So here we are on the other side- all home and slowly accustoming ourselves to our new configuration. I have been surprised by the emotional tenor of these weeks- besides the exhaustion (which everybody warns you about), the other emotion I have felt constantly is guilt. Now that I have moved on from the grateful-to-find-them-alive-in-the-morning phase, I feel constantly anxious about whether I’m doing it right, paying each of them enough attention, giving them enough stimulation. Neither of them have been very interested in traditional breast feeding, so I feed them breast milk from a bottle and feel guilty about that too. Marcin has a healthier approach- he thinks that the mere fact we aren’t crackheads makes us ideal parents, and has no feelings of inadequacy at all. He is mastering the field of baby farming like a true engineer- working out the best system of nappy fastening, considering the hydraulics of burping. I am in charge of logistics, and have read so many different bits of advice about raising children that I’m about to go mad.
I have finally had to admit to myself that regulating their activities is at least as necessary for me as it is for them .I need to know what to expect from them and when; they’re still strangers, smiling their mysterious dolphin smiles in their sleep and squealing over their own incomprehensible tragedies. I also need to know what I have to do and when, since the cognitive impairment brought on by lack of sleep interferes with my ability to improvise. I wouldn’t say I’m a born mother, but I can rise to a logistical challenge when I’m called, and I have a fair amount of stamina. Here’s hoping it’s enough.