Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year. Happy New Year! Happy New Year? I just don't know how I feel about this yet.
For the first time since I was pregnant with Ben, I have crossed into a new year feeling a bit defeated. I have had a very strange break. Dave was home for over a week (great!), I was sick (not great), the kids fought (bad/sad) and Kiera learned to climb out of her crib (the end of the world as we knew it). None of these things are really that strange, even when you you clump them all together. What is strange is that these are the things that I am remembering and thinking about. We had fantastic moments this week. We spent wonderful time with family and friends, did fun winter and Christmas stuff, played and played. I know all of the wonderful times that we have had but this whole break has been ever shadowed by the stress of arguing children. I have somehow allowed my demeanor to be guided by the poor behavior of my children (and vise versa?). I have been drained, sapped, trampled but the effort that it has taken to create fun times and memories for children that this week seemed determined to see, if in fact they could make me crazy.

I can honestly say that we have never experienced a week like this. If I sound a little baffled that is because I AM. I can't seem to guide my little monsters through what ever (and it could be a combination of all kinds of changes this week) is tweaking there moods into a tizzy. Playing rough, I can take. Desiring to inflict pain, I can not. They are messing with each other to the nth degree and NONE of the tricks from the old "Preschool Teacher" arsenal are working. If these were kids in my class I would have already had parents called in for a conference. You have heard the play ground mantra "I'm rubber and your glue..." well my words are bouncing off of my children is such a way that is is actually shocking other people. A simple "Are you thirsty?" from me is met with such a venomous "No! Mama!" that the people around me look at me with that "If that was my kid I'd..." look. I had really high hopes for a low key resting and playing break but seemed to have spent the week putting out fires or at least moving them away from other so that they can burn themselves out.

I had a brief moment of relief when I thought of making it through another holiday season. The discomfort I feel when people move away from Ben at a party or get frustrated when he catches himself on there pant legs. The guilt of knowing that, if I am having an adult conversation, Ben is playing alone. More guilt when I request a movie be put on that I know he will like so I can continue my conversation. The sadness I feel for him when I know that there are a dozen kids around him and none of them has asked him to play. My wish that he will forgive having to feel alone or different at get togethers just because I would like to visit. Making it through a time of year when there is no escaping the difference between "normal" and our life feels like an accomplishment. But I have to admit, if you haven't already guessed, it breaks my heart every time. How much of this has lead to the change in attitude of my babies? How much of this are they conscious of and how much is just a tingling sensation of wrong? I am hoping for a smooth last few days to enjoy each other before school starts again. Enjoy being the key word. We will make it a Happy New Year.

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