His World

After a very difficult day yesterday, wherein I was mad at Kent for most of the day and spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself that I hadn't gotten to sleep the night before, I resolved that today would be better.

Yesterday: I was tired, headachey, and feeling the effects of yet another cold we're passing around, and I just wanted to do nothing, so we stayed at home for most of the day and I was pretty lazy and uninspired. Kent, as a result, went stir-crazy. He hit me, spent a lot of time not listening and talking back, got me so angry that I cried and yelled at him a couple of times, and generally gave all impressions that he wasn't a happy kid. I had a tearful phone call to my husband wherein I told him I wanted him to fix everything because I couldn't, and he came home for an extended lunch. Things just kept being difficult, because Kent's actions were met by my overreactions, sending his mood spiraling even further downward. There were a couple of miraculous potty successes, but the day was pretty much crap other than that. Even though Kent and I had a couple of good talks about how we should treat the people we love, which I think is always important after we make bad decisions, I went to bed so sad about how the day had gone, feeling like a horrible mom.

Today: I got much better sleep last night, thanks to Jack getting up with Dean a few times in the night. After breakfast, I loaded the boys in the car, and we went to the good park, the one with lots of big trees and fun equipment. It's in the 90s here, so we have to go early and got there at about 8:45. Kent spent a good hour and a half playing with this other funny little boy, I had a nice conversation with another nursing mom whose kids are just about the same ages as mine, I got Dean to giggle uproariously by tickling his feet, and then I washed all the sand off Kent's feet and we went to Highland Coffees, my old stomping grounds and still favorite coffee shop. I used my full stamp card to get a free drink (which makes for a good day all by itself), a rich Viennese iced coffee. Kent had some water, and we shared a croissant. We talked about the paintings on the wall (they always have cool displays from local artists) and the classical symphony playing over the speakers. He's learned a lot about instruments already, so we talked about some of the sounds we were hearing, and I gave him a refresher course on the string family. All on his own, he then learned to blow bubbles into his drink with a straw, because he was trying to talk while drinking. Then he kept doing it and saying, "It's funny when I talk into my drink, like this!" I told him that even though it's funny, he could only do it when there was a lid on his cup. (Yeah, we'll see how that goes.)

We got home and played outside for a while, and I harvested a few green beans and our first okra pods. Lunchtime was nice. There was a minor squabble over naptime, but now he's sleeping, and so is Dean. I tell ya, I do NOT take these Double Nap days for granted.

The afternoon's activities are yet to be determined, but I think we'll read books and maybe do some art together. Tonight, we're going to Chick Fil-A with friends so that Jack can study.

I realized last night, and again this morning, that the reason yesterday was so bad was that I kept expecting Kent to be on my level, to adapt to my world. I was tired and cranky, and I wanted him to cut me a break. He just doesn't know to do that, and I'm not being sensitive or smart when I expect it. So today, I'm trying to live more in his world. To structure things more according to his needs. It takes more energy, but I get a pretty awesome yield in the form of a happier kid. I don't bend over backward for him, or let him have his way all the time, but I do take into account that he's going to need time to run around and be crazy, and he's going to need me to engage him and make him feel loved and special.

Dean's needs are so uncomplicated and so few right now, it's been fairly easy to incorporate him into my role as Kent's mom. It works for me to think in terms of Kent's needs. As Dean gets older and has his own set of needs that are different from his big brother's, though, I'm not quite sure how I'm going to adapt.

Challenges: always. Rewards: always.

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You'll adapt wonderfully, because you are wonderful. Even when you are cranky. Loving you a lot and praying for you. You are truly amazing.
Erica, I always appreciate your directness in your blog posts. Many times you eloquently express feelings shared by others but perhaps left unsaid. This post was no exception.

I'm Dorothy and have been following your blog since we met in Atlanta last Thanksgiving at Joel & Lisa's annual get-together. We (husband Pat) also started a blog of our livf on the VA eastern shore (thefrogandpenguinn). Please feel free to visit.
I need to cut this out and put it up for later use. I know when I let e do things he needs to do (play) wet have a great time all day. I just don't always remember...
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