Eliana is in bed, Craig is posting stuff to sell on Craigslist, and Evangeline is asleep in my left arm. I would post a pic of her passed out but I'd have to include the huge amount of my cleavage showing, too. And this isn't that kind of website :)
My dear, sweet, gentle, never has to be disciplined Eliana has entered a new phase. This new phase has left me bewildered, exhausted, frustrated, and wanting to cancel all obligations to mommy groups I have made. I am trying to live one day at a time and not do anything drastic to my schedule (yet)......but wow. My day is filled with her constantly saying, "uppy uppy uppy mommy.....upply please?" The please only comes in to play when she is feeling nice. Sometimes I oblige and I pick her up. Often I ask if she'll join me and the baby on the couch. Sometimes I am all 'uppy'd' out and need 2 seconds without a child in my arms. In those particular times Eliana cries, whines, almost screams, follows me around while doing the aforementioned, etc. It's unpleasant to say the least. When she's eating at her highchair in the kitchen (with daddy) and I'm feeding the baby on the couch she says, "mama bum bum?!", which means, "I want you to come sit in here next to me on your bum bum." Of course I tell her no since I'm feeding baby sissy and then she cries so hard she starts choking on her food and refuses to eat at all. This. Is. My. Day. Over and over like Groundhog Day.Unfortunately this is not the only crying in my house. There is also the nearly 6 week old Evangeline. She cries usually because of gas or because she is tired and fighting it. Nevertheless, it's still crying. A lot. It's probably compounded by Eliana's constant crying and my reaction of stress, which my little baby can totally sense.......ugh. Deep breath, deep breath!
I guess I thought Eliana would skip over the nasty phase I've seen other kids take a trip through (and sometimes live in for a while). She has always been very sensitive and gentle. The only discipline she ever needed was a slightly stern voice and she'd recoil from her behavior and we'd all move on. Now she is bossy, pushy, stubborn, and sensitive in a different not-so-nice way. She's needy and of course it's usually when the baby also needs me. With kids everything is a phase. This is our consolation, right? I know that someday she'll be 16 and probably wearing too much eyeliner and a skirt I deem too short and I'll miss this phase.....but right now I miss the Eliana of 2 months ago.
I don't want to put negative attention on her bad behavior and encourage it all the more because "negative attention is still attention" (saw that in action with my step son since negative attention seemed to be all he knew). But at the same time I don't want to ignore the bad behavior and show her there's no consequences for it. She is still sensitive and needing affection from mommy and I know that, it's just getting clouded in the whining and crying that I am quickly losing empathy for. I'm comforted by so many kind posts on my facebook comment by other moms whose kids have or are behaving this same way and are Eliana's age also. At least she is not alone!
Evangeline is a big baby. She will be 6 weeks on Tuesday but seriously could pass for 3 or 4 months by size. I put on a size 3 month hoody today that Eliana used to wear and it's too short already! She is wearing size 3-6mo BabyGap pants today. Why am I telling you this? Not to brag about my amazing milk (hehe), but to say that because she is so big I forget that she is still a newbie. She's very alert, smiles and 'coos' all the time, can hold her head up and look around, and then put her size into that and I forget how new she is. That makes me forget to give us all some grace through this hard phase. It's crazy to think that 6 weeks ago she was still in my belly! Eliana was my baby and I had 12 hours at night without a child needing me. So much has changed so quickly and I feel like we've had Evie for so long that I have to keep reminding myself that I have a newborn. The busy-ness of life picks up so quickly that it's easy for every day of the week to get filled up with stuff and places to be and I get overwhelmed. I should be saying no to obligations, wearing sweats, and watching Angelina Ballerina all day with Eliana, and telling people if they want to see me they're gonna have to come here :)
Being a mom is ........everything you never think of and don't even think to think of. Before having kids I had no clue that:
You must feed and calm the newborn and get the 2 year old busy before you go pee (unless you plan to hold the newborn and have the 2 year old standing there watching).
You must feed and calm the newborn and get the 2 year old busy before you can take a shower/eat something other than whatever your 2 year old is eating/ fold laundry/ respond to emails/ call a friend/ do ANYTHING etc.
You will wait anxiously to hear the unlocking door that signals hubby is home from work and you have help....and can now go number 2 in the bathroom with the door closed!
Kids cry in pairs. If one is crying, the other one probably will, too.
You will get pooped on and barfed on pretty much every day, this is why most mothers with newborns look sloppy. Who wants to get their Alfani blouse covered in watery baby poo? And why bother with a fancy hairdo when it will get spit up in it? (And who are you kidding if you think you have time to do a fancy hair do!)
And on and on and on this list goes.
A few days ago a friend of mine who is not married and does not have children, came by for a visit. Of course Evangeline was having a heck of a day and cried almost the whole 3 hours! As I was sitting on the couch chatting I felt something warm down my front and on my legs. Yes, she pooped ALL over me and the couch. Awesome. Eliana was needy as is her new usual but I bribed her with Dora and Angelina Ballerina. Once I got Elly down for a nap and got the baby in the swing I made Craig's lunch and coffee for the next day, got dinner in the crock pot and switched over the laundry. My friend's comment was, "Wow, you seriously never have a break or time for yourself. You either have the kids or have to do things around the house. Wow." It was rather validating. See, I'm not crazy, this is a hard job! :)
This is a long blog, which ironically those of you with little ones may not have time to read! haha.
I'm grateful for friends who empathize and allow me the grace I forget to give myself. A few more months and life will be a lot easier for us (I pray!) and hopefully I'll remember to be the one giving out the grace to a friend who needs it.
And as followup to other blogs:
Evangeline is nursing great but I still have a jet powered stream of milk and she gags and chokes. Maybe why she's so big? :)
I am still down 35lbs from having Evangeline. It's like my body remembers my starting weight and stays right about at it. I'm also thinking the M&M's, Swiss Rolls, and potato chips aren't helping me lose any more weight. Darn you stress eating!