It’s been over 6 weeks since Sebastián was born and today is the first day I am alone with him and his 2-year old brother. And I think it’s safe to say it’s time to panic. Help is lovely so those of you who have grandparents in a 2 mile radius consider yourselves lucky and don’t come near me now, I may scratch and bite out of pure jealousy.
My hubby had 2 weeks of paternity leave and it was amazing to have him home. On day 10 I got Bell’s Palsy and eventually accepted my parents’ offer to help so my dad flew here all the way from the Czech Republic (not Chechnya!!) and stayed for 4 weeks. We haven’t seen him since July 2012, so it’s been a while. Kamar is now much bigger and talks a lot more, and I didn’t even know I was pregnant back in July. He left yesterday. Let me tell you, it was so awesome to have him here for many reasons:
- he painted the wall by the boys’ bedroom with chalkboard paint so now they have a giant chalkboard to enjoy
- he fixed my toilet (the tank had been leaking water and it was driving me crazy)
- he patched the wall behind our oven which was a passage for occasional (and very unwanted) visitors
- he attached new curtain rods in the living room so now my windows are dressed up and I like it that way
- he did dishes – All. The. Time. (I didn’t do dishes for 4 weeks so this point is major)
- he folded laundry (the clothes just magically appeared on our dresser in neat piles – sweet sight)
- he watched the boys when I had to go to doctor’s appointments and acupuncture for my Bell’s Palsy
- he played with Kamar endlessly and took him outside twice a day to play basketball, practice riding on his scooter or run around the playground (this point is also pretty major because this alone would have helped me a ton)
- he handled Kamar’s bath and potty time and helped him get dressed every morning (this point includes even these annoying activities such as brushing his teeth – he tries to run so you better be in shape for that)
- he made lunch for Kamar numerous times when I was busy breastfeeding his baby brother
- he held baby Sebastián when Kamar needed me – i.e. when I was making him pancakes for breakfast, when I was giving him a bath, read him a bedtime story or tickled him to hear him laugh (this point proved to be significant this morning when I struggled to satisfy both of my kids’ needs at the same time)
- he babysat the boys and gave me and my hubby precious time alone – we had a date night after a while and went to see Iron Man (not my choice but it was awesome, even a movie about Britney Spears would do – all I cared about was getting dressed up, putting my heals on, doing my hair & makeup and holding my husband’s hand while enjoying a movie for grownups on a big screen, surrounded by other grownups)
- he stood on the line in front of Kamar’s soon-to-be preschool since 5 pm (14 hours before the registration) to make sure his grandson gets in (my husband switched with him half way through the night and thanks to them Kamar got in – yay! … OMG, my baby’s going to school!)
So yes, his help was huge. Listing it all here makes me want to have a panic attack. But besides the help aspect, it was so nice to have him here and bond with his grandsons. Kamar really enjoyed grandpa and had so much fun with him. And I’m glad my dad met Sebastián (the rest of my family has yet to meet him).
So yesterday, as we said “bye bye” to grandpa at Newark airport, I was yet again reminded how much it sucks to live thousands of miles away from my family. How much better it would be for my parents and sisters to see the boys grow, not see them grown. We quietly walked back to our car once grandpa’s head disappeared behind the escalator. Then we drove back home in silence, listening to Pink and the guy from Fun and other stuff on the radio. Kamar was looking out of the window and occasionally said “Mami, letadlo!” (which is the Czech word for airplane) and probably wondered why grandpa wasn’t sitting in the car with us. And as we walked into our building I noticed he stopped in the hallway and didn’t follow me upstairs. He was just standing there staring at the main door, asking for “děda” – poor guy was waiting for grandpa to walk through the door and carry him upstairs on his shoulders … And this afternoon, on our way to the store, Kamar spotted an airplane up in the sky, waved at it and said “bye bye děda” and my heart sunk, again.