Posted by: Hannah | 03/27/2012

very brief update

Day 2 with the new girls went much, much better. The older girl is a fantastic playmate for Ron. Her imagination matches his, and her energy level is infectious; today they played camping, pizza shop, space exploration, and fire fighters at the south pole (that one was cool). They played outside even though it was bloody damn cold & blustery, they drew pictures of the Easter bunny (Ron says the bunny’s name is “Ryan”), and extracted a promise from me that next time they can paint with brushes so they can decide if brush painting or fingerpainting is more fun.

It’s interesting, when Ron & Arthur play pretend there is a lot more “let’s shoot the bad guys until they are DEAD” and weird Star Wars / Transformers / pick-your-licensed-character” play. With Ron & New Girl, it’s more creative, and there are clear problems to solve (“we need to walk on Mars! we need to rescue the penguins from the fire!”) I’ll be curious to see how the friendship develops but they seem – so far, anyway – to be good buddies. And the whole thing just further emphasizes that Marie & her elephants were never going to fit in well here. 

Little Girl settled down much faster today; her mother still isn’t comfortable dropping her off and leaving, instead coming in and ‘visiting’ for a while first. I’m not completely happy about it but she left quicker today than yesterday. I did explain to her about Little Girl’s indignation at not being allowed to share my boobs with the baby… Mom responded by nursing LG here before she left, which I’m not sure about as a long-term strategy but may have worked, because there was less panicked howling during G’s feedings. 

There is something unsettling about nursing your baby and having a child you’ve spent all of four hours with pointing at your chest and saying “boo? boo?” in this adorable, very hopeful voice. I explained that only Baby G nurses from me, and even though she’s only 17 months old I swear she understood.

She stopped crying within a half hour or so of arriving, and was from then on a delightful little person, smiling and happy, and she cleans up after not only herself but everyone else without being asked.

The only fly in today’s ointment was Pixie, who is quite jealous of Little Girl, and is indicating her displeasure by pouting mightily, whining, and Freaking the Fuck Out when I asked her nicely to use her markers to draw on her paper, not herself. She also screamed in rage for a solid half-hour before she gave up and took her nap. (As someone who only got about four good hours of sleep last night, this was especially galling, because what would I give for an afternoon nap? How about one of my children? I have several.)

So far, I am cautiously optimistic about the situation; I think my little tribe will work out well.

I am also eating a little crow and thanking all the gods that the Dream Clients ended up cancelling, because while I would have handled things to the best of my ability, I’d have been a raging alcoholic. And exhausted. All things happen for a reason.

 

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Responses

  1. i love hearing about your clients. it’s like a kiddie soap opera over there. 😉

    • I’m glad you find it interesting – I’m never sure if people do or not, but I like to keep a record. Sometimes after months go by I come back and read, and marvel at how far some of them have come (or not, as the case may be).

  2. Ooooh, I hate it when clients linger! Makes me feel totally self-conscious. Doesn’t mean I have stuff to hide; I don’t imagine any of them would enjoy working in their cubicles with their boss perched on the filing cabinet at their elbow…

    • Yes, that’s it! That’s why I don’t like it, you’ve hit it right on the head! Plus it’s just disruptive. A different adult in the room makes everyone ratchet up the “let’s show off” thing even more, and it takes longer for them to calm down afterwards. I’m hoping the time she lurks will get shorter with each drop-off; I suspect it will, as I’ve been pretty clear that I prefer drop-and-go, especially when the kid in question has separation problems.

  3. Her tendency to linger probably goes a long way to explaining the separation problems. Even if that’s not true in this case, her hanging around definitely encourages/reinforces the tendencies.

    A quick, cheerful goodbye conveys, “This is not scary, and I know you can handle it!!” A lingering, gradual goodbye, no matter how cheerful, conveys, “You’re right to be nervous, and I’m not sure you can handle this.” This can seem counter-intuitive to the parent … but it’s true, nonetheless.

    • Oh, I know – I’ve explained it to her in almost exactly those terms, too. She’s just not comfortable. Little Girl is here for three hours three mornings a week, and one afternoon. I suggested just having two or three full days, and the only reason why that won’t work is that she only naps in her mother’s arms, while on the breast. At 17 months. Trying not to wear my Hat of Judgment here, but it’s pretty clear where her (perceived) separation anxieties come from. Oh, and her older sister? Came to the door on the first day, loudly announced “I am VERY shy in new places”, and then proceeded to bounce into the house and make herself right at home.

  4. And you say it’s the *child* who has the separation issues? Hm… Let’s hope Little Girl turns out to be just as “shy’ as her big sister!

  5. It is so hard to leave when your child is sobbing. Even when you know it is the right thing to do. Also, it is hard to leave your child in his bed sobbing, I can’t do it. Which is why we don’t sleep much. Sigh.


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