Some of my publishable thoughts on arriving home: Whoa. We got in at 11:00 night before last and the kids were up until 3. We hauled them through yesterday, even taking Sam and Lily to a tennis lesson and getting the boys a haircut–and put them to bed at a relatively normal time (when Rob and I were nearly asleep standing) but at 1:30 the first of them–Rory–appeared.
And this is where the fact that they all sleep in the same room bites us in the ass, because although I get her to go back to bed, Wyatt wakes up soon after and awakens everyone with his screaming, and it all goes downhill from there in a big way. Only Sam, who came down and slept on the sofa, got anything like a normal night’s sleep.
At 4:30 we let them get up and trash the house while we went to sleep. I woke up at 7:30 feeling like it was non. All night I dreamt of China, chaotic airports, crazed shopping, chasing kids through hotels. I woke up and inhaled a panful of brownies one of our friends baked us last night. So I’m doing fab.
Rory fell asleep midafternoon and had to be woken up using the kind of cruel behavior (turning them upside-down, standing them up even though they are asleep) that forms a parent’s only revenge for sleepless night, but because we were in public, I couldn’t really appreciate it. Which reminds me of the glorious moment in the airport where she whacked Wyatt full in the face for nothing–as in, he walked up to her and she hauled off and belted him–and she had to be removed, screaming, to a corner until she became willing to apologize, which took about 20 solid minutes of screaming. (We do cut her plenty of slack, but there are a couple of non-negotiables, don’t you think?) Anyway, the stares were impressive. At least she was screaming in English, which gave us some credibility…
We’ve also had a couple of episodes where she’s been with Rob, howling for “mama”–and although that’s fine, we don’t let her get away with it if she’s hitting him and refusing his help for something because she wants me–and when she finally gets me, it’s clear that I am NOT the mama she had in mind. This is hard for all of us…but mostly she’s doing remarkably well.
I am doing slightly less well. I am not a patient person at the best of times, and I become particularly unpleasant with lack of sleep. I’m also not very playful anymore, I find. I do not want to play Wii with Wyatt, or play with blocks or the remote control train with Rory, which makes me feel like all I do is dress them, feed them and say “no” to them…and I am not sure I really truly considered the ramifications of one more voice crying mommy mommy mommy in our particular wilderness.
I’ve resented every new child in turn for taking me away from the old ones. There are elements of that here–Wyatt, in particular,needs me badly every time Rory does, and saying no to him is heartbreaking. And there is just the added drudgery. Look, more toys on the floor! Look, more sippy cups! Look, more laundry! Oh, boy, somebody else who needs me to wipe their ass! I’m intensely aware that some of the people who are reading this “told me so”, and that others will be worried that I can’t meet Rory’s needs or learn to love her. I think it will all loosen up in a matter of months or even weeks. I think it will be fine, even great, fairly soon. But I don’t want to minimize or hide the growing pains. Wyatt screamed hysterically last night because he wanted me to remove this baby doll from his bed–a doll with Asian features, that we bought partly in order just not to have a whole house full of blue-eyed blondes. And when she’s the one causing the bedtime and wake up issues. I boil over. Lily gets frustrated because Rory’s not exactly what she pictured–which, as it amounted to a fully cooperative live doll, isn’t too surprising. Only Sam seems fine, and we all know that Sam has a lot of himself invested in always seeming fine.
We’ll get through it. But probably not today.