Baby 4 has entered the "Watch this!" stage which is unfortunate because he hasn't left the "Why?" stage. My days are filled with "Teresa! Watch this!", "See?", while he drives his car or jumps around like a ninja. Then when the car crashes or he lands on his bottom after a cartwheel attempt he says, "Why did I do that?". I know this is normal and developmentally appropriate, but it's stressing me out.
Baby 4's caseworker, our school district's special education representative, and I have been playing phone tag all week to get everything set for his preschool meeting next week. Somewhere during all that, the
We've had 2 Dr appts, 1 Dad-visit, 2 relative resource calls, a compression garment fitting, nursing, and a homevisit this week. I.AM.EXHAUSTED.
I have MAPP training homework due Monday that I haven't even started.
I have started nesting for Baby 5. Even though I've shut down all positive feelings I could have about this maybe-baby, I still cleaned like a maniac all morning just in case.
Since it was a thousand degrees out, I sat in the pool with 4 and we played a couple of rounds of "Watch this!", "Look at me!".
I know I look like I have a 4yr old, but I don't. He's a baby. He has the attachment of a baby, he has the social skills of a baby (stare at faces and smile). I can't leave him with a sitter, his behavior regresses and I don't trust anyone to care for his medical needs. If he would fit in a Moby wrap, I would strap him to my chest where ever I went because that's what he needs. NO.ONE.GETS.IT.
Parenting a 4yr old is hard. Any 4yr old- they're kind of a pain. It's even more difficult when the newborn -3yr old parenting has to be done simultaneously. I'm working to get Baby 4 to see me as the person who is safe and meets his needs. I want him to come to me when he needs comfort or food. I'm teaching him that Moms are for love and not fear. I'm also teaching him about respecting adults and what kind words sound like. I'm teaching him that we don't always have to go first and that it's OK to be angry, but not OK to make angry faces at people. I'm doing 4 yrs of parenting at once and some of my messages conflict with his former parenting and with his budding independence.
So all of this hit me this morning the second my eyes opened, and I've been off my game all day.
Then I check my email and I got this from someone at one of my volunteer commitments: (excuse my paraphrase) Hey, So & So told me that Such and Such responsibility hasn't been done yet this week. Perhaps you could get on that.
I couldn't even respond. I have been very honest with everyone about the situation my family is in- including So & So. I don't keep them updated to the minute because that gets old. Baby 4 is always getting sick and going to the hospital, there is always a new baby or a respite baby coming in or going out of my house, I always have a thousand things happening on the same day. There is always court and relative drama. GIVE.ME.SOME.SLACK.
Then I think about other women who have new babies or have bio-kids that get sick and are in the hospital. No one would EVER be sending them an email like that. No one would expect them to be doing anything other than care for their family.
In the past 5 months I have lost 2 children, brought a new baby home, had him hospitalized twice, buried a loved one, and been in the Emergency Department 4 times. I maintained all of my outside responsibilities and I feel expected to perform the same as before all this happened because these children are from foster care and not my own body.
I am tired, and hot, and I need a day off. I also need a polite way step down from Such & Such because there are bigger fish to fry in my house at the moment. So I decided to blog about it. I guess misery really does love company. Thanks for hanging in there with me!