I neglected to mention that the reason I even knew about Catherine being home was that Little Sis called me yesterday just after noon. I happened to be home to take the call because my Punkin Boy had a raging fever and miserable sore throat. That tiny little voice croaking "Mama" is about the most pathetic thing I've ever heard.
My sister's exhaustion coming over the phone lines was pretty close, though. With Baby C. only taking an ounce of formula at a time, the feedings are pretty near constant. And with her husband in school (though taking some time off work), Little Sis hardly has any time to herself. I might have said, "Welcome to motherhood"; I might have just thought it. Poor sweetie. But I'm sure she got the message, as I gave my little man a sip of awful medicine, carried him (all 31 pounds of him) protesting to his room and put him in the crib, tried to determine whether he wanted a pillow, a book, or a stuffed animal in with him ("NO!" to each), murmured soothing words, kissed him on the head, and shut the door behind me, trying not to be influenced by his hoarse, impassioned wails.
We discussed her discovery of what a pain all the doctor appointments and paperwork and so on can be with a new baby, and how crazy it is to have to deal with all that stuff on 4 hours of sleep. (Four hours! What I would have given some days to have that to look forward to!) She wonders when she'll ever have the chance to scrapbook again. (I think there'll be a period between "sleeping through the night" and "crawling everywhere" when she might have a chance. In my kids, these phases didn't overlap.) I figure she hasn't missed enough sleep yet if her question isn't "When will I ever get to shower and brush my teeth on the same day again?"
But you know what? I found myself wishing I could just leave someone else in charge at my house for a while and fly out to be with her right now. When she was the baby at our house, I spent a lot of time holding her, feeding her, changing her, rocking her, cleaning her spitup off my clothes... Now I hear her crying; I want to go to her and hold her and fix her problems and tell her everything will be OK. But we're grown up now, and I can't. We each have to take care of our own babies. But everything will be OK. Really.