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Ike's day

So, last week I came to the decision that I can't take care of all three kids every afternoon of the week. My spoon supply keeps getting shorter. And it would be horribly expensive to drop the 3 of them a few days a week at KidsPark. After doing some thinking and calling around, I determined that Ike could attend the after school care provided by our YMCA at Ike's school. Its $292/month for three afternoons a week (1:45-6PM). Which is fairly reasonable.

Joe and I forgot to warn remind him this morning that he was going there. We had talked about it last week, but it was a really busy weekend, this morning the alarm didn't go off, it was a rushed morning, blah, blah, blah. Basically, he was taken from his classroom by someone not a parent and didn't know why.

I picked him up about 5:45*. When I walked in the door, his eyes got big and he ran up to me, threw his arms around me and said:

"Mommy! Are you okay? I was so afraid something had happened to you!"

I felt so bad.

I reassured him that I was fine, told him I missed him, apologized profusely for forgetting to remind him, told him this was temporary, assured him that I would give him more food in his lunch so he'd have an afternoon snack ('cause he insisted he was starving, then got home and found leftover lunch in his backpack. =)) brought him home and gave him cuddles.

Its times like this when I am reminded that he is very emotionally vulnerable at this point in time. He's worried about school, is convinced he can't behave, and just all around afraid that no one wants him to be around. I really FUBAR'ed this one. The fact that he demanded cuddles once we got home is telling. I cuddled him, found out that he wanted a snack before dinner (which was ready to eat, thank goodness for the crockpot) which I gave him (M&M's), then he ate his entire dinner (a rarity), then ate dessert (hot chocolate with marshmellows), multiple slices of cheese, fruit, and carrots. (He really was hungry!) I'll give him multiple reminders tomorrow evening and wednesday morning. I'm hoping wednesday will go better.

My poor little boy. Sometimes I feel so lost in how to deal with him. I know a lot of his misbehavior is due to his insecurities (and my failures at parenting), but I'm at a loss at times in how to help him. I do my best to love him...but usually daily frequently sometimes I feel its not enough. He's kinda gotten the short end from me. Something has always been going on that prevents me from being the Mommy he needs. Its really frustrating. He's a great kid, and I keep forgetting that in the day to day shuffle and hassles. I'm trying to stop myself only seeing his weakness, instead of celebrating his strengths. I'm hoping after Gray shows up, and I've healed from the birth...that I can finally be at a place where I can truly do better.

*BTW the girls and I did have a nice, calm, restful (to me) afternoon. I've talked with other parents of 3 kids and they agree...if you remove one, doesn't matter which one, the dynamic gets much calmer and easier to deal with. I'll still probably take them to KidsPark one afternoon a week, just so I can nap.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 13th, 2009 04:08 pm (UTC)
Hey Jen,

I don't know that I have much advice, though a lot of sympathy. I WILL quibble with the FUBAR acronym - Beyond All Repair is absolutely not right (Recognition I might allow, though). Kids are amazingly resilient and forgiving. I don't want to take advantage of that, but it is reassuring that my attempts to do better in future actually have a future.

And then I'll fall back on a short book list of my favorites that might have some suggestions for you and your situation:
Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen
MindSet by Carol Dweck
Raising Lifelong Learners by Lucy Calkins

I only wish that I was able to learn my own lessons just once (instead of over and over again), so I could be the mom I want to be already. Certainly there are things you are doing already (instead of waiting for Gray and recovery) that are helping Ike; remember that taking care of yourself and caring for the family dynamic itself are part of Ike's health too. Best wishes as you find your way through this.

Mar. 22nd, 2009 04:40 am (UTC)
*double hugs*
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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