In high school I wrote in my journal every night. I considered it one of my greatest accomplishments that I had such a detailed chronicle of my teenage years. When I went to college, my writing became more and more sporadic – probably because my days were much less structured. I still try to get a few notes in every few months, and especially to avoid only writing when things are hard. I don’t want it to seem like my life is altogether terrible.
Lately I’ve been doing a lot more writing, mainly so I can see how my feelings have developed over the past few weeks. Yesterday and today have been really hard for me, particularly at night, and rather than sobbing and wailing (the kids were asleep, so I stuck to silently sobbing), I wanted to put things into words.
But as soon as I wrote the date I thought, 16 days left. Just 16 days. What can I do in 16 days? How can I actually get ready for this? How will I convince myself to get in the car to drive to the hospital in 16 days, knowing I’ll go home that night without Tiny Baby? How do I function for the next two weeks? How will I manage afterwards when I’m barely keeping it together now?
Evan spent most of last week at his cousins’ house. By “most” I mean that they all came down here on Tuesday, but he ended up going back home with them – so Jarom didn’t see Evan from Sunday til Sunday. It was interesting to see how different June was without Evan for a week. In a word: wild. Apparently Evan balances her out enough that she doesn’t seem quite so feral . . . as an only child, June was definitely untamed.
Before Evan’s vacation, he and I had been getting along pretty well. I was having a lot more trouble with June, who would throw a fit whenever she desperately needed to use the bathroom. (It’s a weird thing, if you ask me, but once I learned to recognize the “I’m upset because I have to pee” tantrum, life got a little easier.) Anyway, I hoped that Evan would still be fairly well-behaved when he got back. Yesterday wasn’t a very good reunion; he was happy to see us at first, but then fussed and whined and acted like a baby about leaving his cousins. There was a lot of “Noooooo! I don’t want to do that!”-type fussiness, and I was not looking forward to today. He fell asleep on the drive home and we did books and songs before he went to bed, so at least yesterday ended on a positive note.
And this morning was going well, too. Evan was happy when he woke up, happy to play with Ender, happy to be back in his own room with his own toys. I didn’t have such a great morning – June woke up really early, and I’d gotten up 4 times during the night to deal with her or the dog, so I was especially grouchy. By the time I finally came around to being a normal person, I put in some laundry for the kids so we could run a few errands today. The most important errand was getting Evan a haircut. But before that, he needed a bath.
He was fine with the idea at first. Then he decided he wanted a shower. But it had to be a shower in my bathroom, with me. I said no. He’s too big to have a shower with me, but he was welcome to have one on his own. He got really ornery so I did my best to ignore him rather than argue. (It was tricky, but actually worked out ok. On my part, at least.) Eventually he was being so bossy and rude – shouting things like “You have to do what I want to do!” – that I told him it wasn’t acceptable to talk to me like that, and I put him in his room for a time out.
Apparently the reminder that I’m still his mom and he can still get in trouble was what he needed, because after that he apologized, nicely had a bath and let me wash his hair, got ready to go, and sat calmly (perhaps in fear) during his haircut. We’ve barely had any problems since then.
With any luck, I can keep calm if we run into trouble again, and Evan and I can still get along. If not . . . just keep trying, right?