This note said he had hit someone on the playground, then had a hard time staying still in time out. And it requested that we make an appointment to talk to his teacher, Miss E, because this has been becoming more frequent. I made an appointment for this morning at 8am. Tai is not yet 4 and we're already going to the principal's office. SIgh.
Needless to say, I was nervous about it and I think Tom was too. I was starting to worry that they were going to say that Tai is clearly not ready for Montessori and that he can't handle it and we'd need to find another preschool. Finding a preschool sucks. Finding one after getting kicked out of one? I don't even want to think about it.
Tai headed right in to play while we got called into the classroom with Miss A, the director of the school. Miss E met us there a few minutes later. Actually, Miss A did most of the talking. She was really reassuring, and told us right away that Tai is completely normal in his behavior, that this is the age for some serious testing. But she wanted to make sure we nipped this in the bud, because it seemed to be getting to be a habit. Apparently, though they send notes home for things that involve other kids, when it's something more minor - like interrupting circle time, or work time, we don't find out about that. And he's been doing a bit of that, too.
Miss A suggested that time-outs and talking don't work so well at this age. She suggested a tool she called 'Consequences for Actions'. Basically, we are making too big of a deal about the things Tai does wrong. We spend a lot of energy explaining what he did and why it was wrong, and blah blah. He just likes that he gets our attention. Instead, on days where we get a note, when he asks for something that evening (dessert, TV time, a game, whatever) we say, "No, I don't feel like X tonight. You made some bad choices at school today and I am disappointed." Leave it simple and keep an even tone. Don't argue, don't engage. Just remove our energy from him. Then, later at bedtime - read stories as usual, give lots and lots of hugs and cuddles. Let him know we love him. Just remind him that he can make better choices and then we can have more fun together again. The next day - don't bring it up again. When dropping him off, we can just say, "I know you'll make good choices at school today. Have fun!"
On good days, tell him how proud we are that he made good choices - though don't go too over the top with praise. Once in a while, unexpectedly, we can give him a little extra good thing - a trip to a special place, an ice cream, etc.
I think this will help. Miss A swears that it still works on her kids, even at 19 and 24. She says there's always something to take away (opportunities to make extra money, TV, car privileges, etc) and when the kids think about it - the long term gain is better than the short term misbehavior.
There was a minute or two where I felt like this could be a little... withholding of my love. The more misbehaving he does, the cooler we should be with him. (Until bedtime.) I'm not so good with this. I'm going to give it a try, withholding stuff more than my affection.
I should probably quit saying that I'm tired. I suppose it should go without saying that even though it's only 9:15, I have been ready for bed for at least half an hour. Man. I don't remember being this fried when I was pregnant with Tai. I've had a couple more small bouts of nausea, but they were transitory and not that bad. I was feeling a little nervous about not feeling sick (I *know*! When did anyone ever think I would say that? I'm shocked too.) but I have been reading this book called "Hands Off My Belly" about pregnancy and birth myths and in the 'early pregnancy' section the authors talked about how not everyone is sick in the beginning. Nausea and vomiting can correlate with a pregnancy that sticks, but it is not completely hormonally caused. Like - I was assuming if I wasn't sick, then my hormones must not be very high, so I would be more likely to miscarry. This is not necessarily true. Not to mention, it's just the beginning of my sixth week, and plenty of people don't start getting morning sick until around now. It could still be coming!
Still pregnant. I wonder how many days I will say this before I stop. Maybe until I go into labor. Or maybe just until I finish the first trimester. Much like when I was pregnant with Tai, every time I go to the bathroom I check everything out to make sure there's no blood. At least this time I'm never hoping that there is.
Though for the first time today I had a moment of 'holy shit, what the fuck have I done?' I was thinking about how things are going to change for Tai and I felt unaccountably guilty. And a little nostalgic. I'm not going to be able to hold him in my arms again like I used to when he was a baby. Sure, I can still hold him and cuddle him, but not the same way. Even though he's been wanting a sibling (a sister, specifically), he doesn't know exactly what this will mean. (Of course, I guess I don't know either.)
What if I love Tai more than the new baby? What if I love the new baby more than Tai? What if Tai doesn't get any attention from me anymore? I will miss him when I'm busy with a new baby! I know, it's all normal stuff. It's just what's on my mind.
I've also been considering what I want to do for this birth (assuming all goes well). On one hand, I would like to try for a home birth again. On the other hand, Tom may not be willing to try that at all. I'm also considering going to UCSF - I've heard good things about one of the midwives there (she helped a friend deliver her baby, and my friend had a really good experience with her). Lisa points out that I don't have to decide yet (obviously) and gave me a good suggestion - call the midwife that I'm interested in having for my birth and talk to her... and I can see when I should decide by, to make sure her schedule doesn't fill up! I can also go to UCSF and see what I think about it there, too.
I'm getting ahead of myself, too. First I need to have the baby decide to stick around. So far so good... but I'm nervous, of course. I know that I can't control it (thank you for the reminder, Lisa! Also, I typed that as 'can control' first. Ha!) but it's so hard to let go. So hard to have faith. Fits right in with what I'm working on at AA, too. I'm on the Third Step, and one of the big things is to turn my will and my life over to the care of God (as I understand God). I know I don't have control, but it's hard to get that through my heart. God, grant me the serenity.
After dinner, Tai was checking everything out, and he saw this church. Mom went over and helped him light it. It was exactly like when I was a kid. I'd finish Christmas dinner early at my Grandma's house and head into the family room. This church and set of little people would be waiting. I'd play with Santa and Mrs. Claus. I'd make the angels fly. But mostly I'd just enjoy the warm light from the church.
Even though Grandma has been gone for two Christmases now (this will be the third), I missed her in an especially visceral way. Realizing that this set was *her* set hit me right in the gut.
I can't go back to that time, being a kid, experiencing the magic of Christmas with my grandparents (and for a time, great-grandparents). I can try to recreate it for Tai, but it won't be the same. The baton has been passed. I am now Mom. Mom is now Grandma. It's strange, but there is still magic.
( Tai sickness whine )
I was talking with twirlgrrl online tonight, and we got on the topic of faults. I said that I wish I could pick mine. Or, more accurately, trade in a fault for one I'd prefer. The fault? My overactive anxiety. I almost wish I would have *any* other fault, but then decided that I could end up as 'too selfish to be a good mom'. It's so fucking hard to be there for Tai when I am falling to pieces. I just sat with him on the couch and while he watched Zoboomafoo, I told myself over and over that *I* am the adult, and I need to suck it up and be calm. This is a moment of my life, it is not the rest of my days. Tai will feel better, I will calm down. Even if I get sick, it will pass.
I also reminded myself of something I realized in therapy last week. I was talking with Wendy about having another kid, and how one of the main reasons I worried about having kids was because I would be more anxious about stomach flu. What suddenly realized was that I will be anxious anyway - I could either be anxious with kids, or without. With kids I get all of the amazing joy, without - I would miss that experience.
How could I miss this? How could I let the phobia keep me from such love? Even when Tai is sick, he is so sweet. He says he loves me, and cuddles, and hugs me. He sings "Happy Birthday" to me, because my birthday is coming soon. (In February, heh.) He teases me and when he smiles, it's impossible not to feel better myself.
I still feel edgy and uncomfortable, but I am going to keep it together. I might not be able to trade away this anxiety, but I do not have to let it run my life. Or Tai's life. I will *not* let it hurt him.
A couple of tiny funny moments:
When I asked him about school last week, he said, "The teacher didn't tell anybody to learn anything."
On Sunday Tom and Tai were working on a house project upstairs - rebuilding a closet upstairs. From the livingroom, where I am writing, I hear:
Tom: "I'm going to show you how to use something. It's called a nail gun."
Tai: "What's a nail gun?"
My thoughts Nail gun + toddler = disaster. Why show him how to use a nail gun? At least Tom told him that he can only use it with Daddy or Mommy.
So it's the beginning of the month and things are starting off with a bang. I got up with just enough time to get breakfast, shower and head out to therapy. Tom took Tai to 'school' so I spent extra time lazing in bed and reading. (I know, so decadent!) Of course, I get downstairs and realize one of the dogs has pooped all over the living room floor. There went my breakfast time. I cleaned up, showered (because cleaning up that much poop means anyone would want a shower), and checked my email for any important news.
I deleted some random newsletters, then suddenly I saw I'd gotten an email from a Montessori preschool. We were on the waiting list, and they just had a spot open up for Tai. I am so torn, but after much processing with Wendy, I think I know what we should do.
Finding a preschool with slots open in San Francisco is not easy - especially when one starts late, as I did. ("Late" creeps up!) We toured three schools - two home-based, one center. The Montessori school was the center. Tai liked two of three - one home based and the Montessori. The other home based one was a strange experience. It was in the basement - and it felt crowded with about 8 kids. There were no windows in the main room, everything felt dingy and the kids were bouncing off the walls (even though it was circle/story time). Tai went to play with a train table while I talked to the main teacher, but when I came back he grabbed on to my legs and hid his face for a long time. This is not like him, at all. I didn't like the feel, or the way he acted so that school was out. The Montessori school is expensive, big, and comparatively highly structured. It's also 5 days a week. But I've heard great things about it, they do a lot of stuff with the kids, and when we visited Tai really enjoyed himself and seemed to fit right in. I liked that they had mixed age classes, too. Tai loves hanging out with the big kids. When we did our long visit, we met a couple of parents, one of whom we talked to for quite a while. She had two kids there (one transitioned to kindergarten) and it has been a great fit for both of them, even though they have very different personalities. I would have sent Tai there right away, but they had a long waiting list. I signed him onto the list, and we went to the third place.
We ended up going there - Magic Palette. It's home based, but warm, bright, clean. Jan is a wonderful teacher, with great experience. She's been helpful during *my* transition, which was harder than Tai's. She's good with energetic kids, as well as kids who are having a harder transition. She has two dogs, two birds, a mouse, a fish and some frogs. The kids get to play outside in her yard everyday that it's nice weather. They do art, they do water play, they make play dough, they make bracelets and paper-airplanes. But - there are only 6 kids at a time. It is small. They don't leave her house for field trips or to go to the playground. Tai loves it ... but I have started to worry that he'll get bored in about six months.
Unlike me, Tai thrives on new experiences. He dives in with both feet, barely looking to see if I come along. When we went to the Rec Center's open house this week, he went off with two new 'teachers' he'd never met before, to play kickball. He kicked at his turn, ran the bases, and didn't even check to see if I was watching right away. I love that independence in him. I think he's getting bored being with me and doing the same old thing - playground, neighborhood walks, etc. He wants to play with other kids. When he's bored is when he starts tantrums and getting into trouble - throwing stuff, etc.
He loves going to 'school'. He had no issues separating. Though he had a day of testing, he's done wonderfully since then. He's made a friend, and he is always excited to go to school. But I have been thinking that maybe it won't hold his interest. That he'll get bored and start trouble because he'll want to be doing new things and they'll still be doing the same things.
I worry, though, that throwing him into a bigger place won't be good for him. Because when I was a kid, the smaller would have been perfect for me.
But I know he's smart, strong, independent and curious. I don't want to limit him because I imagine that I would want something when I was his age, so he will want that too.
I think this change would be good for him. I want him to keep loving school, as long as possible. Tom and I are going to discuss it this weekend. We have to let them know by Monday because if Tai doesn't take the spot, someone else on the waiting list will.
( Weaning... )
In other news - I have to remember to upload my novel-in-progress to google docs. I keep leaving the most recent edition on some computer or keycard that I don't have with me. This afternoon I managed to find the keycard, bring my laptop and get to the library with two hours of Toddler Time to myself. I open my laptop - no file. I check the keycard - no file. I am assuming that my most recent version is on the desktop or the other keycard. If not? Freakout time. I'm not going there yet.
So - how to sum up me in a few words? First of all, I guess I should say that I'm not good at using only a few words. I'm a writer and I am not good at writing short stories. I tend to novel-length pieces, unless I'm writing fanfic, where I can get out a shorter piece. I'm not sure why that is.
I am a thirty-something, first time mom of a boy, Tai. I'm married to Tom, who I have been together with since we started dating in my junior year of high school. He's a computer-geek, which I find both sexy and frustrating in equal measures. I often feel like we aren't speaking the same language and we need to work on our communication. However, he is a great dad, and he and Tai have a good relationship. That means all the world to me, since my Dad and I have a fraught, barely-hanging-in-there sort of relationship. Fortunately, my Mom and I have a fabulous relationship. Sometimes we tend to be almost too close, but I'd rather that than the reverse. I have a younger brother, Q, who lives down in Palm Desert. He's a pain in the ass sometimes, but I know that no matter what he has my back - and I have his. We're family, and that means a lot to both of us.
I live in San Francisco, and have been here for 11 years now. Before that I was in Michigan and Maryland. I don't think I'll ever leave this city. I am completely spoiled by the weather, the people, the liberal leaning politics. All of which fit my hippie sensibilities. I've made some fabulous friends here and have become part of a neighborhood mother's group. Both friends and my group have kept me feeling relatively sane and as I make my way as a mother, wife, and person. I am blessed by them.
I am a stay at home mom right now - I was training as a Marriage and Family Therapist before that, concentrating in grief therapy. I wasn't very good at self-care and burned out before I even got licensed. I left the field abruptly after a bout of anxiety that just about kicked my ass. It wasn't pretty. I'm considering what I want to do with my life, but haven't decided yet. I'm thinking about opening a co-op preschool, becoming a doula and possibly a midwife, and just working my ass off to finally finish my novel and become a Real Writer.
I'm bisexual, polyamorous (though monogamous by default at the moment), fat, feminist, vegetarian, pro-choice, and spiritually seeking. All of these are things I feel strongly about, though I am in no way militant and am more than happy to discuss many view points about all of this stuff. The longer I'm a parent, the more I believe that we're all just trying the best we can to do the right thing and muddling together though this messy world.
We were both freaked out. I worried that he'd given himself brain damage - while he was more concerned with the scrape over his eyebrow, and under his eye. Poor kid! He cried, and I raced him inside for nursing and damage check. After a quick 'Ask Dr. Sears' web search (where I discovered that a fall under 3 feet is usually okay, even onto hard surfaces) and a freaked out phone call to Tom and my Mom for me - and boobie for him, we were both calmer. In about 10 minutes he was better and playing happily, so I decided to wait and watch for concussion.
Tom's response? 'Welcome to being the mother of a boy'. Sigh. When Tai and I went out to weed again this evening, I asked what he was trying to do yesterday and he said, 'Reach for mulch'. Why? I have no clue. Today he seems to be just fine, other than looking like he's got a black eye. (I feel slightly lucky that he got the scrapes, though - that way it doesn't look like I punched him.)
He's such a love, though. He's talking up a storm - even in his sleep. In the last week or so, he's talked about Mimi and Popa, begged for bagels, told 'daddy, no' and said something about baseball. If I could, I might stay awake just to listen to him.
He's big on finding 'matches', ever since he got some Memory games for his birthday. He matches colors and patterns.
When Tom got back from China, we were all laying in bed trying to get Tai to nap. Tai was more interested in counting Daddy's eyes, nose, ears, etc. He pointed out both of Tom's earrings, then said to me, "I talking to Daddy about earrings."
Over the past week or so, I've been rediscovering how lucky I am. Tai is fabulous, and I am blessed.
Tai had a tough day - getting dressed was tantrum worthy, even with grandma visiting. Going potty before bed was tantrum worthy. Going the wrong direction on the sidewalk - right, tantrum worthy. I'm not sure whether he was teething, hitting his terrible twos early, or still getting over the most recent illness, but wow. I'm tired. (Possibly because I'm still getting over whatever virus it was that we had.)
Second random thought of the day: I was in the car with mom and I asked her when she stopped being surprised at being The Mother - or if she'd ever felt that way. Yesterday we were hanging out together after she'd been in the desert for a week, and at one point Tai wanted to be carried. Mom offered to carry him, but he chose to have me carry him. She said, "Oh, you want Mommy." For a minute I found myself surprised both that he chose *me*, and also that I am The Mommy, with all that entails (both the responsibility and the bonuses). I can't believe he's almost two and I still catch myself looking over my shoulder for the Real Mommy to come home and take Tai from Babysitter Me. Not very often, and not with real desire for it to happen.
It was funny, Mom said she didn't remember whether she ever felt that or not. She couldn't tease out whether that was because she had a different relationship with her mother than the relationship we have, or whether it's a facet of our relationship or what. Interesting question, though.
Also - we stopped at Target on the way home from Babys R Us (I had to pick up a pump part for my breast pump) and with all of the holiday decorations up, I am suddenly looking forward to the winter festivities. I can't wait to make this time just as magical for Tai as Halloween was. It's only going to be more fun as he gets older.
Tai spent at least twenty minutes running around, kicking his ball both to me and just for himself. This is after he'd run several blocks from the Noe Library to Starbucks. (No, I didn't give him any coffee. He clearly didn't need it.) Watching him play made me smile. He had such a good time just running. Then, before Tom arrived, the boys who were playing inside the gym came running out. The game was evidently over. They were shouting 'we won, we won!' and exalting. (Though there was one boy who was lamenting a loss, and several of the winners went over to comfort him. I thought that was particularly sweet, as they were probably 10 or so. Old enough to be tough, but clearly still caring about each other.) These older boys had the same joy of motion that Tai did. A comfort with their bodies.
I'm sure there are girls who are comfortable in their bodies as well. I haven't been one of them, at least not since I was probably 5 or 6. And I haven't been friends with any of them (maybe because I didn't play sports? I'm not sure.) I'm also sure there are boys who are not comfortable with or in their bodies, though I have known only one or maybe two. I just know that I have a barely civil relationship with my body. When I'm not actively sick, or in pain, I mostly ignore that I have a body. Once in a while, though, I find pride in my body. When I was pregnant, I felt powerful. Breastfeeding feels powerful too, though in a different way. But these times are rare. Even so, I aim to do everything I can so Tai can hold on to this joy he has in his physicality. I want him to know that even if he's not 'perfectly' built for whatever reason, he can still love this flesh that moves him from place to place. That lets him dance.
~ * ~
In other, less high-falutin' news, I'm still working on the anxiety. This weekend got me into a bit of a spin. I'm putting a call in to my psychiatrist to see if the meds need tweaking.
Instead of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I think I'm going to do WriSoMiFu (Write Something, you Miserable Fuck) on LJ. It would be better than nothing. I haven't finished a NaNoWriMo project yet, and I couldn't keep working on my novel for it this year. So, instead of losing a month of work on my novel (hahaha) I am going to try something new. Plus, this community sounds like a laugh.
I was feeling tired and grumpy and jealous that Tom went out for beer. Tom came down and after spending some time on his iPhone, asked what was up with me. I said I was feeling tired and grumpy. He asked why. I talked about my day. He said:
"Well, it's your full time job now, right?" I said it was more than full time and he asked how. I bit my tongue and tried to explain. The fact that I can't use the bathroom by myself. That I'm on duty all night. He argued with me, and blamed me for wanting to still breastfeed and night, and cosleep. Yeah, this would be the time to discuss changing that.
Then he asked how a daycare teacher did it. Uh - they aren't the moms of their kids. They have the evenings and weekends off.
He tried to argue that with me too, and I cut it off. I figured it wasn't going anywhere productive. Which is good because he pretty much passed out on the couch about five minutes later.
I just wish he'd try to understand where I'm coming from. I'm not asking anything of him (other than maybe a break - like a few hours of preschool or nannyshare - which we've already got under negotiation.) Why does everything have to be an argument?
I guess I'm worried that he's right, that other people can do this easily and I'm just whiny and lazy. Not a way I want to see myself.
Then I was hanging out at Mom's earlier this week and she got a call from Aunt Chris. She'd just been fired and she'd called Mom for commiseration and advice. I started thinking about how cool it was that they had each other to go to, now that Grandma and Grandpa are dead. I know that even if Quin and I don't talk for a while, if anything happens - whether good or bad - we can call each other. As I grew up, I knew that he and I were a team. We'd be fighting like crazy (he's pulled out a fistful of my hair and bit a hole in my Christmas dress and other fun things. I never did such things myself, of course.) and if someone started picking on him, I'd defend him in an instant and he'd do the same for me. Even now I know he's on my side. I know that not everyone has a relationship like that with their sibling, but I hope that I can give that to Tai.
Having another child would be growing the family, not taking something away from him. At least that's what I think in my more relaxed moments.
I haven't started taking Parlodel again - mostly because I'm concerned about how it's going to change the nursing relationship with Tai. (I had to use it to get pregnant before because I have a prolactinoma that was keeping me from ovulating.) Since Parlodel blocks prolactin, it often dries up women's milk. I know of at least one woman who had an established breastfeeding relationship and started Parlodel at a low dose and was able to keep nursing, but that's internet research. Not exactly perfectly trustworthy.
So I'm worried about how having another kid will take me away from Tai. I won't be able to devote most of my time and energy to him. I know he's not going to need that for very much longer, and I know I didn't suffer from having a sibling... I guess I'm still divided. But I feel like it's going to be one of those times where I'm divided right up until I take the plunge. I'm dipping my foot in the water, and holding my breath. We'll see what comes next.
I'm having a hard time deciding how much of my mood is situational (not enough solid sleep nights, not feeling supported by Tom pretty much regularly, not getting many breaks in toddler care, etc) and how much is possibly a recurrence of depression. I've started talking about it with Wendy, but I also need to make an appointment with my psychiatrist. I might need a med tweak.
I'm just not finding as much pleasure in things as I had been. I don't feel light. I've been more anxious. Angry randomly. And so lonely. It's silly - I have friends, people I could get together with if I'd just pick up the phone... but I mostly don't. There are things I want to do, I just can't seem to get up the initiative to do them. I want to finish the scrapbook of Tai's first year. I want to start doing more with my photographs. I want to start sewing for Tai (and maybe for other kidlets). But I find myself in front of the TV and the laptop and books night after night. I'm diving into books, and hiding out from the rest of the world.
Fortunately I haven't been taking it out on Tai - at least not much. I am a bit shorter of temper, less willing to put up with the whining and the tantrums which have been plentiful since he was sick. But some of my best times and best moods are with him. We were sitting on the porch one evening recently and he was playing with a new bubble gun Tom's mom bought him. We were watching the bubbles float across the street and up into the sky. It was simple, but fun. And there have been a couple of nights that I'm rocking and nursing him to sleep, or for naps, where I finally feel myself taking deep, full breaths and I am so deeply content.
I actually went to church today - an Episcopal church (I was raised *very* slightly Episcopal). It was different than any church I'd been to before. It felt like a family sitting together, more than anything. I was awkward, as usual in a new setting, but I think I'm going to go back. One of these days I'm going to find my spiritual home - I think that will help.
I am taking steps to work on this, though. I've signed up for a 'finishing your novel' course. I'll be meeting with my classmates in person once a month, then in between I'll share progress with the teacher and one other classmate online. The class will last for six months and I'm hoping that I make some decent progress with more structure in my writing life. I'm also hoping that I do better about making writer-friends this time.
I've been trying to do better about getting together with women from my Mom's Group. I'm hosting a second meeting tomorrow, hoping that with our toddlers confined to the house, we'll actually be able to talk rather than just race after the kidlets. I'm trying to figure out how to invite one or two over with their husbands some evening, too. It would be good for Tom and I to have couple-with-kids friends. Especially since they would have kids Tai's age.
I'm reading a lot of books about Buddhism lately. Meditation would probably do me some good, especially working with the transitory nature of life. I think I can be a better Momma when I get more deeply in touch with this. In fact, I bet it would be good for me, as well, since my anxiety tends to make me think that I'm going to be stuck in a shitty position forever. That's not so much a help community-wise, though I'm considering going to the Zen Center here.
I feel like I've been spending so much of my life waiting, waiting to know what the right thing to do is... waiting for someone to give me permission. I don't want to waste my life waiting. I want to live. I just have to figure out what that means.
All in all, it was a pretty kick ass Mother's Day. It was my second, but the first where I feel like I'm really starting to get that I *am* Tai's mom. It's surprisingly hard to transition from 'daughter' and 'child' to 'mother'. I keep finding myself surprised when I refer to myself as 'Mommy' to Tai. Yesterday morning we were having breakfast at Denny's (yes, I know.) and Tom and I were drawing on Tai's placemat to show him how to use crayons. Tom was writing names, and he wrote 'Tai', then 'Daddy' then 'Mommy' with arrows pointing at the respective person. Even 15 months in, I found myself giving a little start of surprise that Mommy meant *me*. Not my mom. Not one of my friends who are also moms. Me. As I said to a friend of mine, "Does this mean we're adults?" He (wisely) responded, "No, I think we're just smarter kids."
Possibly taking the Jewish Sabbath approach, last night around dinner time, Tom handed me a drink and said that since it was mother's day, I didn't have to lift a finger until Sunday night. I said, "but what about this huge pile of laundry?" He said he'd take care of it. (While he didn't, it was the thought that counted, because neither did I.) While Tai had another 'let's be awake and party at 2 am' night, otherwise I've had a very relaxing 24 hours.
Tom got up with Tai at 7am, and let me go back to sleep (as usual). He brought me breakfast in bed around 9:30. We lazed around for the rest of the morning, then got an early lunch at the hipster diner. I had my favorite vegetarian Reuben (spinach, mushrooms, sauerkraut, 1000 island dressing on rye) and a chocolate shake. Thus fortified, we headed out to the Sunset to the zoo. Tai hasn't been to the zoo yet, and it was free for Mother's Day. We tired ourselves out and got to see a ton of animals. Tai's favorites were the penguins and the kangaroos. Both times when we were going to move on, he signed 'more'. He also enjoyed the giraffes and the monkeys. He wasn't so impressed with the sleepy lions, tigers, and rhinos. I was disappointed to see that the gorilla area was closed. When I was there (years ago now), I liked that best.
Tom also got me flowers (gorgeous sunflowers) and Tai picked out a picture frame for me. We were stopping in a camera store a couple of weeks ago and Tai picked it up and brought it to me twice.
My favorite gifts, though, were the cards I got. One from Mom, one from Tom's mom and one from Tom (also signed by Tai). The one from my mom was funny - she wrote, "Happy Mother's Day to a great mom (It takes one to know one)." Hee! The one from Judy was sweet. She wrote, "Thank you so much for being such an outstanding mother to Tai. He is such a calm, happy, loving little boy. I think he is so happy because he has a great mom. Much love." And Tom wrote, "You are an amazing mother who is doing an exceptional job raising our incredible boy. Thank you for staying home and making him. I love you more than ever."
I treasure both of those cards because there are so many times I doubt myself. It's good to know other people think I'm doing a good job. Especially Tom. I am so lucky.
There are a couple of clients Paul has that I'm not too interested in, but the other two are going to be all sorts of button-pressing for me. One is a boy whose parents are divorcing and he's torn between them. The other is a woman in her twenties who has been diagnosed with lymphoma. She storms out of session without making an appointment for the next session, then avoids Paul's calls. It reminds me of a client I had who was suicidal. I still have no idea what happened to her. Sometimes being a therapist sucked.
Paul is burning out, and I see myself in him. (Not now, but before - when I was still doing grief work). On the one hand, it feels good to see that. To know that I'm not the only one who has burned out. But on the other hand, it seems that he's going to be working through it. And sometimes I wonder whether I should have tried to do that instead of giving up. It didn't mean that I was a bad therapist, either. I'm still working through it, I guess. And trying to figure out what I'm doing in my life.
( Book babble here )Now Tai is crying, so time for sleep. (In other, less high-falutin' news - he learned to pick his nose!)
Three nights off meds is not good. I was having fun little brain-zaps and dizziness. And on Friday morning I was so grumpy that I thought I'd pitch my bluetooth headset out the car window when it randomly quit working and if I'd had a bigger car I would seriously have considered running all of the idiot drivers off the road. Fortunately my doctor called the prescription in Friday afternoon, so by today the physical side-effects have all disappeared. Unfortunately the mental effects are still lingering. I didn't realize it at first, and I'm not completely certain that's what the problem is, but I figure it's likely.
I got a bunch of books at the library last week and plowed through one of the shorter novels today. It was an easy read, not exactly deep. Fairly well written. It was called 'the life before her eyes', and it was about a young woman's life after her best friend was killed in front of her in a school shooting. ( cut for spoiler )
Instead, I'm just going to have to make a better effort to keep the meds where they belong so I can get back to myself.
Happy Birthday, little dude! As of 12:17pm today, you are one whole year old. I cannot believe it! Sometimes it feels like just yesterday that you joined the family, other times it feels like I've known you forever. I still remember how thrilled I was to see you the first time, and that hasn't faded.
I've been going back through pictures and videos from the last year and watching you change and grow. I am amazed to see who you are becoming. You've learned so much already - you can reach for what you want (and grab it and put it into your mouth and spit it out if you don't like it). You can push up and roll over and sit up. You can crawl and stand and in the past couple of weeks you've learned to walk! You're getting more and more comfortable moving on two legs.
You understand way more than I give you credit for, and you're always taking things in.
You love to eat - you still breastfeed, though it's so hard for you to sit still long enough to do so unless you're going to sleep. You also enjoy burritos, pasta, soup, cheerios, pickles, tofu, yogurt. Never a fan of jarred baby-food (unless it's fruit related, and sometimes carrots or sweet potatoes) you far prefer some of whatever we're having.
You always want to be a part of things. When your Grandma and I are laughing about something in the front of the car, we've started hearing your laughter along with ours, even if you're sometimes faking it.
Even though you sometimes feel a little shy in the beginning, once you warm up you are still quite the social guy. You love to be in the middle of things, either participating or just watching. You watch the bigger kids around you, storing up information on what you'll be doing later. And you don't let anyone run over the top of you.
You love to crawl up and down stairs.
When you want something other than what we're offering, you have a tendency to make your displeasure clear. You've had a few full-out tantrums of the screaming, arching your back and sliding to the floor and then crying because you're on the floor variety. But unless you're completely exhausted, you tend to cheer up pretty quickly.
You love to give kisses, especially to the dogs (which Cocoa will not allow, Luna will return, Lasa will permit, Little Dog will offer, and Violetta will both offer and return, including ear nibbles). And when you wake up in the morning, you like to play a game where you kiss Dad, then you kiss me, then Dad, then me for quite some rounds.
You like to raspberry my belly and bite my toes and fingers. You love it when I tickle you - especially your feet, belly and the back of your neck. You love to play catch either with a football or a round ball. You love to throw your hands in the air while Grandma calls 'touchdown'! You love watching Sesame Street with Dad in the morning. You love to talk on the phone - real phone only, please. You like to empty drawers and bags.
You don't say words really, yet - though that could be because you're so good at just pointing and having me read your mind. You still sign for nursing, but the same sign seems to mean, "I want" in general.
You think it's funny when you watch someone go downstairs, when you hear us laugh, and when Dad pretends you kick him while swinging.
There is nothing better in my life than having you curled up on my lap as you fall asleep. I love holding you and cuddling you and rocking with you. Sometimes I still sing the songs I sang to you when you were just a few weeks old (It's time for Tai to go to sleep...).
Just having you in my life has changed me, helped me to grow in ways I never expected. I am so lucky you are here. I am blessed, and that's not something I say very often.
One year ago - my heart grew three sizes that day.
Love always and forever,