Friday, March 23, 2007

Thank God it's Friday, and Spring, and No One's Currently Having a Meltdown

Hey people, good news. Last night, Genevieve slept from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. without even waking up once to cry or fuss. (She hasn't been nursing overnight since we started the sleep training a couple of weeks ago, but this is the first time she hasn't woken up at least once overnight to cry and complain that she is not being nursed.) Plus, after two nights in a row of epic hours-long bedtime meltdowns, Julia went to sleep last night "like a big girl," with no crying or fussing or screaming loud enough to peel the paint off the wall, earning herself a special weekend outing to the bookshop downtown to pick out a new Richard Scarry.

So, Friday started off well. We had playgroup this morning at a dear friend's house; the sun is out, the birds are singing, and the temp is in the 50s, promising great weather for an after-nap walk this afternoon; and Nonna and Boppa arrive later today for a visit. All is well.

In addition to these lovely circumstances, this morning I was reminded of another reason to be thankful. My friend who hosted playgroup today has a 28-month-old and a 9-month-old, and the toddler has just started exhibiting aggression toward the baby, hitting and pinching her now and then. Obviously, this is devastating to their mom. While I was there, I watched her older child run over to the baby and smack her on the head with a hard, heavy toy. Everyone was okay, but there were many tears, a major time-out, and serious frustration and shock on the part of my friend. "She's never even shown one ounce of affection toward the baby, never said anything sweet or nice to or about her," my friend said sadly.

I realized how lucky I am. I'm sure things will change; I know sibling difficulties are inevitable. But so far, Julia is incredibly sweet with Genevieve. On a regular basis, she sings a silly little song we made up one day that goes, "Genevieve Rose, Genevieve Rose, you're my cute baby pie," and every now and then she'll look at her baby sister, giggle, touch her chubby arm or leg, and say, "Genevieve! You're so cute!" or, "Look at Genevieve's cute little chubby foot, Mama!" She gives kisses and hugs and tolerates (sometimes) spitty kisses in return. She brings Genevieve toys and rattles when she fusses. She warns me when Genna is spitting up or tipping over. I hate to say it, because you know you don't want to tempt the parenting gods, but I can't even imagine Julia ever being aggressive toward her baby sister (partly, of course, because she isn't aggressive toward anyone; she's not an aggressive child, even at her most frustrated or upset).

My friend has it tough, with a much closer age span--one baby only 1-1/2 when the second was born. We talked this morning, all of us, about how hard our jobs are, how incredibly hard it is to be home full-time with two children under the age of three, how it never stops, you never get a break in the day, there's no time for self-care or time to "re-charge," there are no colleagues with which to chat at the water cooler or over lunch. How we all have days, weeks, or longer when we're not patient, we're not energetic, we're not creative, we lose our tempers too often, we snap at the children, we're too tired to be calm at all times. We feel like we're doing a poor job at those times. And yet, we all know we're doing the best we can; it's just that our jobs are more than we can be at times.

At the end of playgroup, we made a plan, one we've made, but not followed through on, several times in the past. We're going to meet for coffee a week from this Sunday, in the afternoon, just ourselves, with no kids. (Heads up, dads!) We're going to spend an hour just having coffee with each other, talking. A moms' talk. This time we're following through. Because it's been almost a year since we've met each other now, and 7-9 months since our second babies were all born, and we've yet to take any time like this for ourselves. And IT'S TIME.

1 comment:

Jim said... And....besides with built in baby sitters there for the weekend why don't you start your time off this weekend. And take you husband along and leave the driving and the dinner bill to him! Go ahead! You deserve it!