The past couple days... had their moments. Good and bad. If you're the praying type, please think of us. We're really just exhausted and dragging by over here. Need to remember how fortunate we are and not get bogged down. Hard when you're up at or by 4am every day and simply can't get to sleep early enough to make that bearable on a consistent basis.
Did have another post up. Need to not write too much. I'm honest, and I'll openly say life can be difficult, but as honest as I am I also need to recognize when I'm just being pissy and whiney and tired myself and showing one of my beloved children in a truly bad light for something he can't really control (his sleep schedule) as well as things he's learning to control (impulses like "ooo, let's play with scissors and cut up mommy's table cloth that she finally pulled out! Why only break one rule when there are just so many!").
I'm tired today, but tomorrow... is a new day. A better day. There will be cake at a birthday party. There will be cookies and a nice warm meal at my mom's. There'll be partying and Christmas tree decorating, and maybe even the yearly "Santa Claus is coming to town" which I actually look forward to.
And in the morning? There will be sleep. Yes, real, honest to God sleep. My husband hath so promised. And he went to bed at like 7 so he'd better as heck be the one getting up at 4am.
And last night... my mom held the baby while I went out with Paxton. We had the following conversation on our date:
"Hey, Paxton! I love you!"
"I don't like you mommy. And daddy doesn't like you, and baby doesn't like you, and Gambi doesn't like you, and Grumpa doesn't like you, and NO ONE likes you!"
"Oh, well, that stinks. Hey, buddy, why are you so angry? Are you upset with me?"
"I don't know. I don't know anything."
"Oh, well then... You know what? I love you, and I love daddy and gambi and grumpa. And I believe that they love me too. And I believe that you love me too. :)"
"Hehe, I love you very much mommy!"
"And I love you too Paxton!"
This is, of course, highly preferable over how previous conversations have gone:
"I don't like you mommy."
"... *sniff*... really?"
"Yeah, I don't like you at all. And I don't love you."
Yeah, hormones are nuts. And sleep deprivation doesn't help, now does it?
So last night... dinner wasn't perfect, but it was good. And I'm glad I got to go out, just P and me. My mom even watched the baby while I put P down to bed, and that was just outright pleasant. Not rushed, not angry, not frustrated, nothing. Just calmly got him prepared and dressed. We lay down on the bed together and read a book. I tucked him in, nice and tight.
And the look on his face.... how do I describe it?
There was no mask there. There was no anger, no hesitance, no hyperness, no... no mask! Nothing blocking my child and I! And it was beautiful, to really see him, see an honest smile, see him give himself over to me wholly and trust that I wasn't going to be angry or leave. And it was nice. And moments like those haven't happened that much since Ambrose came home, I realize, and I know much of the recent frustration isn't over "Paxton as the traumatized child" but over "Paxton as the jealous older brother," a role as old as time itself.
This morning P was up early. But we managed. Ambrose was fussy from 4-5 but slept until 7 by himself. I had over an hour to hang out, just P and I. We talked, ate, read books, had fun. Paxton was happy. I was happy, if a little tired. It was nice.
This evening... wasn't so nice. Maybe because I was really, really looking forward to Nik taking over when he got home but he came back sick. And Paxton was angry and negative about Christmas presents. And I was... not reacting right. And Ambrose... he slept so much after shots but then, this afternoon and evening he's been near inconsolable. He's asleep now, finally. He shrieked for longer than I've ever heard him shriek and I literally just gave up and put him in his bouncy seat and, well, ignored him. It was that or yell or hold him while being too frustrated and I've heard too many tales of shaken babies starting out with moms who were overtired and getting way too frustrated and the baby wouldn't stop screaming and, well, I love my kids and as much as they can drive me nuts, I'd rather walk away and ignore their cries or pleas than be a threat to their health. But Ambrose finally calmed down and fell asleep and is laying across my lap. I'm about to take him up to bed.
I'm praying P gets out of his "up at 4" sleep cycle soon. Or grows up enough that we can trust him when he's awake. We can trust him less now than we could pre-Ambrose. Definite regression, and I need to remind myself how normal that is.
I leave this post on a note:
Today I went to a babywearers group meeting. It was nice. I got away for a bit, just me and A, met some nice moms, tried a Mei Tai, learned some things.
And I watched a couple of 3 year olds. And they were sooooo much like P is right now, in his regressed state. Like, I'm not even kidding. What I've been seeing as problem behaviors everyone else sees as pronounced normal behaviors. Like more than normal, but wouldn't it be absolutely normal for him to be emotionally younger than his physical age? Isn't that the norm in children adopted older than infancy? It was actually kind of nice, really, to see another kid strike out against their mom and see her get frustrated with his behavior, and hear the same tones of voice and almost the same words... Yeah, sadistic as it sounds, it made me feel much better. Like... we're not abnormal. He's not abnormal.
Also, he's flipping adorable. Seriously, I have the cutest kids in the world. So there.
Lily in a loafing barn
4 weeks ago