Thursday, April 2, 2009

The times, they are a-changing

Each of my children are in some sort of transition period which means a lot of adjustments and tweeking of our routines and relationships and one very tired mama.
Lucy is transitioning from newborn/infant to crawling monkey infant. She is not crawling yet but it certainly more mobile and interactive with the world. One example of an adjustment is during Ace's playgroup at the library. For the past 6 months she's been coming with me every Wednesday and while I sit with my friends at the table, she happily sits on my lap or snoozes in her sling. The past few weeks she hasn't been so thrilled to just sit. The library is pretty busy so there isn't a safe place to set her down since she would be likely to roll under some display or under the feet of a toddler. Instead I try and entertain her with toys or nurse her. The toys work for about half an instant and, if she will sit still long enough to nurse, that usually ends abruptly when she gets distracted and flings the blanket off, exposing my boob to the entire library. I'm not sure what we'll do but for the time being, I just lug her big carseat in and let sit in that with a toy and watch the other kids. Not ideal for either of us but better than indecently exposing myself or her getting trampled on.
I was hoping that by this point we may also be making the transition from nursing every 3-4 hours, day and night to sleeping through the night but Lucy apparently missed the memo.
Julia is in the transitional twos. Not terrible, but new. She is more independent, certainly but she is also more demanding of her fair share of everything. If her big brother or sister gets to do it, so does she. And if her baby sister is getting attention, she wants it too. It must be exhausting for her to keep up with both a 7 year old, a 4 year old, and a 6 month old but she does it.
Ace, now 4, is becoming so aware of life outside of our family. School and friendships are very important to him and he gets bored easily. 3 days of school next year is going to be a necessity and I'm already worried about keeping him entertained this summer. He is also becoming more self aware, which alternately makes me proud and breaks my heart. He cares very much about what his peers think of him, he makes such an effort to be a good friend and mind his behavior around peers so they enjoy being around him. On the heartbreaking side, he now also recognizes rejection, which I think before went unnoticed. And he is aware of his speech delay, which doesn't seem to affect him much, but makes me so glad that speech therapy and practice are working and he is making such great progress.
Hayley is in a similar stage to Julia, amplified a bit because she is so much moodier than a 2 year old. I think once we get adjusted, 7 is going to be an awesome year but right now we are both having a little trouble dealing with the emotional ups and downs of being a "Big Kid". She gets in these funks at least once a day where she does a lot of eye rolling and yelling which leads to me wanting to tear my hair out. I hear myself saying "You are too old to behave that way!" a lot which must be a crappy thing to hear. How would she know that? All of a sudden behaviors that were okay are no longer okay and I get why that would put her in a sour mood once in a while. But the eye-rolling? Yeah, that's got to stop.
So, yes, I'm tired. And many nights after they are all in bed I find myself wishing that I had shown much more patience. And the next day they wake up and throw me a new curveball (like Julia's new habit of only eating the top layer of any food we serve-only sauce off pasta, only the cheese of the pizza, only the peanut butter off the sandwich) and I forget about patience and just do my best to make it through the day. But I'm still lucky for the days, the transitions, and the routines.
Now I'm off to watch Bolt with the kids, because I promised them a rainy day movie afternoon if they cooperated on errands all morning.

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