Friday, August 12, 2011
The Boys, Parenting, and Life this Week
The last week I have been off work and so I have been home with the boys. Davis has been in theatre camp all week and I spend most of the day with Sam. It has been a quiet week. After the drama and emotional rollercoaster of Monday, I sort of nestled into solitude. I'm feeling insecure and reticent.
And it's not just that. It's hot. So hot. And dry. The ground is cracking and brown and I can't even force the kids outside at 7:30 in the morning for longer than half an hour because they come in drenched in sweat and complaining. And my mom and dad are gone for vacation and I miss them! And my friends are busy or on vacation. And money is a bit tight. So for all these reasons, my days this week have revolved around staying home with Sam and dropping off and picking up Davis from camp.
Michael's job so far is good. He likes it and we are finding our new rhythm. But I miss him so much. We have started doing our runs at six in the morning in the dark. I make his breakfast and the kids and then I pack his lunch and kiss him and he drives off by 7:30. I take Davis to camp and spend my days cleaning and preparing vegan meals and doing a few errands and spending time with Sam.
I have enjoyed these times with Sam. He is so easy and fun. He plays quietly by himself for hours, only asking for me when he gets hungry. He is easy going and helpful. He slips his little hand in mine happily when we go walking. He cooks with me. It is truly a joy to spend my hours with him. And it's amazingly different than when he's with his brother.
When Davis and Sam play these days it is non-stop aggressive behavior. Most of the time it is play. They wrestle, sword fight, crash into each other on big wheels, arm wrestle, tickle, light saber fight etc. They don't stop touching each other! But of course most of these things end in somebody getting hurt. And then there is blame. And then I have to put somebody in time out. And then there are tears because they don't want to be separated for the amount of time that time out takes. Sam is usually the instigator. Davis will be playing quietly with his cars and Sam will just take a flying leap onto his back and start wrestling. Sam is also biting and punching. So far, he is only biting and punching Davis, but still. And mostly they love each other and this kind of play. Sam pines for Davis all day long while he in camp.
Davis says he doesn't like Sam to hit him all the time, but when I actually break it up, he is usually laughing and tells me that he's having fun.
Is all this normal? Will sending them back to school solve my problems? Should I break up the fighting or let them wrestle it out?
Davis seems to like theatre camp. He is playing a dwarf in the Snow White play they are doing. His teacher says she sees real talent in him. He knows all his lines and is looking forward to performing in the show next Friday. But yesterday he came home a bit angry and quiet. It turns out he is having a bit of a perfectionist problem. If he can't do it perfectly he gets angry and wants to quit. Or else he tries to convince everyone else to do it his way and when that doesn't work, he gets angry and wants to quit. I've been working on convincing him that Walters try even when it seems to hard, because by trying they will get better. I feel for him on this. His dad is a real perfectionist and says it made his childhood really hard. I'm open to suggestions on this.
Basically the kids seem to be on a rotation with six months of being great and six months of being hard. The good news is that they are on opposite schedules. Davis has been great for the last six months, but is sliding into difficult and Sam has been hard, but is now sliding into easy. Minus the punching and biting of course.
Either way I just adore them. I'm working so hard on being a good mother to them. Sometimes I'm impatient and I get yell-y at them. But most of the time we have a pretty good time. I really try to listen to what Davis has to say and empathize and help him work through his feelings. But I walk a tight rope of being sympathetic enough and still helping him accept his faults and try to grow through them. I've been researching ways to help him be a team player and not be too sensitive. I've enrolled him in gymnastics again this year and he'll be a cub scout this year as well. I've got a copy of "how to talk so your children will listen and listen so your children will talk" in my purse.
I kiss their little faces and hands as often as they let me (they wipe them off immediately) and I stroke their foreheads when they sleep. I love them more than I could ever express.