A Day in the Life Part Two

28 Mar

Rain jumps in between Jason and I at 7:30 in the morning.

Time to get up.

Usually Jason gets up with him and I steal another half hour of sleep.

I stumble up the stairs sometime after 8am and throw myself on the couch where RJ is contentedly watching cartoons and finishing his morning bottle. Yep, he still has that bottle that I was trying to get rid of a year ago. Jason gets in the shower, then gets ready for work.

RJ and I relax on the couch until he’s had his fill of cartoons. I usually hop into the shower while RJ watches tv or when he’s moved on to his toys. Then we play and have breakfast or I just putter around while RJ flits from his Little People to his trucks to his crayons. It’s peaceful.

Serene.

Calm.

During these morning moments, I’m overjoyed and thankful. I fool myself into thinking motherhood is easy. I make plans for all the fun things we’ll do and I pat myself on the back for being cool and collected. I have it all together. Life is good.

Between 10 and 10:30am, I hear my second-born squawking through the baby monitor and my heart sinks. Suddenly I’m dreading the day and counting down the minutes until Jason comes home.

When I bring JP downstairs, RJ starts hoarding his toys, pulling them close in a protective embrace: “I don’t want him to touch my toys.”

My youngest son is down to one nap a day and my oldest son is in the process of giving up naps altogether (he naps about three days a week). This means that the times when both children are awake together are multiple.

When JP was first born, he was a big old cry baby with tummy troubles. When the tummy troubles were solved, my wee one turned into the happiest baby in the world (well, maybe not the whole world, but he was pretty happy). He never cried unless it was bedtime or unless he was hungry. He also never moved. Because he couldn’t move! RJ loved him!

Then he started moving around. Slowly at first, but eventually my happy immobile little bundle turned into a happy little crawling bundle of mobility. The more he moved, the more RJ freaked out.

What I now have is a toddling little one-year-old who wants explore the world (and eat it too apparently), and an annoyed 3.5 year old who is horrified that his perfect world is being disrupted.

Each day is a battle between my desire to avoid meltdowns and my desire to force togetherness. I use the baby gate to sequester my children in two different rooms. I dance between the two rooms hoping to placate each child and their demands. I don’t want tears so I often keep the baby away from RJ and his toys. But when I do this I feel like I’m letting my bossy little preschooler win. I can’t always be “beat” by the three year old.

So sometimes I refuse to “take the baby away!” I force togetherness and endure the ensuing mess.

RJ cannot keep his feet from kicking out at his brother; RJ cannot keep his hands from pushing. RJ is absolutely incapable of listening to me when I tell him to STOP touching his brother. It is one of the most irritating things in the entire world.

The object of the game is to avoid screaming at a three year old. My reward is nap time.

When JP leaves the scene for slumberland, RJ is immediately all sugar and spice again.

My brain implodes.

When JP couldn’t move and slept more, life was easier. I wouldn’t say it was totally easy, but you know, it was manageable. I had a working routine and I just knew I had the cutest and most adorably well behaved babies ever! Everything is ridiculously hard again. Just like it was at the beginning. But it got better and it will again.

I know it will.

But for now, I lay on the couch utterly exhausted, praying and waiting for my husband or mother to relieve me of one (or both) of these feral beasts whom I love so very much.

2 Responses to “A Day in the Life Part Two”

  1. eatingdirt83 March 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    Did they freak out when she touched their toys? When did it get better? When she wasn’t as destructive or when she could do what they said. I know my situation isn’t unique, but it does help to hear encouragement from a mom who’s experienced something similar.

  2. jenvdavis March 29, 2012 at 4:09 pm #

    Does it help slightly to know you aren’t the only one with feral beasts for children? 🙂 My children were the same way; the baby was cute until she could crawl near their toys. RJ will get over it, and, hopefully, they’ll be the best of friends, getting into trouble together one day!

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