No idea what's happened but lately P's been easier, in my own opinion. Or maybe I've just been less susceptible to my own potential PTSD? The lovely woman we're working with at Project Enlightenment was able to catch on to me and pointed out that I myself have some PTSD from that first year with Paxton when things were so rough and I felt so isolated and frustrated and alone. So essentially the second he starts to act like that again at all, even if it's perfectly normal for his age and situation, I kinda freak out and get way too upset about it. Good to know, and good to have a professional calmly agree that that's what it is. Makes me feel a little less crazy :)
My sister came down to visit with her kids and it was great. Just wish I could've had more free time or stayed awake longer! Last week was the busiest week we've had in a loooooong time. P turned 4, FOUR!!!, on Tuesday, Weds we toured P's new preschool and he didn't want to leave, then Thurs I took A to his first library storytime, then met up with family that afternoon. Friday P went to soccer practice (he behaves so well there! And loves it so much!) then the doctors in the afternoon. I had trouble not crying when they gave him his flu boosters. He kept asking me to keep them from giving him shots. No amount of reasonable talk (ie, this will keep you and hopefully your brother from getting very sick) can make it okay for a 4 year old. They just had to do it and then he was sobbing and in my arms. He was fine a minute later. I still want to cry thinking about it.
Saturday morning I hung out with my sister for a bit, with Ambrosey of course :) That night was ACH's Christmas Party and P was in heaven with Santa. Our family doesn't technically "do" Santa but hey, he believes Dora the Explorer is real too so I'm not bugged that he thinks Santa is real. I just won't push it on him as he grows (also we want him to know who the gifts are from). We got to see A's respite provider, Ginni, as well as the woman who helped bring the milk to her house. They both held him and took pictures and loved on him. All in all a very pleasant evening. And oh, the cute babies galore! I just wish more families had come :)
Sunday we just hung out here and set up for the party once P was down for a nap. My mom, Sarah and Brenna came over to help out. Before the party I took Sarah, Brenna and Paxton to the park for 20 minutes. I wish we'd had long enough to walk there since it is a nice walk. About 15 minutes with P in a stroller (been put away for a loooong time) and about 30 minutes with P walking! Only like 2 minutes in a car, though. The party was small, but nice. Just us, my parents, sister and her kids, uncle and aunt, and my grandparents. My mother provided a huge spread of food that was hardly touched, we had a store bought cake (we were going to bake one but Paxton was insistent that we get one at the store since they already have them made. And he likes saying Harris Teeter). A few presents, which is enough for him to be occupied for at least a week. Plans for a big party next year.
Sunday night we went out for Ethiopian food which I'm proud to say my "all white food" niece actually ate and enjoyed. It was too much food but it was gooooooood! Then we had to say goodbye :( Sarah and Brenna cuddled Ambrose one last time, we all hugged, P said his thanks and goodbyes and we went home. *Sigh*. Guess I'll have to get up there sometime to see them.
Yesterday was great. I mean, it was rainy, icky, cold day but it was pleasant and productive. We returned the pump, I did laundry, dishes and grocery shopping and got that all put away, made a real dinner, got Ambrose to sleep for a nap without me holding him for like the 3rd time ever and got a nice long shower and got to blowdry my hair, read some more Jack of Fables (reading relaxes me if it's fun) and just generally had a great day. And Paxton has been nice. Still impulsive, still jumpy and jittery (the "wiggles" are new to him) and still only half listening about unimportant stuff. But for the second time ever (in a row no less) he walked beside me for grocery shopping and I didn't have to put him in the cart, and he wasn't in a truly sour or angry attitude.
So... all's well in Paxton land right now. Neither of us can wait for him to start 5, FIVE!!!, day a week preschool in January. We were going to do 3 day but decided, with P.E., that he really needs consistency as much as possible. So Monday through Friday it is. 9:15-12:15. I'm... actually looking forward to it a lot. And so's he. I get alone time with A when he's just starting to get more mobile and interactive (he'll be just 3 months then) and P gets his own special big kid time with like 10 other kids and 2 teachers. They're used to working with P.E., used to kids with special needs (though I'd say P is "higher needs") and even used to international refugee children, i.e. kids that came from a traumatic experience in another country. And they come greatly recommended, and after seeing their program... I'm excited. I think it'll really help P take that next leap into growing up emotionally. I think that's where we're lagging by keeping him at home. He needed help to grow physically and we did it (he came home barely walking at age 2). And he needed help to grow mentally and I worked with him a lot, though he caught up fast. And he needed help feeling secure and help curbing violence and help just growing until he could handle the outside world. And he grew and he grew and now... he needs something else to continue his growth. So every day mommy will drop him off for 2 hours of mostly playing with some structure, with a program that's small and educated and consistent and patient, and hopefully that'll take him the next bit. I feel sad but I agree: this is what's best. And I'm happy and excited for him. He asks every day if he can go to school now! I can't wait :)
Also, a quick note on Ambrose. We're just over a week into the 6 week growth spurt and I think it's starting to subside. Still not much sleep at night for me, but he's bigger (everyone is noticing now) and stronger (oh man can he hold that head up!) and in the past 24 hours he's been sooooo smiley! Even saying "hi smiley!" earns you a huge, total face smile! I think I'm finally where I was with P: loving him more and more and more every day. I did that with P for like a month or two and it always surprised me every day how much I loved him more. It was like, after the shock wore off my heart just started growing and growing and growing and I just loved him more and more. Same with A. Every day I look at my boys and wonder "how is it possible to love them more today than yesterday? Is it even possible to love them even more tomorrow?" I just love my guys :)
Lily in a loafing barn
4 days ago