Monday, June 13, 2016

Motherhood in Summertime.

In summertime the pictures are many, but the time to capture them in words are few.
The sun doesn't go down until 9, and is up by 6, and Aquaman often even has shorter sleep patterns.

JT's last days at the county came and went with surprisingly little fanfare. He spent a week in El Salvador surfing with some of the other lifeguards.
We missed him like crazy. But our week went quickly too, with water balloons and swimming and going to the beach.
We had one week before that of summer camp that made me grateful once again for the slow and relaxing days of summer at home (if you can call a day filled with 3 boys relaxing)...
The Dude loved his "superhero camp", but he was still tired and cranky and impossible afterwards. And Aquaman found "Mr. Science" camp, in a room with 20 kids ages 7-12, to be enormously exhausting.
And he had nightmares for days about it.
Now we have just a few more days before family vacation: a trip to the Georgia mountains for a family reunion.
We are all looking forward to this, other than the driving part, at least.
And when we return, JT will be starting his new job at Jetty Park. Today he is meeting with his new boss to make a plan. I talked to him on the phone when JT was out of the country, and I couldn't believe how much I liked him. I think this is going to be a really great fit for JT, and look forward to seeing what God will do there.
Greystoke is growing up so quickly. He can quickly turn grumpy and contrary, which, by the 3rd child, I find absolutely adorable most of the time.
One day I went to get him up from what I thought was a long nap and found that he had gotten his letter cards down from the dresser and returned to lounging in the bed where he was quizzing himself and looking very pleased.
He still loves books, but his new passion is swimming. He has discovered he can swim by himself with water wings now, and does so with great enthusiasm. Occasionally he will request that I take them off because he is certain that he can, in fact, swim without them. He gets very annoyed when he sinks to the bottom.
He wants to wear his swimsuit at all times. Sometimes he has to hold his swimsuit while he falls asleep. If it is not his swimsuit, it is underwear. Not because he is potty training He has no clue.
The Dude is happy and busy and enthusiastic about almost everything.
I saw this book the other day called: "every dog has ADHD", which talks about the positive characteristics of this label, and sometimes I laugh out loud when I watch The Dude running to and fro because puppy is the first word that comes to mind.

He loves walkie talkies, and fishing poles, and he never stops talking.
I volunteer in his class at church twice a month and he sits in my lap as often as he can, though he often has to wrestle some of the other boys out of it. "I love you so much, Mommy!" he says at least 100 times a day. And there are at least as many hugs per day too.
I like watching him and getting to know him in situations where I often don't get to see him, like church. Like Aquaman, the attention of the teacher is always more important to him than that of his friends. He often completely misses their attempts at engaging him.
Still, he finds friendship easy and natural. His confidence is unshakable, and his experience in navigating the social waters with his older brother has given him great skill in understanding how to relate to others especially when emotions are high.
He chose to forego the June kindergarten playdate at his school. He is not quite ready to think about such things. But I get the feeling he is going to mostly enjoy the whole thing. He is just a boy who lives in today. He enjoyed school. He enjoys summer vacation.
Summer with Aquaman has gone better than I even imagined. It helped we did the parenting class just before. He reminded us of the importance of routine and clear expectations for some kids, and Aquaman is certainly one of them, so I made this hilarious stick figure chart which we change out each morning.
Aquaman loves it, even though he hates cleaning the bathrooms, and may or may not have thrown a clorox wipe at me the first Saturday and said "that's YOUR job!"
We have taken him to a few events that have totally challenged and overstimulated pump it up, and a disastrous birthday party, and this reunion will certainly challenge him in new ways, but mostly we have been decompressing this summer, and enjoying it.
The OT evaluation revealed that his fine motor difficulties are mainly because of his sensory disorder combined with anxiety that causes him to grip his pencil too hard.The recommended twice a week therapy to help with these things and also to help with his eating problems, but unfortunately our insurance will be changing in 2 weeks and the facility where we took him are not providers with the new insurance, so we'll be starting over. Oh well.

We went back to Sea World last week while JT was gone, and had a great time.
Watched the flamingoes take a walk,
Tried to feed the sea lions, but the birds stole the fish right out of the boys' hands...

Rode the Antarctica ride, which scared Greystoke half to death because it was loud and your chair vibrated...

Aquaman always says, when we go to see the penguins, that he has changed his mind and does not want to move somewhere where it snows when he grows up,
I love him so much. Summer has reminded me what an extraordinary boy he is when he is not in fight or flight mode.
I am a lucky mom.
And now I must go. I am working today, and need to get everyone ready. The older 2 are doing treetop trek with their grandparents today. Greystoke will be spending the day with Noni and Papa.
I should really be emptying the dishwasher, but instead I am going to take a shower.
Life is such a strange mix of never stop moving and stop and smell the roses in the sunshine.
That's motherhood in summertime.
No time for fancy words, no time for a shower by myself. Help with the bathrooms, but they're still not really clean and the kids are dirtier.
But no homework, no before school temper tantrums.
And life is good.