I wrote about the importance of community on Scottsdale Moms Blog today. So be a good friend and give it a read.
You guys. Both babies are napping and I just made myself a cup of coffee and I’m sitting down to write.
I don’t think you understand how unprecedented this is. For the past ten weeks, I’ve been running around like a chicken with its whatever-blah-blah or staring blankly at the floor because I’ve been either too exhausted to lift up mine eyes to the heavens or stubbornly ignoring my scolding self-concious that says “Get up! You don’t deserve to sit down! There are dishes to be done, crumbs to be swept, and these things can’t wait!”
They can wait, you big meanie.
I’ve been going through these highs and lows of ENERGY! and I NEED A NAP OR EVERYONE WILL SUFFER! like a clueless hormone monster. Brandon will get texts from me on Monday that say “I’ll be a waddling sack of lard forever!” and by Wednesday I’m back to “Skin and bones, I tell you! All I’ve eaten today is a piece of popcorn and I found it in the couch! I’ll never again have time to eat!” It’s a good thing that I married the most gracious man ever. He encourages me too much. But I need that, apparently.
What I also need is to slow down. I need to eat when I’m hungry and eat well instead of going going going until both kids are asleep, then eating three potato chips because I’m too faint to stand up and make myself a meal. I need to take that nap when it’s there for the taking and, after waking up, stay in bed and just stare at the little life lying next to me. I need time to write. I need time to think. I need to leave the stroller in the car and teach my almost-two-year-old to stay near me while we’re in the store. How can I expect him to behave well if I don’t do the same?
So, remember when I had a baby three weeks ago and sort of fell off the face of the internet?
This is my attempt to catch you up on my new life because you think I am so very interesting.
Elliot is a regular big brother. He has taken to Oscar as if there’s always been a baby in the house. Instead of outbursts of jealousy or violence, I catch them cuddling, which can sometimes be mistaken for suffocating, but it’s cute nonetheless.
Brandon took two weeks off of work to hold my hand and lead me around in my sleep deprivation. Oh, I guess he hung out with the kids, too. But now I’m back to getting a full night’s sleep all night every night.
Just joking! Ha! You should have seen your face!
That was silly.
I’m trying to be more specific when it comes to the things I say to Elliot, more specifically when it comes to discipline. I have the worst habit of just saying “Stop it” or “Don’t do that.” Sometimes I’m not even sure what exactly I want him to stop doing. I’m pretty sure this could breed a monster of confusion, especially because discipline is so much more effective when it is clear and consistent. Emphasis on consistent.
I want to learn to be clear about what I am asking of him:
“Stop banging that drumstick on the wall. Bang it only on the drum.”
“Hold my hand all the way across the street until we can touch the car.”
“Please don’t whine at me if you are done eating. Use your words.”
Because, in his juicy little brain, my “Stop it” could be directed toward any number of things. Stop making awesome music with your drumsticks no matter what surface you are banging them on? Heavens, no. Music will be made in this house! On the appropriate surfaces.
This is not to say that the longer my sentences are, the more he’ll obey. He hasn’t even been alive outside of my uterus for two years — I don’t expect advanced cognitive miracles. This is also not to say that I need a miracle. My kid is pretty even tempered (if he has had his morning banana). This is mostly to say that I’ve recognized a bad pattern in myself and I’m working hard to shake it now before things get sticky. But kids are always sticky. Amen?