After a week of caring for Little E, I've put that guilt to rest. I do the exact same things with him that I did when Peyton was an infant (except nursing, because that would be a little weird) and he's still her total opposite. He's cried twice. That's it. And not even with an insistent AID ME NOW cry, more like a Hey, if you're not busy could you attend to me? cry.
At one point Little E went to sleep sitting in the baby rocker holding onto my finger. That's it. That's all he needed. My brain exploded. I didn't know babies could do that!
Peyton likes having Little E around. She brings his bottle and pacifier to him all the time and rocks the baby rocker for him. She's sometimes a little too enthusiastic in her rocking but we're working on it. She's taken to carrying around her dolls and caring for them. It melts my heart.
I thought I would begin to resent how different my own experience was when Baby P was an infant but so far I just feel like it's not a big deal. It may be that I've finally come to terms while the fact that my little girl's babyhood was nothing like I pictured or I may be in denial about it. I can't tell.
As for how I ended up needing to take on an entire other kid in the first place, well that's a bit embarrassing. Actually, it's really embarrassing. I didn't even want to write about it until it was mostly fixed, so I've been pretty quiet here lately.
It started with Josh's chair. I wanted to re-stuff it so I got some supplies from Amazon. About $50 worth. When I went to checkout I got one of those store card offers, which I usually ignore. Except this time it was for a free $50 gift card and all I had to do was sign up for a credit card. So my supplies would be free. Whoopee!
As you can probably imagine, it went downhill from there. We had pretty amazing credit because we didn't have credit cards, Josh had paid off a car loan crazy early and all our bills were paid on time every month. We were a credit company's dream team. So the Amazon card came with a relatively high limit.
We reached that limit within 60 days.
At first it was a Do Not Use card. Then it was a This Is An Emergency card. Then it was a We Deserve A Treat card. And on and on, justifying purchases that I honestly couldn't even list you now, six months later. So they obviously weren't needs.
We got a bad case of the Gimmes. Gimme a new video game. Gimme a new nursing tank top that looks exactly like the two I already own. Gimme a helium tank for birthday balloons. Gimme expensive Disney balloons for a first birthday party. Gimme a second car payment. Gimme, gimme, gimme.
It got pretty bad this summer. When we went to North Carolina the engine fan in my car (that we just got 30 days before!) went out. Suddenly we had a huge bill and no money to pay for it because we just emptied our savings into the vacation. And we had to drive home in three days. Oh but, lo and behold, Firestone has a credit card! Yup, we got a second card.
With all the new payments added to our already strained budget, it was getting hard to breathe. There was more month than money. The fact that Josh's pay wasn't properly increased this year to keep up with inflation doesn't help. Our groceries are more expensive despite the fact that I buy about half of what I used to. Our utility bills have been cringe-worthy. Little surprise expenses for Josh's job keep coming up and since he can't just tell the Army no, we have to cut back somewhere else.
It's just a lot of no good circumstances all coming around at once. Most of it is my fault. I shouldn't have fallen for that first card offer. I don't really know what happened to my resolve. I think it may have been because I was lonely and exhausted. Josh was in a different state for three weeks for training and I was holed up at home, bored, frustrated, in need of adult conversation. So I went and became a shopaholic. I'm not very good at being a grown-up these days.
I tried working from home as a call representative but with how high maintenance Peyton is it didn't work. So I put an ad on craigslist figuring there must be someone like me in need of affordable, quality childcare. And now we have Little E five days a week. It took a few days to adjust but we seem to have settled into a nice routine. It helps that Little E is super easy going. He doesn't yell at me unless I'm too slow making a bottle. I think we're going to be good friends.
Slowly but surely, we're working to fill the debt hole back in. I'm lucky that our marriage hasn't gotten shredded by our money troubles. It hasn't been perfect but we've teamed up rather nicely against the odds. Now excuse me while I post some more things for sale on craigslist, gotta get my hustle on.