LBK, LAK and reincarnation.

I realized early this morning while watching the minute hand on the kitchen clock sweep towards sixteen with the hour hand seemingly stuck on three that last time around I did not have a blog. Last time around was over three years ago when my first son was born and the only blog experience was a few posts on Blogger about my beloved fountain pens in 2007 when I was living my other life – LBK (aka life before kids). Then I was reincarnated as a bumbling idiot who didn’t know what the heck to do with the tiny wriggling body that they plopped in my hands as they pushed me out of the hospital.

Many of my esteemed colleagues and fellow writers have spent copious keyboard strokes on LBK and LAK (aka life after kids). In my case the year my oldest was born was 2008 LBK (if you were looking at a marble façade in ancient Rome it would read MMVIII) and instead today would be 3 LAK (or for the pagan Romans MMXI). Most of us will agree that although LBK was pretty great and lots of fun, LAK is certainly much more fulfilling albeit stressful. But back to me alone in the dark watching the seconds tick ever so slowly away with my newborn son sleeping in my arms. I am actually happy that I get a chance to write about him from the start and it will make up for the fact that I kept a physical journal about our first pregnancy and newborn experience and instead have been (predictably) a lazy bastard about our youngest boy. The sensations have been similar, but with the experience of our first it gives you a whole new perspective. The confidence is certainly there, but in so many cases the experience with our first is not the same with our second: sleeping, feeding, burping, pooping, crankiness and so on are quite different. The expressions, though, are oddly the same: pensive, angry, hungry, uncomfortable and so on. I cannot wait to see how he develops and how his personality takes over. Although, I must say he seems to have a lot to say already – more than his big brother did – so it’s going to be interesting!

I would compare the second time around to “déjà vu”, you feel you’ve seen it all before, but you just can’t say so for sure.

 

Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice…

I am a new dad – again. I get to deal with breastfeeding, poop, burps, spit up and less no sleep. The second time around, though, I realize that the first time was not so bad after all. Newborns really do just eat, poop and sleep. It’s the whining and now jealous older toddler that kills you. I was warned and I read dissertations about it, but as when you become a parent the first time you don’t really get it until you live it. I must premise all of this by saying that I am a lucky man. I have two beautiful and healthy boys and a lovely and loving wife. I had my kids at a time in my life when I was in a good place and was ready (although who am I kidding, you are never really ready for parenthood) to start a family. So for all these reasons I am a happy camper.

Reality is, though, that now it’s just one-on-one. There is no double-teaming my son anymore. He’s got help and no matter how reluctant he may be to have that baby brother around to take away a piece of his pie, he sure loves the added distraction to mom and dad’s vigilance.

It all started a few weeks ago (although my three year old new something was up months ago) when roughly twenty-four hours before we were scheduled to go in for an induction my second son decided he was going to one up his big brother (who was induced) and come out of his own volition.

After a false start we were back in the hospital after only a few hours and chance would have it in the same exact delivery room as my first son. My son also happened to get whisked away to the NICU with me in tow since they were worried he had inhaled some fluid, but it was a false alarm. Sure enough my second son decided that he too must visit the NICU, but this time he wanted yet again to crawl out from under his older sibling’s shadow and stayed there a full week since he actually did inhale fluid.

An earthquake and a hurricane later, we were finally allowed to bring him home and made sure to bring his big brother to the hospital to see him being brought out by myself and the nurse. We wanted him to understand that we hadn’t just bought a baby at the local pharmacy since mom had already come home without a belly or the much talked about baby brother. We even did the whole baby brother gift tactic to smooth things over.

So far I will say there has been no overt Cain and Able moments, but whatever tenderness big brother has shown to baby brother (we caught him reading to baby brother the other day of his own accord) his alter-ego, Big Bad Brother, has stricken down upon us with great vengeance and furious anger. But that my friends is whole other post altogether.