Wednesday, February 12, 2014

7 Random Observations on Life With a Newborn

So little Miss Chloe is approaching three weeks old, and we are attempting to get into the swing of things here at home now that our fabulous two weeks of meals and goodies sent from church and other friends has drawn to a close. How are things going? Well...

1. True to his tendency to "march to the beat of his own drummer," Ethan may be feeling some of the typical middle-child-jealous-sibling-thing, but it's manifesting in its own creative way. Thankfully, he doesn't take anything out on Chloe. On the contrary, he likes to continually give her kisses. However, he's got an aggressive side that's come out. I'm glad he is able to express himself, but it's a little disconcerting when he announces at the breakfast table that he "wants to punch the whole world." I tell him to punch the couch instead when he's mad, but I don't think that sounds nearly as appealing.

2. After our first grocery store debacle, we've come up with a different system for shopping that seems to (please God?) be working. Anna (carefully!) pushes Chloe in the stroller while Ethan (thinks he's pushing) the cart (I keep a pretty tight grip on it to avoid collisions). We kind of look like a min-train parading slowly through the aisles, but so far, so good.

3. Evenings are fussy time when I become Chloe's human pacifier. She's not hungry, she's just cranky. Of course this occurs around dinner and homework time. Babies have excellent timing that way. Thank God for the Olympics. If I'm going to be held captive for several hours, at least I can watch some ice skating, ski jumping and so on (as long as it's not Bob Costas' creepy infected eyes).

4. Yes, it IS possible to nurse the baby, read a book to a child, and eat dinner. Just not well. Sorry Chloe for the salad leaves dropped on your fuzzy little head.

5. Venturing out with a small baby into the cold this time of year, people commend you as if you've just scaled Everest. "Look at you! So brave!" I hear all of the time. "I can't believe you've left the house already!" I tell them I'm not brave, but I do tend to get stir-crazy. And when you've got two older kids it's kind of difficult to hunker down and not be seen for a month or two.

6. Speaking of that, I'll tell you who's really brave -- those of you out there who have kids a year or two apart. I can't emphasize this enough: You amaze me. My six- and nine-year-old have been tremendous helpers. Sometimes the little things like having one try to cheer up a fussy baby or another run and get me the phone or a diaper can make the biggest difference. I know so many people who wanted to have all of their kids close together, and that's wonderful, but I know now more than ever that it would have been extremely difficult for me. God knew what He was doing when He gave us Chloe when He did.

7. That brings me to this: the other night Chloe woke up as she always does and after feeding her but before putting her down I just held her all swaddled up in my arms and cuddled. Her skin was soft and sweet and she rested her little head on my helpless, so secure. I thought about how this was SO the way God feels about each of us. Somehow, I could see the picture so clear in my head, as I held her and whispered in her ear. I thought about God seeing each of us in our helplessness, in our smallness, and loving us. We love because He first loved us.

There is nothing like the tiniest of children to remind us, to give us a living, breathing picture of the Father's love. There is nothing Chloe has to do...nothing she has to earn. She is loved just for being. We all are. That gives me the sweetest kind of peace.

No comments: