I wake up to this.
"Mom! Dad! I think it is morning! Let me check."
She scrambles up on to our bed, narrowly missing stepping on my face, and lifts the blackout shade to peek out the window.
"Yup. It's day. It's morning. Time to get up! Mom! Dad! Baby boy is breathing! He is moving! He wants milk! Mom! Go and get him! Is it a school day? Can we go to the plant museum? Can I have a popsicle for breakfast? Ok, maybe we should sleep a little more."
She bounces down under the covers and curls up next to me, blonde hair spilling over my pillow. Her dark eyelashes flutter as her eyes open and close. The cuddling doesn't last long. Soon she is standing over Mark Oliver's crib, grabbing his toes and adjusting his blanket, until he is also awake. I crawl out of bed and lift him up. He looks at me through one open eye and something of a scowl on his face. The morning - every morning - is a whirlwind of chatter and making plans and arguing about what to wear or when to use the bathroom. It has been this way for a while, but now it must be punctuated by nursing the baby and diaper changes.
M and Laurel go off to the hair salon. Laurel has an appointment to get her bangs trimmed. She desperately wants to get a piece of it dyed pink or purple. I'm left alone with a sleeping baby and the New York Times. I eat oatmeal. I think about getting dressed and then think better of it. My brain is foggy from getting up twice. I remember that I'll feel this way for a while...five or six months at least, and maybe more. I'll get used to it, and then one day, this phase will pass.
For now, we're trying to figure out the new rhythm. You get that kid dressed, I'll feed this one. You cook dinner and I'll pack lunches. You sleep for an extra hour and I'll entertain the kids. Leaving the house requires precise timing and cooperation from all parties. We are late to everything. The laundry is never done. But still, easing into this life with two kids feels good and right.
I wake up to this.