Posted by: thiscait | September 22, 2008

Time Ticks Onward

Today Natalie skipped out the front door as I finished pouring my coffee*.  I could hear her chirp from down the path “I’m leaving for school without you, Mama!  Goodbye!”  Luckily she realized she’d forgotten her backpack, so she quickly returned, and we headed out the door together.  When we arrived at her school, she paused only briefly outside her classroom and said, “I’m a little shy.”  Then she cheerfully walked in and started playing.  As we built a tower together, I gave her the usual “I’m going to leave soon” warning.  She looked up at me and said, without a pause, “Go.”  So I did.  No tears, no hesitation.  We may be (knock wood) past the worst of the separation issues.  For now anyway.

Teddy is begining to explore activities besides eating, sleeping, and pooping.  He now opens his eyes and looks around, finding some of the same high-contrast objects that fascinated his sister at this age and staring at them.  He’s still sleepier than Natalie was, but is slowly discovering the outside world.  Sadly, he’s also gassier than his sister was, so we’re having to learn how to burp and de-gas a newborn, something we lucked out of the first time around.  But he’s sweet and deliciously snuggly, makes heart-meltingly cute squeaky noises, and at his pediatrician appointment last Wednesday, had gained a pound in a week.  He’s doing well, and we’re loving the process of getting to know/falling in love with this little guy.

We’re frequently asked what Natalie thinks of her new brother.  My stock answer has become, “Oh, she adores him.  It’s her parents she’s not entirely sure about right now.”  Which is half true and half exaggeration.  She does love him.  She wants to see him and know what he’s doing at all times, gives him hugs and kisses, tells him she loves him, snuggles with him, and when she’s been away taking a nap or visiting a friend, comes back and says to him “I’m so sorry you missed me.”  The sweetness makes us teary sometimes. 

The hard part has been that she’s more volatile than we’re used to, having messier meltdowns and fiercer demands.  I guess when lots of things change at once, you try to take control where you can, whether you’re a grownup or a two-year-old.  Makes sense to me.  She’s gradually finding her equilibrium again, and we’re doing what we can to help her with that.  While we were prepared for regression, and ready to support whatever she needed, she seems to be loving chances to be more independent, and reminds us that she’s a big girl.  Sure, she loves to play with the floor gym, and wants to be in charge of the other baby items that have re-emerged, but she’s also loving her baskets of books, stickers and wiki sticks.  She’s been more willing (and excited) to run off with the neighbors without a mom tagging along.  Her use of the potty seems mostly unaffected at this point, probably largely thanks to the toilet “just the size for me!” at her school.  So, in short, some challenges, slowly resolving (or evolving), still our loving, imaginative, silly, wonderful girl.  And while everything could change at any minute, we’re pretty happy with where we are right now.

*Coffee is becoming part of the morning routine around here.  We’re just accepting the fact that it’s a necessary part of getting through this transition.  While it’s probably better for me not to drink it, it’s better than the alternatives (cranky-ass mama, speed…)  🙂

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Responses

  1. Maybe after the Jewish holy days, Malka and I could sneak down for a weekend, and have some special Malka-Natalie time…

    And yeah, the coffee? SO necessary. I salute my cup to yours.

  2. It’s so interesting to hear how Natalie is doing through all these changes. It is also amusing to me as GM’s behavior is totally the same when it comes to change: absolute independence along with messier outburts.

  3. Sounds like you’re all doing pretty well. Natalie’s life is permanently changing now, as you know, so it’s not just a matter of getting used to things and then going back to normal- there’s going to be a new normal depending on how all the dust settles. And then resettles as the baby and she go through different stages. That’s the thing: though how you treat her may not be so different, her position in the family is different and has consequences.
    I have noticed with our new addition that there have been times when the baby has not needed much attention and it’s like “old times” with the twins, only more special because undivided attention is now a commodity. And then there are stages when the baby seems fussier and more demanding, and the boys’ unfortunate choice (and that’s exactly what it is: unfortunate) is to be a little more independent or to whine a lot. Those times can be tough, but I just try to say to myself that this is the whole family’s new reality, and we all learn and cope as we go. We are all discovering about our various new roles. I think you were very wise to put Natalie in school and supporting her so fully.
    And yes, coffee is not something that THIS nursing mom could have lived without, both with the twins and with this one too. Sip on.

  4. sorry about all the grammatical errors. speaking of coffee…

  5. I don’t understand how you made it this long without needing coffee.

    Also, what are wiki sticks?

  6. Wikki stix are pieces of waxed string that kids can use to create pictures or sculptures. Natalie has so far spent about 30 minutes removing them from their package one by one, and the rest of the time crumpling them into giant sticky balls of waxed string. She calls them “cookies” and we pretend to eat them. I have shown her how to make shapes which she finds interesting, but then crumples into other cookies. 😀

  7. I love the new header pic!

  8. Ditto to what Sara said–beautiful header pic!


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