Thursday, April 23, 2009

First week at home

It's been a rough week and the first week in which I'm not alternately looking forward to and dreading going to work. Usually by Fridays, I was ready for a little alone time even I was just going to work. But my return from maternity leave this time was short lived as I had been laid off. The atmosphere there was toxic and oppressive and leaving my children was no longer a break. In fact, Mondays, my first day off, were a period of readjustment for the kids and I. My last day of work was Sunday and this week was no different. I'm eager to see how the kids are next Monday.

I'm getting a lot of practice dealing with the hurricane of emotions that has befallen my 2-year-old lately. We've left the park early twice and a store once this week because of his behavior and the necessity of letting him know that we mean business. Some weeks he's compliant, other weeks, he struggles for control. I do try to be flexible with him, make sure my expectations are reasonable for each situation and take my own mood into account before responding. It is harder to remain calm and fair when I'm exhausted, though. The emotional nature of toddlers is really quite stunning. I can't imagine going from happy to out of control frustration and back again all within five minutes. Watching these mini-Chernobyls 20 times a day makes me tired.

This week, we also started talking about potty training. Monday morning I put him in training pants and told him to tell me when he had to go potty. I took him to the potty once. We read a book, he didn't go and was ready to get down within 10 minutes. Later, as I sat down to nurse Fiona, he told me he was peeing. I tried to get him to bathroom one more time and he freaked out, screaming and saying "Door open," which means he wants the door closed. Obviously, potty training is out of the question for a while. He's way too contrary and I can't give him the amount of attention he needs just yet.

Other Danny developments:
  • Danny has been saying "Thank you, mommy" completely on his own. It just melts my heart.
  • If he wants something, he will tell me the opposite, like "TV off" to indicate that the TV is off, but he wants it on. Understanding this makes it a lot easier to deal with him. Although, the other day, he told me "Mine. Don't touch it mommy" and then handed me his train. I'm still trying to figure that one out.
  • He's learned how to open doors. Today at nap time, he took a while to settle down, but was quiet enough that I could fall asleep, too. I woke up at 3:30 to muffled crying. He had gotten into the bathroom, closed the door, but couldn't open the door from the inside.
  • At bedtime, he's not falling asleep until around 10. Tonight, he was playing his harmonica. One night, he started throwing toys over the gate at the top of the stairs. He's trying to get one of us to come up there. We don't react.
As for Miss Fiona, she hit a growth spurt Wednesday into today. She has nursed almost nonstop for the past 24 hours. She doesn't want me to put her down. She follows me with her eyes and stares at me when I'm not holding her. It's downright creepy. Right now, she's sleeping. And now, I'm going to bed, too.

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