Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Everyday

It's Saturday morning. Aquaman and The Dude are eating cinnamon honey bunches of oats, and there is a fine layer of them all over the floor. They are watching Magic school bus, because they pretty much didn't watch any tv at all this week, and when they both woke up full blast a few minutes ago I decided I needed a few more minutes of quiet. Anyway, what's Saturday morning without cartoons?

Greystoke is still sleeping, but should be up any moment. He had 2 3 hour stretches of sleep last night stretched out on his tummy beside me. The Dude was up during both of those stretches. He's been sleeping a little better lately, but last night wasn't such a good one.

JT is still in bed, after just completing 12 days in a row of work. We can all agree that was too many days of work, and he'll probably spend most of today recovering.
Everyone is growing and changing, which is why I am writing today even though I mostly don't feel like it. I would much rather write in my journal, and read my bible a little longer, or do a yoga video, which I have just started doing.
Or clean the fine layer of cinnamon honey bunches of oats up before the almost 9 month old wakes up and starts trying to stuff it in his mouth.
But sometimes even when you don't feel like it, especially during these good times...
you have to take the time to write. To process it.

 Aquaman got another report card, and school is going well for him.

He's writing some letters backwards, but so did I at this age. He still pretty much hates reading, so sometimes I reward him page by page just so that we can get through each book without crying. He's such a perfectionist, and that is exhausting.
Math is his thing. A few weeks ago, he asked me if 12+12 was 24. I told him it was, and he explained that he figured that out because 10+10 is 20, and 2+2 is 4.
His brain definitely works differently than mine does.

For his 100th day of school they had to make a poster with 100 things on it.
He chose stones, and he painstakingly counted out 10 groups of 10 stones and glued them on the poster board.
The day that he turned them in, his teacher chose his poster to count, and what do you know, 2 of the stones had fallen off.
She said his whole face fell, his mouth came open. He was devastated.
We repaired it, but he still hasn't recovered.

He is so sweet, and so intense, and sometimes he really embarrasses me, like yesterday when he came out of his classroom crying and throwing a fit because his brother, a classmate, and the classmate's little brother were playing happily together, and not including him (because he was trying to control the whole situation and they weren't interested). It was like an explosion of negativity, and I could feel the parents around me staring at him, and I really struggle with that. He never just fits neatly into any social situation.

It turns out the root of it was that he had built his 100th day of school up in his head into such an exciting thing that it could not deliver. He had a substitute teacher. There was not even any free centers. It was just like any other normal day. As if he is not exhausted enough by Friday afternoon, he was a complete mess on this one.

Sweet exhausting boy.

I've been studying and praying about the importance of the inside. How the condition of our hearts is so much more important to God than what our lives look like from the outside. Because sometimes things can feel like a total mess on the outside, but on the inside, God is working, and on the inside, we are changing and growing.
And on the inside, things are happening with this boy, but he just doesn't always perform like I'd like him to on the outside. And I'm working on being ok with that.

A few nights ago, as he lay in bed falling asleep, he suddenly sat up and said "there's something I've been thinking about that seems to be a problem to me. I love myself more than I love other people."
The Holy Spirit is working in his heart. Slower than I'd like sometimes. But he makes all thing beautiful in His time.

His report card at school was great, as was the conference with his teacher. I have to admit, I was concerned with public schools wanting to jam him into a mold, but so far, he has received only respect from his teachers, Yes, he mostly keeps to himself, yes he prefers parallel play, he is scared of the movies they sometimes watch, and is easily upset by loud noises. But he is polite to teachers and other children.
"I'm glad to have had him in my class. He is unusual, but many quirky children are difficult to like and get along with. That's not the case with Aquaman." I felt validated and encouraged by my conversation with his teacher. She understands him, and he so needs understanding.

I've been very blessed to spend some extra one on one time with each of the older boys lately (well, usually their little brother is there, but he is quite accommodating).

The older two have been a constant explosion of fighting lately. So much competition and frustration. So I've been trying to give them a little distance from each other for a little while.
A couple of days ago, I took Aquaman shopping for new clothes with a gift card I received for Christmas. For the first time in his life, he got to pick out brand new clothes, and he was so excited. He loves clothes, and matching, and looking nice. Though he hasn't yet figured out that his favorite collared polo shirts don't go with his favorite athletic pants. But that'll come soon enough.

And The Dude.

 He is pleasing and frustrating in completely opposite ways than Aquaman. He is socially adept. He has really come out of his shell lately, and makes friends with almost everyone he comes in contact with.

He's still struggling a little with confines of rules.

But he does much better in one on one situations.

I'm so glad I ended up putting him in preschool 5 days a week. On top of having childcare for what ended up being my 5th appointment for this same dumb tooth, and for when I go to work, it is nice to have some time in the mornings to get some work done, and still know that he is having a great time for a few hours.
Friday afternoons have become our special time.

We go to the library together. We play computer games that practice our letters and sounds, do puzzles, and he gets to pick out one book and one dvd that is his entirely his own choice, without negative input from his big brother, and even if it is something that would be scary to Aquaman.
Last week, Aquaman went to Noni and Papa's on Saturday, and The Dude and I went on a date to Subway. The Dude chose a big booth with high chairs, and ate his whole sandwich. And his whole cookie.

Then I let him push one of those little carts around Winn Dixie, which would be an absolutely insane choice if both boys were along to spur each other along.

And sweet sweet Greystoke.

He has 2 teeth on the bottom, and is in the process of getting 4 on the top. He just started crawling this week, in his own sweet Greystoke way. One knee down, and one foot. He is very pleased with his accomplishment, and his ability to get into whatever toys he wants. So far, he hasn't gotten into too much trouble, though I know it is probably coming.

Still, considering at this age the other two were crawling all over the house following me around crying at me to pick them up, he is a breeze.
He is still so happy and fun, and I am loving every minute of his being my baby.

The laundry piles up in the pack n play in the closet, and every other day when it starts to overflow out, I put it away, and lately, I've been enjoying it.

 Because I have this whole big beautiful family to make dirty clothes for me to put away, and I am so grateful for it.
Even though this morning for some reason Aquaman's pacing the living room deliberately running into the glass doors and walls, and whatever other strange sensory stimulation he can get has been kind of getting on my nerves.
JT finally has a whole weekend off, and there are only a couple of those left before the season starts and he doesn't get any.
 We're heading to the park in 2 hours to meet some friends and enjoy this absolutely perfect weather we've been having.
Better go clean *some* of the cereal off the floor.

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