Ted is in trouble for coming out of his bedroom all night. Right now he's been banished to the playroom for three minutes where he's wailing on the floor. We're taking turns using the Stern Voice on Teddy and cuddling little George.
I'm trying to capture some thoughts, now that I am working with both hands. I'm doing a lot of reading on the computer and watching shows while breastfeeding in the middle of the night but while my muscle memory is tapping back into many one-armed skills I've refined over the last five years, typing is not one of them.
Life is settling into a new rhythm. My doc diagnosed me with Post-Partum Thyroiditis, a fairly common baby-related thyroid disruption. It often resolves itself naturally, and I'm sure mine is doing that, because I feel so much better than I did a week ago. I'll write more about that soon, but in short I just need to monitor my thyroid with blood tests and medicate it if it spirals out of control again.
Generally, I'm realising that life with these three small firecrackers just means more of everything. More chaos. More stress. More joy. More laughter. More love.
So much love.
So much laundry.
I think that a happy domestic life for us will require an intensive structure and a willingness to let go of the structure completely. I'm trying to manage the highs and lows by taking it slow, enjoying the small moments, and letting us all find our feet.
I'm having some transcendent moments of happiness. The luck, the joy, the blessing of three healthy children, a beloved husband and a happy home in a free democracy... And other times, I'm overwhelmed by the task at hand. Yesterday I shouted at the children 'You are MASSIVELY busted!' (I'm not a big shouter. I confess it felt great to bellow this.)
I can't remember the details of their transgression, but it likely involved property crime (Ivy took my spoon) or actual bodily harm (Teddy kicked me in the ear) followed by high-pitched screaming. They both got sent to separate Time Outs and then I recalled them for a short lecture in my Grown Woman's voice along the lines of 'I expect better behaviour from you both, you are three and four years old, not babies, blah blah blah. ' They both gazed at me calmly. 'Do you understand me Teddy?' I asked. 'Well, Mummy, ' he said. 'Did you know I has a little penis?'
The day before I ranted at them with crazy eyes 'Can you HEAR Mummy is at the end of her rope? Can you HEAR it in Mummy's voice?' (Confession -this monologue felt really good too.) While Keith was in Canberra for two days this week I found myself simultaneously trying a comfort a crying George, talk Ted through a lengthy defecation episode and fix a recalcitrant Peppa Pig DVD. Inside my head the lambs were screaming. 'Is you doing your best, Mum? asked Teddy. Yes, I replied. 'Well, is not very good', he said.
Today I left them playing merrily in the lounge room while I fed George in my quiet bedroom and watched My Great Big Gypsy Wedding on YouTube. I thought everything was going really well until I emerged find both children paused in a guilty tableau. Ted was standing on a table trying to poke a broomstick into the ceiling fan that Ivy had climbed a chair to turn on High.
My mother-in-law advised me that if everybody was alive at the end of the day, that I was doing a good job. Well, they are today Mama.
* Specifically, he says he's working on empirical fits to develop algorithms that predict the efficiency of solar cells based on the photo-luminescent images of their pre-processed wafers.