Edward and I comprised the adjustment team in our household. Most of the time we function properly...
Ok, so I know that I said that having a second child was a piece of cake. And it is. Honestly.
For the adults anyways. Should I have clarified that?
For Edward and I, adjusting to Eleanor (who is delightful, smells delicious and is, in general, gorgeous) is like nothing. We already had 9 months of me sleeping like crap, so getting 3 to 4 hours a night in a row is a total bonus. Plus, and maybe I shouldn’t say this but…, she’s perfect and so much easier than Vince ever was as a newborn.
Get this: She cries when she’s hungry. The end.
Well shit. I think I can manage that…
Edward and I have this theory that she is going to be the ‘easy baby’. Vince was a nightmare as a newborn. I have recurrent bad dreams of singing ‘He’s got the whole world in his hands’ repeatedly and watching endless infomercials on the couch. Edward and I would compare notes every morning on what we’d seen (we took turns every evening). Vince would not got back to sleep after being fed, he was always awake and miserable.
Now Eleanor? Angel! Sleeps like that’s her goal in life. I haven’t watched an infomercial in the last 3 weeks. Hopefully I can keep this up. Or she can keep this up.
So as for the adjusting… well, like I said, Edward and I are adjusting just fine. Now Vincent? Not so sure…
There is no doubt about how much he loves his sister. Every day he makes some sort of comment about how she is ‘people’ and in his family. As opposed to the dog, who is not ‘people’ but is still included in the family member count.
He wants to rock her, feed her bottles, give her a pacifier (or binkie as it’s randomly been named here). He kisses her all the time, sometimes at rather precarious angles. He pats her on the back and head and says ‘excuse me’ when she burps. He is just great with her.
And with us, he is a complete and total basketcase. So awful. Horrible. Ick. Yuck. And ‘nasty’.
He’s started spitting in the house and has spat on the dog (for no real reason we can see, poor dog) and us randomly over the last few weeks. He has completely stopped listening to us and as a result we’ve had to implement rather strict punishment. Which means that pretty much E and I are laying down the law all day, every day and it is exhausting. I hate to list his misdeeds, so just imagine everything awful that an almost 4 year old could do and that’s whats going on. Frankly, it’s a relief when the weekend is over and he goes back to school. I think he might be a tad easier to handle there, where there are more children and very strict rules that are rigorously enforced (unlike some places…).
Like my house. In case you hadn’t picked up on that.
Listening right now is a huge issue for us. As in he doesn’t. At all. Or pretends to, but does something else entirely. So you ask him to do something and his response is to ignore you. You repeat yourself several times. No response. Or my favorite response: spitting. Or something else that’s just poor manners.
A confrontation regarding bad behavior yields not that much. The only thing that’s gets his attention is to remove privileges. And that’s where you get a response. A huge ‘I’m a liar’ response:
“I’m going to be good”.
“I’m going to be nice”.
“I’m going to listen”.
It’s usually one of these followed by “Mummy, are you happy of me???”
And this one is a hard one to answer. I hope he is addressing his behavior, but since he is in preschool, I am pretty sure that I would be reading too much into the issue if I did. I certainly don’t want to tell him he isn’t making me happy, implications and all… So E and I have compromised with ‘I am not happy with you when you spit on me, but I am happy when you have nice manners’ or something to that effect. At least we can let him know his manners are bad, but we still love him.
Such a precarious balance.
And really this balancing act is what is making things a little bumpy. I like saying ‘bumpy’, makes it sound like a plane ride that is a little out of hand and will be over soon. Optimistic overtones, ya?
I’m going to keep these tones in mind over the next few weeks and try to double my smooth breathing technique and monitor my blood pressure. And drink my tea every morning and make sure my pants are pulled up properly. All of these morning techniques should make for me having a calm and even temper and, of course, make sure that I KEEP MY TEMPER IN CHECK.
Because I certainly would never let me any 4 year old get to me.
And I still have most of my own hair.
Partial wig only, swear… xoxo a.m.