Friday, September 24, 2010

Baby's Breath -- In Two Haikus

Tiny, white buds are
sprinkled across light green stems--
soft, sweet, barely there.

His small, rosy lips
exhale across my pale skin--
soft, sweet, barely there.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Pushing Her Boundries

We know that it takes my daughter time to transition. Even when the big transitions seem to go smoothly, especially at first, Londo and I are very aware that there are going to be issues. The Pumpkin needs a lot of advance notice and time to adjust to the thought of something new. If it's a big thing, like a new schoool, we plan way ahead (usually). We also know to allow for time after the transition for her to get used to the new situation.

This is the fourth week my daughter will have been at her new school. (Or as she calls it, "Another new school" just to twist the knife in her mama's heart. Heh.) Her teachers say she's doing great. Apparently, she is learning the rules, starting to do the "work," adjusting to the Montessori method, getting along fine with the other kids, and generally doing fine. I'm betting they don't believe me (or probably simply don't even remember that I told them) that the Pumpkin needs time to transition.

So things are going pretty smoothly at school. Guess where the difficulties with the transition are showing up? You know it's at home!

Of course, in addition to the school transition, she's also 3.5, which is supposed to be the start of (yet another) period of disequilibrium. All I know is that things are (yet again) really tough.

She's contantly arguing and being contrary. She's throwing things and specifically doing things she knows she not supposed to. She kicked the dog on purpose. She pulls blankets that the Pookie is holding on to, knowing it will make him fall. And most lovely of all, she's started spitting. Which, it turns out, is one of my hot buttons that I didn't know about until she looked right at me and spit at me this morning! URG!

Londo says that time outs aren't working for him, and they only work for me in the sense that it sometimes gets her out of the downward spiral of bad behavoir that she gets into. It certainly doesn't work as punishment, because it takes some effort, and therefore interaction, for us to keep her in time out. Which turns it into a game for her and just cranks up our seeing-red factor. We are going to have a talk, probably tonight, about what we might actually work for punishments, since we feel she is old enough to get in actual trouble for kicking the dog, throwing things at her brother or spitting at us.

I know, I know, that it's their "job" to test their boundries. This is what pre-schoolers do. I know, I know, that she does this with us because she knows we will love her no matter what, that she feels comfortable enough with us to let out her emotions, have her tantrums and push her boundries.

But frankly, it's exhausting and SOOOO frustrating.

The good thing--actually, the really great thing is that she is so awesome most of the time. She is able to do so much! She's like a little person now, not some baby or toddler. She can think things through, she remembers a ton and notices details, she can play in more imaginative ways and even by herself, she is interested in books and puzzles and arts and crafts, and she is able to have interesting conversations.

She's funny and smart and an amazing child. I want to concentrate on that, but I do still have to vent about those boundries that she pushes. It's her job to push them, I just wish she didn't take her job so seriously and wasn't so darn good at it.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Mama's Boy

Recently, Londo pointed out that the Pookie is definitely easier for me than for him. We've known this and talked about it before. It's been true since his birth, really. He's just always been a mama's boy.

Of course we are both very attached and bonded with both kids, but this is a different set of relationships. When the Pumpkin goes through clingy phases, she generally clings to either me or Londo. Since she was an infant, either one of us was able to calm her down. But with the Pookie? It's me he wants more often than not.

For example, when the Pookie was just an infant, Londo could not get him to sleep. He tried everything! All the things that worked with the Pumpkin and then some, and yet nothing worked. The boy wanted his mama, and usually to nurse. When I needed to get a chunk of sleep, I would have to nurse that boy into a deep, deep sleep and then very carefully pass him over to Londo who would hold him until he woke up hungry again, giving me a couple of hours by myself until the Pookie settled back into my arms for the rest of the night.

As an older baby and as a toddler now, he still will fuss and fret for Londo way more than me. When I get home from work, walk in the door and pick the boy up, he's as happy as can be. That is often when Londo informs me that he's been fussing non-stop and nothing Londo or even the Pumpkin did could make him happy. At those times, I love to look at my wonderful husband like he's crazy and say, "What are you talking about? He's perfectly happy!" Hehe.

Last night, I had to work late. I got home just barely in time to see my boy before Londo took him in the nursery to get him to sleep. He practically leaped out of Londo's arms into mine, which is his preferred way to get to me. He immediately cuddled all into my shoulder, tucking his arms into my body in just the same way he does when I rock or walk him to sleep. His whole body relaxed into mine. He was happy.

Then I transferred him back to Londo. I still had my work clothes on, and the Pookie was really exhausted, so Londo needed to continue putting him to bed right then. Of course, the boy freaked! out! He screamed at the top of his lungs, and it was really hard for me to not grab him back and tuck him back into my arms. Ah, mother's instinct. But Londo got him to sleep very quickly and easily without me.

It's very sweet to have a child who clings to me like that. It's a special relationship, and it is very heart warming. But it's not without its down side.

About once a week lately, the Pookie is waking up in the middle of the night. It seems to be related to his molars coming through, but it could also be some developmental spurt/regression/wonder week. When he wakes up fully, he requires one of his parents to get him back to sleep, and it takes 1.5 hours.

Many times, Londo goes in first and spends 45 minutes or more (depending on how much he can take and the time of the night) trying to get him back to sleep. If he's not back asleep, Londo gets me to take over. There have been other nights/early mornings when I've gone in the whole 1.5 hour, trying to doze in the glider while holding the boy. I don't think it would work AT ALL for me to go in for some of that time and then get Londo. He would pretty much freak out, because once he has me, he wants only me.

So last night, the Pookie woke up fussing and didn't settle back down. I woke up Londo to go in and get him. Once Londo made his way down to the nursery, I heard the Pookie go from general fussy-crying to screaming! Moments later, Londo comes back into our room.

"He freaked out when I tried to get him. He crawled to the opposite side of the crib, as far from me as possible. When I picked him up anyway, he head-butted me!" Londo said.

I was already getting out of bed. I was exhausted and barely able to move (it was the time of night when I have the most difficulty getting up for any reason, and that's why Londo gets him at that time). But I made my way down the hall and into the nursery.

The minute I stepped into the nursery, the Pookie stopped fussing and held his arms up. He just wanted his mama. Today I'm exhausted and my legs ache for having spent 1.5 hours not-sleeping while rocking in that darn glider. But sometimes the boy just wants his mama. And I'm okay with that.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Question of the Week - Coming to Terms

Londo and I had a big talk last night about, shall we say, family planning. I'm not going into it, and there was no real final decision made. It was just about talking through where we are in our heads and hearts. When it comes to the heart, there are cases to be made on both sides. When it comes to the head, there are cases to be made on... well really just one side. Even though I have this biological, emotional and mental desire to have three kids, I actually want to want to be done with two.

So we had this really great discussion, laying everything out there. It helped me to start thinking about things differently. Because even though I previously said I'd give it a year or two and focus on how things are currently, I wasn't. I was constantly thinking about how to work another child into our lives. It was an obsessive thought that was detracting from my enjoyment of my life, my relaxation into how things are currently.

And now? Now I think if I could only come to terms with having a family with two kids, everything would be much easier. It may be weird to say it this way, but it's pretty accurate. If I could just let go the desire for another child, blame it on biology and long-held fantasies, it would ease this burden I feel, the stress I feel about not being done. I'm working on it--for now.

This week's question of the week is:

What would make your life easier if you could just come to terms with what's going on?

In another area of my life, I think I would be less stressed if I just came to terms with the fact that I'm not going to get to work before 10. On the rare occassions when it happens? What a nice treat! But otherwise, I need to just accept the fact that the two drop offs, especially the one at the Pumpkin's school which happens between 9:00 and 9:15, are just going to mean that I'm not into work until 10. I need to just be okay with this. We've moved back our dinnertime to 6:00 to fit in with the later time in for me, and we might need to consider making it 6:15 or 6:30 so I can actually be home in time to sit down with everyone. I can't keep getting frustrated about how late I get into work when I know it just isn't going to change.

What about you guys? What do you wish you could come to terms with? What would ease your burden if you could only just accept it? How could you go with the flow to make your life better?