Sunday, June 8, 2014

Controlled Chaos

I'd like to say that we're settling in to a nice routine these days, but I'd be lying, as evidenced by the fact that I can't seem to find a few moments, or a few spare brain cells to post anything meaningful.

The best description of what is going on in our lives currently is....controlled chaos.

I use the term "controlled" loosely, of course.

Greystoke had his 1 month checkup on his 1 month birthday, 6 days ago. He weighed 11 pounds, up 3.5 pounds since his 3 day old checkup, in which he had made it back to his birth weight.
I figured he'd be big, considering he never seems to stop eating. The pediatrician suggested maybe I could ignore some of his middle of the night grunting and see if he could stretch his night time feedings out to 6 hrs, since I am, in his words, "now running the marathon of 3 boys". It has worked once. But during that 6 hr stretch, The Dude woke up 3 times. Oh well.

He's woken up to the world a bit more this past 2 weeks, which has its benefits.

Such as those first coos.

And smiles. He smiled at Aquaman for the first time this morning. Right after Aquaman rolled a matchbox car right over his face. He's still a pretty good sport really.

But not quite the laid back guy I thought he was destined to be at birth. He's developing his lungs now. He rarely takes a full nap because the boys' noises are always waking him up.
He's a strong little guy, flipping consistently whenever he's placed on his stomach.

Pretty soon he'll be playing matchbox cars and Legos with the best of them.

This was the first full week of summer, and the older 2 started swim lessons last week, which went well. The Dude wasn't quite as upset about it as I thought he'd be. Still not too interested in swimming on his own though.

Aquaman has beeen living up to his nickname...mastering freestyle and backstroke.

His only complaint about swim lessons is that the water is cold. So he has started wearing a wet suit to practice, even though it is 90 degrees outside. Whatever.

Tomorrow I have to go back to work. Granted, it is for just one day to cover my cleft clinic, and then I am off again until June 30th, but sit's still going to be hard to leave this little guy.

He's only taken 1 ounce of the bottle so far, so hopefully he behaves for Noni and Papa.

It has made me all too painfully aware that these days of losing track of exactly what day it is are coming to an end.
Even once I start back up, it will only be 2 days a week. But still, there is just something about the change of focus that is hard. I have loved these weeks of focusing on my family, the little bit of housework I can get done (I can't imagine what's going to happen when I start falling behind on the everyday things like laundry again), and JT's job, which this time of year is about a 60 hr/week job, with only 40 of it being actually paid...
Aquaman is not sure if he enjoys summer yet or not.
I think the lack of routine and stimulation, which is compounded by having an infant in the house, is difficult for him.
To pass the time and keep things productive, he is earning 2 quarters a day for doing a job around the house, reading one book a day, and doing a worksheet or writing in his summer journal.
It is fun to see him enjoy some of the books he picks out to read from the library, which are quite conveniently color-coded based on reading level.
I don't think he'll really ever be that kid who sits and reads book after book all summer (he's wayyy too busy for that), but hopefully he will learn to derive some pleasure out of reading.

I've been struggling a lot with him this week. He's always exhausted me. I love him to pieces, and I respect him deeply in spite of his differences, and maybe because of them. But most of the time I have a lot of difficulty understanding him, and parenting him is probably the hardest thing I've ever done in my life.

He is such a strange mixture of strong-willed and sensitive/emotional. He can be the most helpful and compliant child in one minute, and in the next he can turn into some sort of maniac.
I battle guilt almost constantly over my inadequacy and inconsistency with him.
I am grateful for my sister P who has helped keep me sane more than once about him.
I read today in my devotional book: "shame often points to the pride in our lives". And I realized that my being ashamed of my inability to parent him in my own strength is only pride.
God will fill me up to do what He has called me to do. And he will fill up Aquaman in the spaces where I leave \him empty. I believe that.
I can't forget the other exciting part of our week.
JT was nominated by his bosses to be Lifeguard of the Year. We got to get all dressed up and go to the Brevard County Fire Rescue award ceremony.
It's been a busy week, an exhausting week, a productive and satisfying and frustrating week.
I'd do it all over again. 20 times.

Still, I could go for a nap right now. 

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