Wednesday, July 10, 2013

I hope I'm not screwing this up

He screamed at me with very little interruption for five hours this morning.

That's not hyperbole.  I'm not trying to win you over with my sad story of being alone with a 10 month old.  He literally screamed at me for very nearly five hours.

Largely to tell me that he's protesting my veto of the 4 a.m. feeding.  After nearly eleven months of this waking up through the night, I'm all nope, you're done, it's time and Logan's all good luck with that mom, 'cause I'm not giving up without a fight.  And then he was completely exhausted for his 8 a.m. nap, which of course translated into no nap and more screaming.  I'm really, really working hard to phase out the screaming.  So far, it's Logan ten, Mom zip. 

It usually doesn't phase Leah, but in the car she held her hands over her ears and kicked my seat.  "Mommy, Logan's screaming so I have to kick your chair."  I translated that into, I'm feeling really frustrated about all the screaming.  I'd like it to stop and I can't do anything about it.  Me too, kid.

Fortunately she had a super good day to ballance out her brother's melting.  Which was lucky, because some days they tag team me.  And let me tell you: that girl can really push my buttons. 

The trouble is that her heart is so huge and her spirit is so loving, it is a daily challenge to keep her in line without breaking her.  She so desperately wants to do the right thing, and then of course she's three and human, which sends things into a bit of a tailspin sometimes. 

Jammies, lotion, milk and one story later, I watched his little eyes flutter, heavy with sleep.  He cups my chin with his little fingers and grins at me through the tired and I'm the one whose melting.  I hate that he has to scream it out.  I hate that he's not comforted to sleep the way his big sister was.  I hate that I make things worse by going in to check on him instead of better.  I hate that I can't go on letting him nurse to his little heart's content.  But I'd like to think all of those things are helping him grow. 

He goes down without so much as a peep

With a few minutes to ourselves, I watch my big girl tenderly swaddle her baby doll, rocking her to sleep.  "This is the most precious thing God ever gave me" says the most precious thing that God ever gave me.  My heart might explode.

It is a daily challenge - moment by moment - trying to make choices for these two that make me the mother each of them needs to grow into his and her best self.  Trying not to sacrifice everyone's longterm benefit for convenience in the short term.  To work within the framework of who they are and what they need without imposing who I am and what frustrates me. 

Everybody feels this way, right?

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