It’s been four weeks since Hong started going back to work at the office, so I wanted to write and say how it’s been going.
In short, it’s been rough. Sophie has had a hard time adjusting to drinking from a bottle instead of “straight from the source”, so to speak. She would essentially starve herself for eight hours until she couldn’t take it any longer, then she’d finally drink it all down. And of course, once she starts to get hungry, she’s quite fussy and needs a lot of holding and rocking. There were days where I’d literally be holding her for hours, pacing around the house and desperately trying to jam a bottle in her mouth, Sophie crying most of the while. And because I’d be warming up the milk over and over again, eventually some of it would go bad and I’d have to throw it away.
By Thursday of the first week, Sophie was getting dehydrated and had been crying most of the day, so I called Hong at work around 3:00, told her I couldn’t take it anymore and could she come home right now? She came home and fed Sophie.
You know, I’ve contemplated trying to come up with a Top Ten List of why stay-at-home dads are better than stay-at-home moms. Things like, “we can clean the house and fix things around the house too” and “we’ve got more strength to chase them around the house and get them good and tired for the night”. That’s usually about as far as I get, and a Top Two List isn’t very impressive. You could, however, probably come up with a Top Ten List of why stay-at-home moms are better than stay-at-home dads, and on that list you could say that “moms have breasts”. This whole bottle situation could be avoided if I just had a pair of boobs.
Each week since has been progressively better. Sophie would start drinking a little bit around noon or 1pm, and I’d be more calm in trying to feed her. As of yesterday, she was able to take her bottle twice without any fussiness or crying. I don’t want to claim victory yet, but it’s a relief to see that things are getting better.
As I predicted earlier, I haven’t been able to keep to my same standards of housekeeping. The house has frequently been very messy, which would sometimes add to my frustration, knowing that there are all of these chores to be done that I can’t get to because I’m currently rocking a fussy baby. It took me most of last weekend to get everything done and check most tasks off of my to-do list.
You’d think that dealing with three kids would be more difficult than one or two, but I’ve so far found the opposite to be true. Maggie and Oliver play together quite well, and seem to be understanding that I can’t always play with them because I’m dealing with Baby Sophie. The fact that I’ve been more willing to let them watch TV in the last four weeks helps. (I allocated my old laptop to serve as a media server, making it very easy to pull up an episode of Ni Hao Kai Lan or Word World for the kids.) And I think if I had to stay at home just to take care of the baby, I’d go crazy with boredom. For all their troubles, three kids are more fun than one or two.