Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas 2009: Need to Vent

A very quick update and venting session in the few minutes I have to myself.

Pat and the kids have arrived here. After what happened last time, gritting my teeth and with many misgivings, I invited Pat to come again after this second birth. Pat is in much better psychological condition than before, following a good home birth in a birthing pool which went smoothly, and the new baby is a sleepy and easy delight, despite apparently needing to be breastfed for about 16 hours of each day (poor Pat).

Unfortunately, my young two year old goddaughter, who I will call Mary, appears to be a little hellion, having screaming, screeching tantrums on a regular basis - initially it seemed to be every 45 minutes or so but she seems to be mellowing to a two-hour cycle, now. It's been very difficult to relax.

Never have I been prouder of my generous, even-tempered and friendly Little Dude who plays with her beautifully. Every so often, when the playing turns to teasing and harrassment of him, he withdraws to his room for a while and plays quietly by himself, but he has been incredibly patient and sweet with her - rather better than me, in fact. In all honesty, young Mary is not an easy child to warm to. I normally like two year olds very much, even naughty and intense ones, but even making many allowances for the difficult family situation, the disruption of the flight here, and her natural jealousy of a new baby, this one is very hard work.

I am doing my very best to be helpful and encouraging rather than make things worse. But the constant racket and disruption in addition to all the childcare and domestic support needed is making me grumpy and irritable.

Attachment parenting, in my humble opinion, is all very well when its slings and breastfeeding for babies and a close, warm relationship with children. But Pat's version of it seems to involve remarkably few behaviour limits for a two year old and none of the semi-regular routines that I think work well for young children. Also no regular bedtime. As a result, this lttle girl is intermittently sweet and funny and brave, but also frequently overtired, overstimulated, and certainly not well slept. She spends a lot of time rampaging around, red-eyed and in a state of virtual hysteria. The resulting behaviour problems are very bad, but also are very, very predictable.

I am feeling quite worn out and the Big Dude is, too. The Big Dude has the mutinous air of a man who is being pushed too far, and I am all too aware that I got us into this one.

I truly feared that Christmas would be a disaster, but miraculously, young Mary fell asleep for a while and, as a result, there was quite a lot of relaxing, playing, eating and listening to the gentle rain fall. There were peaceful moments where all was well.

As we are flat out here with very little time to ourselves, I may not write again for a while. But I wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year.


Blogger Sailor said...

Hugs, for the generosity and compassion you show Pat; I remember reading your post last year, and thinking wow, what a great friend.

Two year olds that don't have limits though, ugh- not for me. We found that for our guys, at any rate, they liked some structure, the routines helped them stay in "place", even when we traveled. Bedtime is bedtime, kind of thing, and it helped *us* out too, to have that focus.

Good luck though, and Merry & happy new years, and lots of hugs and prayers for you all.

12:53 PM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

Merry Christmas to you and your family, Em.

Ditto what Sailor said; you are a gracious and generous friend.

But yeef - it's kinda Parenting 101 to put the kid to bed when she's tired. And most earnest young parents figure out fairly early on, that the crankiness is a sure-fire signal that exhaustion has set in.

So - how long will Pat be staying with you? Hang in there. . .

5:14 AM  
Blogger Summer Rose said...

My heart goes out to all of you, even with the stress of the holiday's can make any child seem more cranky than usual hang in there this won't last long.

Happy New Year!

10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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1:52 AM  
Blogger Fun your own side said...

hugs for u

1:09 PM  
Anonymous prasad said...

it was a nice blog

4:25 AM  

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