Evidently the kids are more like Joel and I then we realized! Joel and I had a 4 day honeymoon and our kids’ “honeymoon period” has lasted about the same amount of time. I have to say that it is a bit refreshing to see the true negative behaviors. When the kids were trying to not behave badly (the two little ones), I could feel something was up and I HATE faking emotions so this stressed me out. Even though objectively it takes more energy and time to deal with these negative behaviors, it feels more natural. Call it crazy or call it a former day treatment therapist, I have yet to be in tears in the past two days even though we have had more difficult days than the day that left me in tears a couple of weeks ago.
I think this open non-compliance and tearfulness (non compliance from C and tearfulness from P) is much easier for me to deal with. It has been a long couple of days but I have seen small improved behavior throughout the couple of days, which is progress. For example S was disrespectful and yelled “Thanks mom” in a NOT thankful tone, but immediately turned around and said sorry before walking downstairs. If that is not progress I don’t know what is! P has been tearful and easily startled while C has been non-compliant and angry. Joel and I have been dealing with each child in a different way, as they need. In the beginning, when the kids were placed with us some preferred me and some Joel. now however, ALL are clingy and need me. This is not a bad thing. For example we have the social workers come visit today and we scheduled the next appt for when S is as school. S was worried that we would talk about her while she wasn’t there. The two social workers reassured S that it would just be a boring paperwork day at which point she turned to me and said, and I quote, “Mom, I know you never lie so you tell me what you will be doing at the meeting”. It wasn’t even sassy, I have told her over and over that I will always be honest with her. I guess the things that I say are starting to sink in.
Besides the behavior, sleep has gotten worse. It takes MUCH longer to put each kid to sleep with us needing to rub C’s back until she falls asleep. P goes down easier but both P and C get up repeatedly in the night. Last night Joel and I averaged putting them to back to bed and comforting them every hour. S also gets up about 1 time a night, some nights a lot more and some night not at all. S sleeps downstairs and is the only person to do so so when we put her to bed we stay downstairs and watch a tv show or something until we know she is sleeping.
Tonight, C went to bed early as she got up so much last night and just all around had a hard day, it took a while to put her to bed but once she was asleep she was down. With P however, he came to bed tearful and screamed for “mommy”. He finally got to sleep about an hour later.
Another interesting thing today is that we had a dr. appt and I took just C and P. When I had unloaded P and closed the door to show him where to stand while I was helping C out. At the point where I closed the door C started screaming like she was on fire. I quickly showed P where to stand and went to see what was wrong. When I got to her she was sobbing about not being left behind. I ask if she was worried about me leaving her in the car and she nodded. I told her that I would never leave her in the car and that I just needed to show P where he had to stand for safety. I held her to comfort her but that was just very eye opening for me about what brings about anxiety in my kids.
Looking forward to more cried of “mommy” and “Mom” even though by the end of the day I am exhausted and frustrated. Motherhood has been awesome and crazy and different every day, different challenges and different joys.