Saturday, September 10, 2011

cautious optimism

Donovan's first week of school went extremely well.  He seemed really comfortable there from the beginning, just the slightest hesitation when we dropped him off the first day but that's it.  he was happy to go to school in the morning, and happy enough to be picked up at noon-- though he did keep asking to get to nap at school, which he will start doing this next week.  I wanted to give him a "breaking in" period first to make sure he felt comfortable there, but since he seems fine with it all I'd love for him to stay till the afternoon as getting him down for a nap at home while also minding Quinn has consistently been one of the most difficult and frustrating parts of my days.  It will be a welcome break to not have to feel so torn between my 2 kids at that time of day, every day.

D is right now (hopefully) sleeping in a yurt on a campground near Tahoe, along with Zach and 2 other friends.  This is his first true camping experience.  He's been SO excited about it, and from the bits I';ve heard from Zach it seems to be going really well.  Just as when Zach took D to the snow all those times this past winter, I'm a bit sad to miss out on this outdoors experience with him.  But, trying to take Q at this age (constant crawling, shoving everything in his mouth) would have been a highly frustrating experience for us all.  But, I am hopeful that by spring we can attempt a family trip.  D is so much fun when he's out in nature, he just enjoys it so much.  Takes after his father that way. ; )

So while they're away, Q and I are enjoying some solo time together.  We didn't do much of anything special most of today, though we did join in a group birthday dinner at a restaurant nearby with some friends.  I was apprehensive, as Q hasn't been the best restaurant guest historically.  Tonight, however, he did incredibly well.  Being able to sit in a high chair and occupy himself with food has made all the difference.  He happily munched away on bread, and later on salmon, risotto, and artichoke along with the rest of us.  We did leave a bit early when it became clear his calm mood was not gonna last much longer and it was getting past bedtime anyway, but overall I was so impressed with how well he did.  Highly encouraging.

The whole past week has actually been a pretty good one (despite wednesday).  D starting school made a big difference-- for one, he did great using the toilets at school, which has been a huge weight lifted off my shoulders (we'll see how that continues with a longer day).  Having mornings with just Q has felt amazing.  He's so much happier now, so much more enjoyable, playful, and just a joy to be around, and when it's just me and him I actually get to enjoy him.  Even when he's, say, fighting sleep, I can deal with it without feeling like I'm neglecting my other child.  It's made such a huge difference, already.

I want to say that it feels like this could be a pretty significant shift in how life feels, but I'm hesitant to make forward-looking assumptions based on one great week, and also Zach's about to start a job that will take him away from us 4 days of every week which I know will add a whole other strain to daily life.  But, we shall see.  I'm feeling more hopeful about it all than I was before.  So I'll just keep hoping for the best, and see what happens.

1 comment:

  1. While I can't relate to balancing being a mom to two kids, your comments about Quinn really resonate with me. Kiarda's infancy was much like Quinn's - demanding and tempermental baby, just trying to survive, and really struggling to enjoy that time. There was *almost* a personality change once she was mobile - she was SO much happier overall, and all of a sudden it clicked just how awesome she was. I have definitely enjoyed being a parent - being her mom - since this transition, and I'm tentatively excited about what's to come.

    She's still very demanding, high-strung, strong-willed, and stubborn. I know those traits will serve her well in the future, but it's definitely a challenge now that we have officially reached Toddlerhood and all of it's roller coaster of emotions from both sides. Being around toddlers of other friends shows me that while the tantrums and such are universal, they are NOT universal in degree - and I have yet to see such instantaneous meltdowns, extreme emotional outbursts, and physical responses to the littlest of infractions (like passively blocking her entry to the garage) in my friends' kids. I am now hypothesizing that a lot of this behavior will improve when she has better verbal skills, just as she got easier to deal with and was happier overall when she became mobile. She is quite an excellent communicator and has about two dozen words at 14 months, so she's certainly not behind, but I think she'd rather be able to tell us *precisely* why she deserves to play with the chemicals under the sink or why it's a good idea to let her play in the toilet bowl...

    She does very well when we're out and about, I think because there is just SO much neat stuff to see and explore. She even does well when we're pushing the envelope of a late nap or bedtime, which NEVER would have happened pre-crawling.

    I can only imagine the struggles of trying to meet the needs of two kids, but hopefully I'll be there one day myself. :) I'm sure you'll manage just fine, even if you may never live up to your own standards. :)



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