One thing that's way, way easier for me with this fifth child is breastfeeding. For example, right now I am nursing him AND two-hand typing. Serious! I was reading a post by a first-time mom, and she said that one thing she hated about nursing was that she was totally stuck, totally bored: she couldn't read or write or do anything because she had no free hands. This situation can improve with experience, unless of course your baby is of the sort who unlatches and screams at the sound of a page being turned, and babies of that sort do unfortunately exist, and in that case you are well and truly stuck and may want to take up meditation, or using the power of your mind to bring bad to your enemies and good to your friends, or some other activity you can do utterly silently and motionlessly. But so far I have had good luck with babies in this regard, and baby Henry is nursing obliviously even though my arm is jittering under his downy head as I type. I can also walk around, unload the dish rack, add an item to the shopping list, pack a small carry-on, etc. I prefer to sit in a chair with my feet up, reading Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal, but I can move around and do other things if I want to.
Actually, EVERYTHING is easier with this fifth child. My first baby was difficult. My second baby was more difficult in some ways, though easier in others, and also more enjoyable because I knew SOME things and had already made many of the Big Decisions (co-sleep or crib or bassinet or bureau drawer; cloth or disposable; etc.). The twins were kind of challenging because there were two, and I am sure as hell glad I didn't have them FIRST, but they weren't as difficult as I'd been expecting. And this baby is--so far--easy.
He's still a BABY, of course. He still wakes me just after I've fallen asleep. He still cries right after we sit down to watch a movie or eat dinner. He still has a huge blow-out diaper right after I've changed him, or right after I've buckled him into the car seat. But I sling him around like a new purse; I tuck him right into our household, barely rearranging the furniture to make room.
When I'm driving somewhere I've never been before, the drive seems really LONG. Then on the way home, when I know where I'm going or don't have to worry about being anywhere on time, the drive seems so short. It has been the same for me with the babies. Well, except that I would have had to make the outward journey twice without coming home in between. And then now I guess I'd be saying I was on the way home with this baby--but then what were the twins? And really even the second outward journey was easier than the first...except when it was harder...so I guess that would be like driving to a familiar place but having engine trouble on the way. Also, it's not like I don't still go nuts all the time, so I'm not sure I want to use a "peaceful easy drive" comparison after all. And it's coming up on 3 weeks now and I still haven't been able to get my act together and bring the bouncy seat up from the basement, a task that would take all of five minutes, and the house is a total pit with heaps of clutter on every surface, and how does THAT enter into the driving thing? And what about when I'm standing over a sleeping baby at my bedtime, thinking, "Do I wake him and nurse him, or take a chance that he'll wake me 5 minutes after I drift off?" Well, Henry is crying now (WHY IS HE???), and that makes it really hard to think. Someday I would like to make just ONE good Life Analogy, but it will not be today.
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...