I think the best way to describe what it’s been like to bring a second child into the family is to imagine having a jazz band blasting an improvisational set in your left ear while listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Christmas carols in your right ear, and there you are, a drummer in a rock band, and you’re on stage in front of 30,000 people trying to keep the beat to an acoustic version of “God Save the Queen” by the Sex Pistols.
I took note of it last June, at about the time we had an inkling the second kid was coming, and that opening paragraph stuck with me all this while – it’s the best description of what it’s been like so far, and if someone tells you that two kids are exponentially more work than one, tell them they only have half of it right.
I’ve been in zombie mode ever since I got back to work, but this past week has been simply… Overwhelming.
Sleep deprivation means your brain starts playing tricks on you at 6 PM, so I do as much brainwork as possible early on (after I manage to fully wake up, of course), spend early afternoon running around and in meetings and stack up “safe” tasks (like filing e-mail or clearing my desktop) for closing time, so that I can just go through the motions and try to get home on time to have supper, do miscellaneous kid-related stuff (from running baths to simply setting the table) and hit the sack as early as possible until kid #2 starts waking us up every 2.5 hours (on average).
Which is why I’ve kept offline, mostly. At work, I keep dealing as best I can with the recurring misalignments of a matrix organization – for instance, miss the right time window (unfathomable in advance, of course) to schedule a meeting and it will balloon into two or three separate ones – not everyone can make it the first time around, and assuming the first meeting had six people or less in the first place and you’ve reached Jedi Master level on Calendar Battleships, you may get things done in, oh, a week or so.
But let’s not go there – I’ve got some serious catching up to do where it regards R&R, and am getting on to it right now…