In Penelope Leach's book Your Baby And Child, she describes babies aged 1 months to 6 months as "settled." Before that, they're newborns, and things are just crazy.
Ender seems to be settling, just as she describes (now I think I want to read the book again...I have a much older edition that I got from a friend, whose daughter is 15 now). We still have to work to figure him out, as he is still so new. However, once they are a month old, their stomachs are a little bigger and they can hold more in there, and aren't eating ALL THE TIME. Thankfully, even when he is eating all the time, it's not such a big deal, because it doesn't hurt, the way it did when Meatball was this age. I'm still not quite ready for hands-free nursing with Ender, although that may be more that he needs to be able to hold his head up reliably in order for meals-to-go to happen.
My parents had a reasonable time on Tuesday night, when they watched all three children at the same time while Musical Daddy and I both had rehearsal. Ender's settling certainly helped matters, because it was just easier to manage the kids when Ender wasn't completely beside himself the whole time. When I returned home, I found Ender asleep on my father's lap and, thankfully, the older two children asleep in their own beds. My parents did a fine job.
Musical Daddy is loving the fact that Ender is a snuggler, at least so far. He likes to rock and be moved around, but once he's calm, he'll just rest. Stinker can fall asleep right in the middle of our bed but isn't completely sold on his own yet. Although he will stay in there for awhile when swaddled with this certain sailboat blanket.
The Boy had some trouble keeping his hands to himself when Daddy went to put on his shoes. Consequences were reasonable and logical and should have been given for things like this a long time ago. If The Boy hits when we're trying to get ready to go somewhere fun, he doesn't get to go. And he doesn't get to stay home playing games and watching TV, either. The problem with keeping him at home is that usually it punishes us too, because it screws with our plans. Keeping him home with Grandma somewhat helps the rest of us to enjoy our outing, but staying home with Grandma isn't really going to help him to learn from his actions.
From our side, we are going to do a better job of letting the kids know what's happening, and in what order, and giving them choices whenever it is appropriate. Often, The Boy will do better if he knows what is coming up.
Most of the time when there is a behavior issue with your children, take the time to examine what you, as the parent, can change in order to help the situation.
And, as such, I've been doing my best to maintain an energetic and positive tone with Meatball whenever I make a request of him. It's harder in some ways because he doesn't have the same verbal skills as The Boy, but he is also better at listening and taking action.
So...we're getting there.