Andy and I have gone to a Unitarian Universalist church off and on for the past few years, and every time we go, we enjoy it. It’s a progressive church that focuses on social justice. While there is no 1 “creed” or “statement of faith”, I feel like the overall message of the religion is “just be fucking nice.” It encourages individuals to figure out their own place on the spectrum of spirituality and instead of trying to point out who/what is right or wrong, they focus on helping others. And I dig it. So I’m planning on joining the choir so I can hold myself more accountable and try to attend the majority of Sundays.
- No hangovers – This…could be a tough one… These days, it takes very, very little alcohol to give me a crippling headache the next morning. I try to pace myself, I try to hydrate, but I usually end up feeling like death the entire next day. And the biggest problem with that is that I have 3 small humans I’m in charge of. So I figure it’s probably time for me to learn how to exercise moderation. (Full disclosure: I’m drinking a “Sunday funday” beer as we speak, so I’m already off to a rough start with this one.)
- Donate clothes/toys each month – We have so much shit. My kids especially. Just, so much shit. When you think they have more than enough shit, you find more of their shit. Nobody needs the amount of shit that they have, so I’m planning on donating that shit to others who don’t have any shit. Share the shit (as the saying goes).
- Audition for something – Music is a part of my job, but every time I join a choir or play a “gig” or audition for a musical, I remember how much I need to do those things for me. Despite my performance anxiety (which seems to get worse the older I get), I love singing and playing music that I love and I want to challenge myself to do that more often. My current plan is to audition for Theatre in the Park this summer, so when I break out as a community theatre star, you can say you knew me when…
- Take care of clothes – This one seems weird, but I don’t feel like I’m very good at laundry. I mean, I feel like I’m doing laundry every second of my fucking life, but I still follow the basic “you just left for college and are on your own” rules of laundry. Lights. Darks. Colors. Cold. Done. Now that I’ve started to accumulate some nicer, real person clothes, I figure I should start taking care of them like I’m supposed to. I should fold Andy’s dress pants along the seam. I should hang up his dress shirts. Or, even better, Andy should start doing his own goddamn laundry. Actually, yes. Let’s change this resolution to “Andy does his own goddamn laundry.”
- Run a marathon – I literally got butterflies in my stomach while I wrote this one. I tried to train for a marathon a couple years ago and my knees were like, “fuuuuuuuuck this.” So, I understand I need to probably prepare a little better this time. But, it’s on my bucket list and I figure my body is only going to get shittier the older I get, so I might as well make this year the year. If anyone is interested in being my training partner, let me know…I reward myself after each long run with brunch buffets and mimosas, FYI.
- Be better at Twitter – If any of you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’m super shitty at Twitter. I only have Twitter so I can pretend to be friends with celebrities. I’m not joking. The vast majority of my tweets are attempts to get my favorite celebrities to notice me. Sometimes it works. I mean, it’s not a big deal, but some of my tweets have been “favorited” by celebrities such as Maria Bamford, Jim Gaffigan, “Waitress” musical, “Hamilton” musical (ya motherfucker, that “Hamilton” musical). And while it’s not necessarily Twitter-related, who can forget proof of my lifelong friendship and lady romance with Sara Bareilles: And while all of this is totally impressive and proves that I’m super likable and funny and awesome, I feel like I can do better with my Twitter-ing. I mean, I say original funny things sometimes. My kids do funny shit that I exploit on social media. I can do this. I can fucking do Twitter! Woo hoo! 2017!! (shameless plug: follow me @brjurgs)
In all seriousness, I really hope 2017 is a better year for the world. While parts of 2016 were amazing for me personally (see: sweet baby angel Tori), the end of the year left me with such a sour taste in my mouth. It’s easy to feel pessimistic and scared, but I’m cautiously optimistic about 2017. Last year, Adam’s preschool classroom had 3 rules that he would often refer to at home (mostly when Nick was being an asshole and Adam was trying to get him to be nice). And even though these rules were created for preschoolers, I think they serve as an appropriate mantra for this New Year: “Be kind. Be safe. Have fun.” (aka, don’t be assholes). So, don’t be assholes, friends. And Happy New Year!!