Friday, March 15, 2013
A CALL FOR SUNSHiNE
Today when I was picking up Leander from kindergarden I had to nurse Mona in order to get both kids home without major screaming issues. We went inside and sat down in the cloak room area. Leander surrounded me all the time and even tried to sit on my lap while I was nursing. He kept leaning over and squeezing her onto me. Kissing and stroking her a bit more than gentle. I asked him to be careful or to stop it. At some point I just yelled "Stop it!" A teacher sat next to me and in that very moment jumped in and said to Leander "Oh you wanted to kiss her. That's sweet but you need to be very gentle with her."
I thought "Oh is this something I should have said?" And then realized - I have said things like this. A million times. But at this very moment I felt nothing but tired and exhausted.
The usual contact Leander has with his sister is yelling her name directly into her face. Really loud. Or simply yelling. When we ask him to stop that he yells at us. Or spits. Or hits. Anything. I don't know how often I have told him that I don't want that. That hitting is not ok. That I won't let him do this or that. To his sister or to us. To be honest I think I may even have said it far too often. So I keep not responding because I feel like a parrot repeating everything over and over. Without actually meaning it. Because what I really wanna do is get up and yell "FOR F***s SAKE STOP IT !!!"
I'm sorry. But this is exactly how I feel right now. Exhausted. Tired. At my very limits.
From morning till evening I am trying to be responsive and respectful. Loving. But whatever I do - it's not enough. NEVER ENOUGH. I hear the word "Mama" around 10 times in a minute. If I respond or not doesn't make a difference- it keeps coming. I am being followed around the flat wherever I go. And since Leander is not very gentle with his sister I even allow him to follow me to the toilet. Just to know her safe.
When I nurse her he surrounds me. As soon as I stop he asks me to put her away and play with him. When I play with him he sits on my lap and wants me to play for him. Even when he plays he asks me to help him with everything he is doing while he is doing it himself without any help. When I lean back he wants to sit on my lap again. When I get up he jumps up too. And follows me.
He has realized that I won't ignore his needs so if I don't come with him when he asks me while I am caring for Mona he says he is hungry. And then watches me juggle her and his needs at the same time.
I am telling him when I need breaks. I am trying to have breaks. He won't let me have them. He will stand next to me saying "Mama!" a million times while I am trying to have a break.
I am saying No. I say it nice but strong. He does not accept it. Then I say it louder. Then he yells or spits and that drives me so mad that I yell. Or leave the room in order to stay somewhat sane.
I watch him struggle and fight with sadness. Pure sadness. But at the same time I think he needs to learn and understand. I know that at some point he will but WHEN ??? Because right now I feel close to a nervous breakdown. I wanna run into the forest and scream. Very very loud. I wanna smash things and cry my guts out. And then I want my son back. The one I used to have.
I don't even know how much of his behaviour is the almost 3-year old in him and how much is the recent arrival of his baby sister. And then there are other issues I don't know where to place. That he can't play. Not on his own. Not self directed. NOT AT ALL. It makes me sad and angry at the same time. He is almost three and should happily explore the world.
And somewhere in there I am trying to be me. In the mornings when he is in kindergarden and his sister is asleep I have a minute for myself. And the laundry. The dishes. Lunch. The closer it gets to picking up time I keep building up patience and hope for a better afternoon together. We get home around 3.30pm. By 4.30pm I am so tired I could drop dead on the sofa. If somebody would let me. Leander is exhausted too. Today he fell asleep on my lap at 5pm. And then I look at him. Stroke his hair and hope for a better day tomorrow.
I try and talk to him. But when we have a minute I am lacking words. What is there to say? "I love you now matter what?" Why would I then care for that little creature and not for him? How would he understand that better? So often we sit there and not mention her at all. Because after her being the big issue in the house all day I don't want to mention her name when it is quiet for a moment. I just want... to be together in peace and silence.
What to do? I don't know. I am at loss here. We are thinking of seeing a family counsellor we have regular group consultations with. But this time a whole session just for us. With the kids. And some springtime with visits to the playground so he can release some energy. Some sunshine. Outside and in the house. Our hearts. That would be nice.