This morning in my "quiet time" chair, I got the giggles. I got the giggles because sitting in my chair was anything but quiet.
Our Little Girly is adjusting to our family beautifully. Darla summed up how we all feel when she said, "Mom- I don't feel like things are really that different with her here. But if she has to leave...that would feel really different. I wouldn't like that at ALL."
During nap times, Darla has Little Girly in the crib in her room. She takes great pride in being the one to get Little Girly to sleep for her afternoon nap. Darla stands by the crib giving a pacifier, singing, and talking until eyes are heavy and both girls settle in for a rest. Their beds are no more than three feet apart, but even that feels too far for Darla. So instead of napping in her own bed, she sets up blankets on the floor and lays against the crib- as close to Little Girly as possible.
The sweet moments are many and my mind is quickly trying to snapshot it all and file it away. Which is why I chose to laugh this morning in my quiet time chair instead of letting exasperation sneak in. As it is when adding any new member to the family, adjustments are made. As I expected, Everett takes the brunt of the adjusting. It is so good for him to not be the youngest. With a strong will and a natural inclination to feel entitled, it is a blessing for him to have someone to protect and nurture. It's also good for me to have no time to give in to a power struggle!
As I did with my other kids, I make an effort to include Everett and affirm his new role as big brother and I also make sure we have some time to read while I give Little Girly a bottle, or to rock before naps while Hudson plays with Little Girly.
I'm finding that Everett isn't extra clingy or whiny... but his mischievousness is at work when I am preoccupied. This morning while I was sitting in the quiet time chair feeding Little Girly, Everett barreled in. Somehow he managed to narrowly miss my coffee on the end table but with his elbow caught a potted plant and sent it flying. He picked up what he could and I assured him I'd help him take care of the rest when I was done. Darla and Hudson were running in and out and getting ready for the day. As they ran back down the hall, Everett decided to peek-a-boo behind my chair. Instead, he knocked into a floor lamp and broke the lightbulb. Then as he popped back out, managed to pop Little Girly on the head with his own head sending her to tears.
After "Sorry baby! Sorry baby!" I suggested he find something to do with Hudson. They were quiet for a couple minutes and then emerged ready to fix my lightbulb. They were wearing hard hats, working goggles, and a utility belt. In their arms were all the lightbulbs from the hall closet. Mercy! Hudson's idea was that Little Girly and I scoot forward on the chair so he could stand on the back to reach the lamp.
At this point I laughed my way to the bathroom where S. was getting ready. After explaining the situation to him, he good naturedly joined the boys and after a group effort (how many Taylor men does it take....) they changed the light bulb.
This is a fifteen minute snippet into what my days are currently like. This morning was a drastic improvement from yesterday when I took Everett to the doctor for allergies and swollen glands only to have him fully throw up in the doctor's waiting room. He has never thrown up in his life and thankfully was fine afterwards. (I spent a nervous few hours mapping out how I would handle the stomach flu with four little ones.) Throw up in public was a parenting first for me.
Every time the chaos bubbles over and I'm up to my ears, I grab my phone. You see- when I had just turned six, my siblings were four and two, and my parents adopted a baby. Ironically, my children are the exact same ages. My mom understands like no one else and has a beautiful perspective now that all four of her children have stopped (for the most part) keeping her up at night. So we laugh, commiserate, and strategize. Then I hang up ready for what the next fifteen minutes might hold.