I still have so much to write about - Leo and Zoe's birth story and all of our experiences in the NICU and more - but today Leo came home, and that's what I need to write about. I only have time for one little part of it, and what I want to write about most is Samantha's reaction.
For the past week, since I returned from the hospital, Sam has been getting more and more angry, especially with me. I mean, she's getting shuffled around between our friends and my parents, and Adam and I have been at the hospital a lot and very busy when we're home. We've tried to give her what attention we can, but she's not stupid. She's too mature to be fooled by gifts or extra TV or sweets. She wants to be number one again, and she knows that is changing. And on top of that, she has not been able to see Leo or Zoe. Because it is flu season (since when does it start so early?), there are no visitors except parents allowed on the NICU floor.
Sam has had her good moments. The other night she came up with the idea to have a date night with me and then a date night with her dad so that we could have some one-on-one time. I took her out for sushi and the next night Adam took her out for barbecue. That worked out really well for all of us, and it was her idea. But mostly, she just goes around the house stomping her foot and saying, "But I want it!" We're muddling through as best we can.
But today, when Leo came home, she was so incredibly thrilled. She held him, she burped him, she gave him a bottle. She couldn't get enough of him. While I was nursing him, she stood over us the whole time, patting his head so gently, and kissing him over and over, saying, "He's so cute." When I told her to be gentle, she said, "I will never ever hit him or spit at him or...or...or kick him. Never. I promise." She's already fallen in love with his scrunched up forehead and his tiny hands. When we talk about her being an older sister, or how she now has a little brother, her face shines like nothing I've ever seen before.
The sweetest thing of all requires a little context. Part of our bedtime routine with Sammy is that, just before we leave the room, we tuck her in. And it has to be done in exactly the right way or she will not be happy. We have to pull the sheet up first, then the comforter, and we have to pull it "all the way up to my neck." She tells us this every night, as if we would forget: "Pull it all the way up to my neck, mommy." And as I was nursing Leo, Sam took the burp cloth, put it on top of him and tucked it under his chin, saying, "I pulled it all the way up to his neck."
Is this what people mean about the joy of multiple children? Is there more? I can't wait to find out.