a long afternoon

At about 1:30 this afternoon, I was drifting off for a nap, thinking how maybe I could be a stay-at-home mum. We’d had a good morning, both kids were now in bed for a nap and here I was, napping myself.

Fast forward one hour. I woke up to Amy crying, which was not unexpected as she’d already slept for two hours. Then I heard banging from Elliot’s bedroom. This was unexpected. When I got up to get Amy from the office, I heard Elliot calling for me. I told him it was time to sleep, but he was chipper as ever. (Note to self: Do NOT tell Elliot that Gramma is coming. Twice now he’s forgone his nap when I’ve told him about her arrival.)

So, both kids up at 2:30. Greg not home until after they are in bed. Gramma is coming, yes, but not until after dinner. Then Elliot and I had a little power struggle over peeing on the toilet. I gave in because you’re not “supposed” to make it a struggle, and two minutes later he proudly informed me that he’d peed on the floor of his room.

Oh well, the afternoon has got slightly better. And I did get a nap in.

we’re going to new zealand!

Mental note for next time: don’t call a travel agent to purchase thousands of dollars worth of plane tickets and make decisions about what flights and whether to get insurance when your only-slightly-potty-trained son is in the middle of pooping and peeing on the toilet. It’s just not good planning. Especially when said son drops a sticker in with his poop and doesn’t understand why his mother won’t get it out.

there are a lot of empty hangers now

I’m tired of wearing clothing I don’t like, or that doesn’t fit me properly. Pants aren’t a problem as I just got a couple of new pairs of jeans I like, but tops are. So I just did a major purge of my closet contents. Biggest one ever. Not sure if it was a good idea or not, as there isn’t a lot left, and I’m not exactly in a good position financially to get more clothes.

Going topless isn’t really an option, so I guess I’ll have to make do with what I have for a bit.

i feel like curling up into a ball

A child this young should not have the power to make me feel so frustrated, exasperated and insecure as a parent. But he does.

We’ve been having bedtime issues with Elliot over the past month or so. There are ups and downs, but the downs are really bad. Like me getting mad enough at his screaming to scream back in his face. Like me being in tears several times now when I’m finally done putting him to bed.

I have tried posting about it a couple of times in the hopes that I’d be able to see things more clearly and figure out a solution, but I haven’t actually completed a post yet because there seems to be so many things I want to say. As well, publishing a post opens the door for advice…and I’m not sure I want to hear it. But as with the conversations I’ve already had about this, I can ignore the advice I don’t like, and act on the advice I like.

The basic issue is I try to leave the room and he starts crying, and I find it very hard to leave him crying, so I don’t. I usually leave for a few minutes, come back and see what he wants, and eventually he is happy. I rarely have to go in more than twice, but it’s stressful as hell. Not every night is like this — some are still as smooth as they used to be. But a growing number are very bumpy.

The stress comes from the conflict I’m feeling. I know he’s pushing the boundaries, seeing where I’ll push back. I know that, yet I let him push. I don’t let him push in other areas of our life, so why here? Why can’t I just put my foot down, leave the room and not come back? It’s because hearing him call out to me, crying, is excruciating. I don’t want him to ever think that I won’t come if he needs me. But that’s just it…he doesn’t really need me.

Tonight I got pissed off enough to just leave him (after a bedtime routine that was difficult from start to finish — usually the pajamas, books and brushing teeth part of it is no problem, but not tonight). Greg actually suggested I go back to the door (not go in) and see what he wanted. If I’d been on my own I probably would have just left him. But I did go back, and when I opened his door he was happy as a clam. He wanted to “see Amy”. Translation: he wanted me to come back. And I did. Again. Greg clarified afterward that he didn’t mean for me to open the door. He just wanted me to stand behind it and tell Elliot it was time to sleep.

And maybe that’s the happy medium here. Yes go back, to appease the stress of leaving him, but don’t open the door. I guess I’m not convinced that will be any easier. But it’s probably worth a shot.

It’s all a bit of a shocker…for two years we’ve had the best bedtimes. Something I’ve been proud of, and something Greg and I have benefited from, as we’ve had some pretty relaxing evenings after bedtime. Now it’s draining. I often get anxious before I put him to bed, which I’m sure he picks up on. And I analyze. Continuously. Further drain.

I’ve tried talking to Elliot about this (of course at a much simpler level, and not in the heat of the moment) and he seems to understand at least a small part of things. Today out of the blue on the way home from daycare he said “there be no crying at bedtime”. Of course saying and doing are two different things. And he is only two.

I know there are going to be some rocky times, but I want to feel like most of the time we’re on solid ground. And right now I don’t feel that way. Right now I feel like things could get worse before they get better.

Not the greatest feeling.

home sweet home

I don’t think that’s the first time I’ve used that title. I had a great time in Ottawa, but it sure was nice to come home and see my boys.

On our last day, Amy and I headed downtown to the ByWard Market. The quality and quantity of the fresh produce made my mouth water. We ambled around for a couple of hours, then went to the National Gallery.

Unfortunately my timing was bad. Amy was getting pretty tired, and instead of gently falling asleep in the stroller, she screeched and squawked. A lot. In cavernous rooms with nothing but art, security guards and a few tourists who probably wanted some peace and quiet. I saw what I could, but felt too uncomfortable and decided to go. Turned out to be quite an expensive trip. If you go to the National Gallery, don’t park in their parking lot.

Our flight home was early the next day. Amy and I were up by 5:20. This is a case where you don’t do the math as it relates to the time zone you’re moving to. It will just make you tired.

Our flights home were quite good, it just took a while as we had a three hour layover in Calgary. I thankfully had the stroller, but by then I just wanted to be home.

Elliot was happy to see me, and possibly even happier to see Amy. He keeps calling me Daddy. 🙂

can’t beat the weather

Amy and I are just finishing up day three in Ottawa, and we’re having a great time. Yesterday we went up to Meech Lake and spent some time hanging out in the shade and eating while the other members of our party played in the sand and swam. I managed a quick swim at the end of the visit. The wind was a bit cool so it took a bit of cajoling from my sister to get in, but I did it. Once in, the water was fine.

Today we went to the park in the morning, were home for lunch, went to the tennis club for a swim in the afternoon, followed by another visit to a different park, and then to DQ for a blizzard…about an hour before we ate dinner. It was hot today, but not humid at all. The pool felt lovely, and I got Amy into her pink bikini and into the pool for the first time. It was pretty cold, so she just went in up to the top of her legs, but she didn’t cry. It was mostly just a photo op for the bikini, one she likely won’t wear again as it provides little sun coverage.

We had some lamb burgers for dinner, the kids are now asleep, and I’m just enjoying some down time. The heat makes me tired so I’ll probably head to bed early. Tomorrow I’m going into Ottawa to the market and to the National Gallery.

I’ll be posting pictures on the kids’ site when I get home, seeing as the pictures are mostly of Amy.