Breathe. Phew. Here on week four I think we’ve hit our stride. I feel alive and awake to the moment. Finally.
It started out extra stormy. My daughter woke up covered in hives in the night and no one slept well for a couple of nights. By Tuesday morning I was groggy and grumpy. When she started to whine and cry AGAIN I struggled to feel sympathy. Baby bro started crying, too. The chorus of complaints. I just wanted to quit!
But then, I saw she had used the potty, number two, but had told me she didn’t need help because it was only pee. The evidence in her undies told me otherwise. Suddenly I felt a rush of emotion. My baby. She didn’t want to ask me for help. She needs her mama.
I melted. I held her in my arms and babied her. Put on her socks (no bumps, mama) slowly and lovingly, caressing her feet. Fed her breakfast sitting in my lap. Baby bro complained but I nursed him and he gave me some more time with big sis P.
I felt a tide turning. It’s like the catharsis after a good cry or that tropical calm in the eye of a hurricane passing. Something in the air that says, I am intact. I am surviving this. I am taking a breath and ready for more.
That day, I made good choices. I didn’t rush her but kept her on track. Kept the day simple. At our Spanish play group a few families were away so the size was right, less overstimulating. On our walk home we stopped at a non-playground park with another family and the four friends, ages one, almost-two, three and four, blew on dandelions, rolled in the grass, hid under trees, jumped and danced and laughed. Sigh. The air shifted and felt cool but soft and mild. Not the biting cold of the rushing fog.
Then on Wednesday baby bro slept for two hours straight (not common) so P and I got to really find our bit of peace. We each worked alone first. She fed all her babies and tucked them in to bed while I cleaned up breakfast, made lunch, and prepped dinner (go mom go!). Then we had a tea party on the kitchen floor with hot milky drinks. We shared a delicious cookie. She sat in my lap.
On Thursday hiking day P got one-on-one time with a favorite friend who brings out the best in her. They laughed and tumbled and shrieked. So happy.
For the record, although whining is still up, major tantrums are definitely down. And I think I’m responding to them better, too. I’m reading this book,The Whole-Brain Child, and it’s helping, too.
I like to sit on the kitchen floor on the cushy mat (for my hardworking feet) and find a moment of peace in the middle of everything. This week I finally felt it. Everyone was taken care of — sleeping or playing, thriving and feeling loved. I can enjoy the feeling that I am taking care them, of us. I’m getting real things done, feeling accomplished and satisfied. Not perfect (I can see around me a ton of small tasks wanting attention) but it is enough. The big things are attended to. The rhythm is carrying us along. We can hold each other here in the eye of the storm and feel safe.