WARNING: HONESTY AHEAD.
Danny is almost three months old now and let me tell you, it has been a pretty hard adjustment. How did I ever ever think that having one kid was hard? We are slowly getting back into the swing of things but that's why I haven't blogged: I just don't have the time or energy!
My mother-in-law left right after Danny turned a week old. Grace got spoiled, spoiled, spoiled while she was here. Which I actually was okay with because I felt bad that Danny required so much of my attention and I knew Grace was going to be shorted; my in-laws made up that difference. But when my mother-in-law left...Gracie's attitude went straight into the trash...where it stayed for awhile. What sucks is that some of that is my fault...which is pretty hard to admit.
I know that there is the terrifying threes, which I am sure is part of her bad attitude but I know a part of it is also her adjustment to Danny. I will be honest, the first few weeks I had ZERO patience with Gracie. Like...none. I was so tired and achey and I just didn't have time for her whining and fits. I feel horrible saying that but I didn't see much of Gracie the first little bit after Danny was born. She was with my in-laws the first week and then Daniel was home for a week after that so he handled Gracie. It let me bond with Danny and recover, but it also left Gracie out and she did NOT respond well to that. Once my hormones evened out and I realized what I was doing, I IMMEDIATELY corrected it. There was an almost instant change in her behavior.
I feel crappy. She must have felt like I abandoned her.
(I can't think about that without crying, grabbing her, and kissing her.)
It's also hard on her because there is a lot of "negative" attention in her life right now. Meaning a whole lot of: "No, don't do that"...don't poke his eyes, don't smother him with a pillow, quite pinching his feet, don't pick your nose and then grab his binky...get your fingers out of your butt...
She hears a lot of no at the moment and that's hard on her.
We try to make sure we give her as much POSITIVE attention as we can, even when she is freaking out. But man, when she is hitting and kicking Daniel, or pooping on the floor RIGHT BESIDE THE TOILET, or screaming her head off because she doesn't want to eat dinner or take a bath...I am telling you...it's hard to be positive.
I was NOT prepared for the adjustment. I thought that it would be Danny I'd have to adjust to...but really the adjustment is the change in the dynamic with Gracie. It requires a TON more effort these days to make SURE Gracie feels seen and that she knows we love her.
Each and every day I have to make the CHOICE to have patience with her. When I do that, we have a good day with minimal fits (until bed time and it all goes to hell anyway). It's hard to continually make that choice to not be annoyed at her broken record words. (She says the same thing about 20 times (NO EXAGGERATION) just to make sure you heard it. It can get to you.) Daniel has to do that as well, which is harder for him because Gracie's attitude goes down hill later in the afternoon (no matter what we do), and that's about when Daniel comes home. So he only gets bad attitude Gracie most of the time. It's hard to be positive to a tiny person who pretty much only yells at you every day.
I have had to realize that Gracie is still little. She didn't magically turn into a teenager when Danny was born. She is still a tiny tiny little girl who needs her mamma to play Doc McStuffins with her, even when I am nursing Danny. I have had to find the balance of being there for Danny while being there for Gracie literally at the same time. But I also have to let Gracie know that while we love her dearly, we also love Danny and he gets and deserves our attention too. It's a tricky balance.
We are making sure we DO things with Gracie. I am still being a hermit right now because Danny is still so tiny. But that's not fair to Gracie, who is used to going to play with friends, going to the park and playing outside.
|We are starting to go to the park with her more, so she can get out some energy and feel like special attention was paid to her. I can put Danny in the carrier and then when it's about time to feed him again we go home.|
It's part of why I am put so much into her birthday: so she would have a day that's ALL about her.
|I took Gracie to her very first big-girl birthday party. It was a tea-party and she had a blast!|
It's taking awhile, but we are getting out of the funk. She still throws ridiculous fits, but at least now we don't think it's because of us and are more assured it is just the age she is.
Even through all of this attitude and adjustment, she has shown nothing but love for Danny. She always wants to help. She's the best diaper-go-getter ever, and she can powder a baby bottom like no one's business. She loves to hold him and to touch him (which I have issues with but I am getting over it). She always wants to know where he is, and if he is okay. When he is crying she mimics the things we tell him "Oh it's okay baby, you're okay! Do you want some food?" It's really adorable. I am so so glad they have a good relationship. She doesn't take her frustration with us out on him and I am grateful for that.
|I'm gonna touch him right here, okay mom?|
|Love these cuties.|
I am grateful for Daniel who loves me and supports me through all of the hormone swings and patience issues until it all evened out. I love that he gives me blessings when I ask for them and helps me pray for peace and comfort when I am scared.
I am grateful for Gracie, who has been patient with me and Daniel as we figure out being parents to two kids. She loves us all the time, even when she is mad at us. I am grateful for her sweet soul.
I live a blessed life. I just kind of have to figure out how to live it. Ha!
It's taking some big adjustments on all of our parts, but we are getting there.
We ARE figuring this thing out and I am proud of us.