Sunday, January 25, 2009

Deep Blue Funk

I am in a deep blue funk this weekend. I'm not sure why. I think I have attacks of depression the way some people have panic attacks. They seem to come out of nowhere at the least unexpected times. That's not entirely true. I'm suffering from cabin fever and sleep deprivation. And my best friend is like, 5000 miles away.

Chris was sick all week. Fevers up to 103 for 5 days. He wasn't hard to take care of. It's just that he couldn't be at school so I had to either be with him or arrange childcare every day for 5 days. No breaks. When I did leave him with Nanna or Grandma, it was to work or attend to some other responsibility. Nights were harder. I woke up all night long to give him sips of water and offer him Motrin or Tylenol. I didn't have to check his temperature because it was like sleeping next to a soft, silky furnace. That was when I wasn't getting up to put Maya back to bed. She doesn't wake up and call me anymore. Now she just comes upstairs and climbs in our bed. Poor little guy is feeling better now. That means he's back to his oppositional defiant self.

Riley is suffering from Bradley withdrawal. Sometimes after coming home from Bradley's house, he is less tolerant of is little brother and sister than normal. Riley is not an ideal older brother. Sometimes I wish he had been the baby of the family. I think he still wishes he were an only child.

I have a question for parents who have more than one child: How do you engender love, cooperation and harmony between siblings? Or at the very least, tolerance? Slacker Mom does it by not having two of everything so they have to learn to share and take turns. I am not an overly controlling parent. I give them lots of room to fight and work things out. I figure if I don't let them fight, then I am not allowing them opportunities to bond either. I draw the line at physical violence, but I do not rush in at the first sign of a squabble.

Elizabeth posted a blog about how seven children was easier than two or three. She describes the older kids making dinner while the middles entertain the littles. I realize that she spent years training the older kids in the domestic arts, but how do you get the middles to play with the littles? When I was freaking out about having a third child, my mother-in-law said more kids is easier because the little ones do what they are supposed to do because the bigger ones do it. Well, what if I can't get the bigger ones to do what they are supposed to do?

I used to think that two years was a terrible time span between kids because you are having a baby when your child is in their terrible twos or fearsome fours. One year apart seemed like a nightmare because you essentially have two babies. (The trade off is that they get out of diapers at almost the same time and then you can have them on the same hockey team so you don't have to drive to the rink 4 nights per week or split up on the weekends if they have games in different cities.) So I had the boys 3 years apart and that was not any easier. Then I noticed that when people had their kids 12 to 18 months apart, the toddler did not seem to mind because they didn't realize that they were no longer the center of the universe. My boss' kids are four years apart and opposite sex. Yet I never saw a brother and sister more loving and such good friends than those two. It seems to me that some kids just naturally like younger children and do not need much encouragement to play with them or at least just be nice to them. If you don't have one of these little natural helpers, can you do anything about it?

Tea party with Miss Kitty.

Ingenious Matt eating chips with chopsticks so he doesn't get greasy fingerprints on his computer keyboard.

Maya puts her elbow pads and knee pads on while Riley and friend Danny get geared up for hockey.

Cinderfella tending the hearth. At what point do I worry about pyromania? At least he's not torturing small animals, so he can't be a sociopath, right?

1 comment:

Kelshel said...

Mine is more of a "cobalt blue" funk. I wrote to you an email about it. I can't read what I just wrote because there is a big black line in the middle of this.